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Criminal Procedure — mandamus

Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Criminal Procedure — mandamus

A defendant who pleads guilty may not appeal under under Arizona v. Youngblood, 488 U.S. 51, 58 (1988), even if he can show the police destroyed evidence in bad faith.

“Youngblood does not apply here. In Youngblood, a jury convicted the defendant, see id. at 54, whereas in Harris’s case he pled guilty. This distinction is important because, in Wisconsin, ‘[a] guilty plea, made knowingly and voluntarily, waives all nonjurisdictional defects and defenses, including alleged violations of constitutional rights prior to the plea.’ See State v. Aniton, 183 Wis. 2d 125, 129, 515 N.W.2d 302 (Ct. App. 1994). As this court and the trial court have already found, Harris knowingly and voluntarily pled guilty to eight counts of sexual assault. See, e.g., State v. Harris, Nos. 1988CF314 and 1988CF498, unpublished decision and order at 6 (Milwaukee Cnty. Cir. Ct. May 8, 2003). Thus, we hold that Harris waived his right to appeal his conviction based on any allegations of bad faith regarding the post-conviction destruction of potentially useful evidence. Because we so hold, we need not inquire as to whether the trial court erroneously exercised its discretion when it denied Harris’s petition. See State v. Zien, 2008 WI App 153, ¶3, 314 Wis. 2d 340, 761 N.W.2d 15 (we decide cases on the narrowest possible ground).”


Recommended for publication in the official reports.

2011AP547 Harris v. Milwaukee City Fire and Police Commission

Dist. I, Milwaukee County, White, J., Curley, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Meyeroff, Robert N., Milwaukee; For Respondent: Houren, Maurita F., Milwaukee; Loebel, Karen A., Milwaukee

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