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Criminal Defense Archives

Wisconsin man seeks compensation for being imprisoned too long

Many of our recent posts have discussed wrongful imprisonment. In many cases, individuals are wrongfully imprisoned because they were mistakenly convicted of crimes they did not commit. But there are other cases in which prisoners who have been legitimately convicted are mistakenly imprisoned for longer than what their sentence dictates.

The problem of wrongful conviction in America: Part II

In our post last week, we began a discussion about the high number of exonerations in the U.S. in recent years. In 2013, for example, at least 87 people in the United States were exonerated, many of whom had spent years or even decades in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. There has been at least one wrongfully convicted individual exonerated here in Wisconsin within the past couple years.

The problem of wrongful conviction in America: Part I

How do you compensate someone for the loss of years of their life? How do you compensate someone after wrongfully taking away their freedom? How do you compensate someone after destroying their reputation by erroneously accusing them of a horrible crime? In short, what compensation would possibly be appropriate for individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and wrongfully imprisoned?

Wisconsin police take 5 people into custody for drugs

The Jackson County Emergency Response Team teamed up with a La Crosse County investigator and Metropolitan Enforcement Group investigator to carry out a drug warrant on Dec. 17 at around 11:25 p.m. Authorities say that they secured a search warrant after receiving tips that a residence where a child lived was being used to make and distribute methamphetamine.

Sixth Amendment right trumps dead woman's letter accusing husband

A Wisconsin judge ruled that a man was not correctly tried when he was convicted of killing his wife on the strength of a letter she wrote to a neighbor. The widower was sent to prison for life in 2008 for the poisoning homicide, which seemed to be the fate his wife was expressing fear about in the letter claiming that her husband wanted her dead. That implication led to his being taken into custody on murder charges in 2002, four years after the woman died. In the most recent action, the judge vacated that trial result because the man had no opportunity to confront his accuser.

Exonerated WI man faces more difficulties than paroled offenders

A couple months ago, we wrote about the fact that no state offers less compensation to wrongfully convicted/imprisoned individuals than Wisconsin (except for states offering no compensation whatsoever). And wrongful convictions happen more than you might realize. Since 1989, DNA evidence has been used to exonerate at least 21 wrongfully convicted individuals in Wisconsin.

Then & now: How racism still affects our criminal justice system

If you happen to be a history buff (or pay attention to the news), you probably know that this week marks two historic anniversaries. Tuesday was the 150th anniversary of the day that President Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address to dedicate a new military cemetery during the Civil War.

An unusual bet on a Packers game led to serious criminal charges

Football season is a serious commitment for Wisconsinites. Most of us never miss a Packers game or a chance to engage in spirited debates with others around the country who may have loyalties to different teams.

Lawmakers seek to change how some Wisconsin teens are prosecuted

When teenagers commit a crime, the potential punishment they face if convicted can vary largely depending on their age. Each person matures at a different pace, so it's not easy to say when someone actually becomes an "adult." but at a certain age, the law make that determination for them.

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