State v. Smith

Citation367 Wis.2d 483,878 N.W.2d 135,2016 WI 23
Decision Date07 April 2016
Docket NumberNo. 2013AP1228–CR.,2013AP1228–CR.
Parties STATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff–Respondent–Petitioner, v. Jimmie Lee SMITH, Defendant–Appellant.
CourtWisconsin Supreme Court

367 Wis.2d 483
878 N.W.2d 135
2016 WI 23

STATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff–Respondent–Petitioner,
v.
Jimmie Lee SMITH, Defendant–Appellant.

No. 2013AP1228–CR.

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Argued Oct. 6, 2015.
Decided April 7, 2016.


878 N.W.2d 137

For the plaintiff-respondent-petitioner, the cause was argued by Christine A. Remington, assistant attorney general, with whom on the briefs was Brad D. Schimel.

878 N.W.2d 138

For the defendant-appellant, there was a brief by John T. Wasielewski, and Wasielewski & Erickson, Milwaukee, and oral argument by John T. Wasielewski.

PATIENCE DRAKE ROGGENSACK, Chief Justice.

367 Wis.2d 487

¶ 1 We review a published decision of the court of appeals1 THAT REVERSED THE MIlwaukee county circUit

367 Wis.2d 488

court's2 denial of defendant Jimmie Lee Smith's (Smith) postconviction motion to vacate the judgment of conviction.

¶ 2 Smith was convicted of second-degree sexual assault, contrary to Wis. Stat. § 940.225(2)(a)(2013–14),3 and sentenced to 25 years of initial confinement and 15 years of extended supervision. Subsequently, Smith filed a postconviction motion to vacate the judgment of conviction, alleging that he was incompetent at the time of trial and sentencing. The postconviction court appointed experts to evaluate Smith and conducted a retrospective competency evaluation. After an evidentiary hearing, the postconviction court found that Smith had been competent to stand trial and be sentenced.

¶ 3 The court of appeals reversed, and the State petitioned for review. In its petition for review, the State raises the following issues: (1) whether the court of appeals improperly weighed evidence rather than deferring to the postconviction court; (2) whether the court of appeals applied an incorrect standard of review to the circuit court's finding that Smith was competent at trial and sentencing, which finding the State asserts is not clearly erroneous; and (3) whether the court of appeals exceeded its constitutional authority by engaging in improper fact finding.

¶ 4 We conclude that the court of appeals failed to apply the clearly erroneous standard of review to the postconviction court's finding of competency and improperly weighed evidence rather than giving deference to the postconviction court's finding. Reviewing

367 Wis.2d 489

the evidence under the proper standard, we conclude that the postconviction court's finding that Smith was competent to stand trial and be sentenced is not clearly erroneous. Accordingly, we reverse the decision of the court of appeals.4

I. BACKGROUND

¶ 5 On the night of October 2, 2007, Smith followed the victim, A.H., out of a bar, beat and raped her. During the course of the attack, Smith hit A.H. in the face, punched her, and slammed her head against the concrete until she was unconscious. After A.H. regained consciousness, she went to a nearby house and asked the occupants to call 911.

¶ 6 On January 7, 2009, the State charged Smith with second-degree sexual assault, a violation of Wis. Stat. § 940.225(2)(a). Prior to trial, Smith made inculpatory statements to police, and the

878 N.W.2d 139

circuit court held a Miranda5 -Goodchild6 hearing. At the hearing, the circuit court conducted the following colloquy with Smith:

THE COURT: ... Mr. Smith, do you understand that you have the right to challenge both—well, challenge any statements that you made to the police on two
367 Wis.2d 490
grounds. The first ground is that you did not receive your Miranda warnings; do you understand that?

[SMITH]: Yes.

THE COURT: The second ground would be that the statement was not voluntary; do you understand that?

[SMITH]: Yeah.

THE COURT: Voluntariness goes to police impropriety or coercion only; do you understand that?

[SMITH]: Yes.

THE COURT: Do you wish to have a motion on either of those two issues?

[SMITH]: I don't think so, Judge.

THE COURT: You don't think so or you don't want to?

[SMITH]: No.

THE COURT: All right. Have you had enough time to talk to your lawyer?

[SMITH]: Yes.

THE COURT: Do you believe that's in your best interest to proceed in this manner?

[SMITH]: Yes.

THE COURT: Do you understand that your lawyer could argue the fact that you may have been confused, which may go to the weight of the confession?

[SMITH]: Yes.

THE COURT: But certainly does not go to the admissibility; do you understand that?
367 Wis.2d 491
[SMITH]: Yes.

¶ 7 A jury trial began on October 12, 2009,7 where Smith was represented by Attorney Stephen Sargent. After the State presented its case-in-chief, the circuit court conducted another colloquy with Smith:

THE COURT: ... Mr. Smith, you have the right to testify in this matter, you have the right to remain silent. Do you understand that?

[SMITH]: Correct.

THE COURT: You make the choice yourself, sir. Do you understand that?

[SMITH]: Correct.

THE COURT: Have you had enough time to talk to your lawyer?

[SMITH]: Yes.

THE COURT: What's your choice?

[SMITH]: My choice was to waive it.

THE COURT: I'm sorry?

[SMITH]: Waive it.

THE COURT: To waive it? So do you want to testify or do you not want to testify?

[SMITH]: I don't want to testify.

THE COURT: All right. And has anyone forced you to do this?
367 Wis.2d 492
[SMITH]: No.

THE COURT: Do you believe it's in your best interest?

[SMITH]: Yes.

THE COURT: And are you making this choice freely and voluntarily?

[SMITH]: It's freely and voluntarily.
878 N.W.2d 140

¶ 8 Smith was convicted on October 14, 2009. Smith's sentencing hearing was held on December 11, 2009, where he continued to be represented by Attorney Sargent. At sentencing, the State recommended the "maximum penalty of 25 years' confinement followed by 15 years' extended supervision" due to Smith's numerous previous convictions and pattern of violent, sexual assault. Prior to imposing sentence, Smith made the following statement:

[SMITH]: Today I want to say in court that I have been through a lot in my life. I help peoples and I got—I got this. I bail peoples out of jail, I got this. I let peoples stay in my house, I got this. I let peoples eat at my house, I got this.

Today [A.H.], I don't know what she lookin' for out of me and why is she comin' to court like this? What it is that she want from me? She in love with me or something? Sayin' that she haven't took a shower since this happened to her? What is wrong with her? I let bygones be bygones. Peoples done throw salt on me every day, every day out there on the street. Peoples took money from me at the court sale, at the courthouse. But I let it ride, they wouldn't even give it back. I let it go.

I sit up North, did time behind bailin' this girl, [ ], out of jail in Chicago, Illinois for child neglect, because
367 Wis.2d 493
I went to court the day that she was—she was in court, and I went and bailed her out of jail. And then I hear all of this about me? And she supposed to have been back in court. She never go back. She never go back for her—for—to get her bail back. But I'm the one who had to sign her bail as being right to this day.

I am very, very sorry that I even helped this lady. But these ladies are sayin' things like this about me. And she ain't white like her, the lady that—that I bailed out of jail, she's black. And her daughter, I looked out for them when they was starvin' to death, livin' out on the street corner. I'm out here tryin' to make a living every day at my job workin', lost my job behind all of that, feedin' them, lettin' them stay in the house, ended up getting' in trouble with my landlord by buyin' air-conditionin' and things without asking his permission, could I have it in my apartment with the rent and—and included with the lights.

And this is the thanks I get out of it? 12 years like I murdered someone out there on the street? I sat in there 12 years for bailin' her out of jail. I didn't see all these troubles until I bailed her out of jail. Helped her and her family.

And then my brothers, them too, I even brought them to my house and helped them. When I lived with them, they couldn't even pay the light bill. Wouldn't even pay the light bill. The landlord was lettin' them work off his job to pay the rent. And told him to switch the lights in his name. He didn't even do it.

So by me handin' over parts of my Quest card, because I never gained footage after being locked up after bailing [her] out of jail for being convicted of child neglect, for $200 I had to put my name to that, and now she's on the run and I get all of this out of that? She never—She ain't—wouldn't go back to court because
367 Wis.2d 494
I just see her last year. She worked at the same company as I did, I see her there on the 27th and National. She there.

And then this other lady back in—[ ], she don't even know
...

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  • State v. Green
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • May 13, 2022
    ...a reasonable degree of rational understanding;’ and (2) ‘has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings.’ " State v. Smith, 2016 WI 23, ¶35, 367 Wis. 2d 483, 878 N.W.2d 135 (quoting State v. Byrge, 2000 WI 101, ¶27, 237 Wis. 2d 197, 614 N.W.2d 477 ). "This two-part ‘unde......
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    ...the underlying decision, or if there are issues that need to be decided other than those relied on by the court of appeals. See State v. Smith , 2016 WI 23, ¶41, 367 Wis.2d 483, 878 N.W.2d 135, petition for cert. filed (U.S., Oct. 10, 2016 (No. 16-6409); see also Wis. Stat. Ann. § 809.62(3)......
  • State v. Lynch
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    • July 13, 2016
    ...J., Ann Walsh Bradley, J., and Prosser, J., each concurring separately); State v. Smith, 2016 WI 23, 367 Wis.2d 483, 878 N.W.2d 135 (lead op. of Roggensack, C.J., joined by Prosser, J., and Gableman, J.); United Food & Comm. Workers Union, Local 1473 v. Hormel Foods Corp., 2016 WI 13, 367 W......
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    • February 20, 2018
    ...to Bangert by failing to raise this issue in a cross-petition for review or in its response to Hendricks' petition for review. See State v. Smith, 2016 WI 23, ¶ 41, 367 Wis. 2d 483, 878 N.W.2d 135.IV. CONCLUSION¶33 We hold sexual contact is not an element of the crime of child enticement. R......
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1 books & journal articles
  • THE DEMISE OF THE LAW-DEVELOPING FUNCTION: A CASE STUDY OF THE WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT.
    • United States
    • Suffolk Journal of Trial & Appellate Advocacy Vol. 26 No. 1, January 2021
    • January 1, 2021
    ...520 (lead op. of Gableman, J. with Abrahamson, J., Ann Walsh Bradley, J., and Prosser, J., each concurring separately); State v. Smith, 2016 WI 23, 367 Wis.2d 483, 878 N.W.2d 135 (lead op. of Roggensack, C.J., joined by Prosser, J., and Gableman, J.); United Food & Comm. Workers Union, ......

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