Eyewitness Identification Reform

State statute requires that law enforcement agencies adopt written policies for eyewitness identification, designed to reduce the possibility of wrongful conviction. The state Attorney General’s office offers a series of best practices for agencies to follow. These include: blind administration, sequential presentation, specific instructions to the witness, appropriate filler photo usage and obtaining a confidence statement from witnesses. The Attorney General’s office has also provided trainings and otherwise worked with local jurisdiction to support effective implementation of the reforms. Effective: 2006.

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Recording of Interrogations

State statute requires the recording of interrogations for felony offenses. In the event that a recording was not made, a jury may consider the absence of a recording of the interrogation in evaluating the evidence relating to the interrogation and the statement in the case. Effective: 2005.

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Post Conviction DNA Testing

At any time, any person convicted of a crime, or found not guilty by reason of a mental disease or defect, may apply for post-conviction DNA testing through the convicting court. Effective: 2001; Amended most recently: 2011.

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Evidence Preservation

State statute requires that any biological material that was collected in connection with a criminal investigation that resulted in a criminal conviction, a delinquency adjudication, or commitment shall be preserved until every person in custody as a result of the conviction, adjudication, or commitment has reached his or her discharge date. Effective: 2005; Amended most recently: 2011.

Wisconsin's statute meets the best practices standards outlined by the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation.

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757.54; 968.205; 978.08

Exoneree Compensation

A wrongfully convicted person "who did not by his or her act or failure to act contribute to bring about the conviction and imprisonment for which he or she seeks compensation" can receive a maximum of $25,000, including attorneys fees, as long as the claimant did not contribute to or bring about conviction. The Claims Board may petition legislature for additional funds. Effective: 1913; Amended most recently: 1987.

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