EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Project DNA: Wisconsin


The pertinent portion of Wisconsin's postconviction DNA testing statute, Wisconsin Statutes Section 974.07(7)(b)(1),  states that after a petition for postconviction DNA testing is filed

It is reasonably probable that the outcome of the proceedings that resulted in the conviction, the finding of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, or the delinquency adjudication for the offense at issue in the motion under sub. (2), or the terms of the sentence, the commitment under s. 971.17, or the disposition under ch. 938, would have been more favorable to the movant if the results of deoxyribonucleic acid testing had been available before he or she was prosecuted, convicted, found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, or adjudicated delinquent for the offense.

So, where does that leave pleading defendants? 

It is unclear how pleading defendants would fare under this statute. Would a plea proceeding be a "proceeding[] that resulted in the conviction"? If so, a pleading defendant could seek postconviction DNA testing. On other hand, if a Wisconsin court construed this phrase more narrowly to only cover adversarial proceedings, pleading defendants could not seek relief.



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