March 16, 2009

More bad reporting, from Appleton

Here's the Appleton Post-Crescent on State v. Knapp:
In that case, [Jefferson County Circuit Judge Randy] Koschnick ruled that physical evidence, a bloody shirt, should not be excluded at trial even though the defendant was not advised of his Miranda rights at the time the evidence was seized.
Unmentioned are two critical issues: 1) that the Miranda warnings were intentionally withheld, and 2) another of Koschnick's rulings that other physical evidence, bloodstained shoes, should be excluded.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed Koschnick on that account also. The shoes were admitted, and the defendant was found guilty.

But Judge Koschnick doesn't want to talk about that.
Koschnick, in his ruling, said the defendant's statements to police could be excluded but the Miranda decision did not extend to physical evidence.

The state Supreme Court overruled Koschnick's decision. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld Koschnick's view and overturned the state Supreme Court's decision.
No, it did not. It neither upheld Koschnick's "view" nor overturned the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision.

It vacated the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision in Knapp and ordered the State court to reconsider Knapp in light of two other contemporaneous SCOTUS rulings that originated in other States, each of which was factually dissimilar to the circumstances in Knapp.

Vacated is not at all the same as overturned. When a decision is vacated, it simply means it never happened. 'Vacated' says nothing about the correctness of the decision or anything whatsoever about the decision's merits. Nor did SCOTUS say anything at all about Judge Koschnick's initial ruling, let alone "upholding his view."

The United States Supreme Court never even considered the factual circumstances of State v. Knapp as it related to the other two cases. That's what SCOTUS told the Wisconsin Supreme Court to do.

And that's exactly what the Wisconsin Supreme Court did. Had the U.S. Supreme Court "overturned" State v. Knapp, that subsequent reconsideration never would have taken place.
"They found that the remedy needs to be only the suppression of the statement," Koschnick said.
It's not entirely clear what Koschnick is talking about there, but if he's referring to the United States Supreme Court "finding" anything at all about the particular circumstances of State v. Knapp, he's dead wrong. The distinct impression conveyed by the newspaper here is that the United States Supreme Court "found" in favor of Koschnick and against the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which is simply not true.

That's some brutal reporting all around.


Anonymous said...

up there, the circuit courts have included such legal luminaries as joe mccarthy and "bourban" van susteran.

Anonymous said...

Koschnick is a 4th rate lawyer from a cheap law school. He has been overturned more, in his short career than all of the Justices combined in all their years on benches.

Koshnick is, in my opinion, a dangerous and careless fool.

capper said...

The Post-Crescent, or should I say, Pushed Croissant, is about the only paper that can make the Journal Sentinel look fair and balanced.