Wisconsin court overturns drug conviction for probable cause issues

When it comes to the American criminal justice system, rules and procedure matter a great deal. All citizens are innocent until proven guilty, and evidence obtained improperly or illegally by law enforcement cannot be used against defendants in court. The constitutional protection against illegal search and seizure is more valuable than many people realize. Recently, […]

Read More

Crime lab scandal raises fundamental questions about the system

he Massachusetts state crime lab came under scrutiny recently after it was discovered that one of its scientists may have tainted evidence used in thousands of criminal cases. The scandal has shaken public confidence in criminal justice systems across the country. Of course, Wisconsin residents hope that those required to mount a criminal defense against […]

Read More

Defendants must be informed of all punishment possibilities

It is not often that a judge presiding over a criminal case will accept “I just didn’t know,” or “I didn’t understand” as a valid reason to uphold an acquittal or to reduce a generally accepted sentencing term. This may be especially true in cases of alleged sex crimes, given that many convictions carry mandatory […]

Read More

Are prosecutors trying to keep innocent man on death row? Part II

Earlier this week, we began a discussion about a man convicted of triple homicide who has been fighting for more than a decade just to have the evidence in his case retested. While this incident did not occur in Wisconsin, it speaks to the importance of Wisconsin’s efforts to update and expand its criminal DNA […]

Read More

Are prosecutors trying to keep innocent man on death row? Part I

Some of our recent posts have been focused on the importance of hard evidence when attempting to convict someone on criminal charges. Over the last few years, improvements in Wisconsin’s criminal DNA database and the heroic efforts of groups like the Innocence Project have contributed to the exoneration of many individuals who were wrongly convicted […]

Read More

New registry highlights thousands of wrongful criminal convictions

We have previously written about the importance of hard and fast scientific evidence in the prosecution or defense of serious crimes. In recent years, Wisconsin has been working hard to update its criminal DNA database, and this is actually a good thing for the majority of individuals on either side of the law. We want […]

Read More

Supreme Court broadens the rights of criminal defendants

We often write about the ways in which the legal system constrains the rights of criminal defendants. However, those who are forced to mount a criminal defense received more protections rather than fewer in a recent Supreme Court ruling. The Court held that the Constitution protects the rights of defendants to have effective legal counsel […]

Read More

Wisconsin SC delivers just verdict in sex offender case

Some members of the population are often treated as though their entire existence is defined by one characteristic. As a result, even when others know little to nothing of how they came to be convicted (perhaps wrongfully) of a crime or came to be down on their luck, they judge them unfairly. Fortunately, the justice […]

Read More

Missing license plate leads to traffic stop and drug conviction

If you are a Wisconsin resident with a car registered here, you will be issued a license plate for the front and back of your vehicle and the law requires that you display both of them. Not every state has this same requirement. But a recent ruling by a Wisconsin appeals court says that if […]

Read More

New technology helps appeal a Wisconsin robbery conviction: Part I

We recently wrote about how unreliable eyewitness testimony can be in criminal cases. A recent study concluded that a simple variation in the way witnesses are shown suspect photos can greatly increase their chances of falsely identifying an innocent person. This has led to countless wrongful convictions in cases of sexual assault, rape and robbery. […]

Read More