Nelson v. Wisconsin

Amicus Curiae Brief of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and National Association for Public Defense as Amici Curiae in Support of Petition for a Writ of Certiorari.

Brief filed: 12/15/2014


Nelson v. Wisconsin

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 14-555

Prior Decision

Decision below State v. Nelson, 355 Wis.2d 722, 849 N.W.2d 317 (Wis. 2014).


 A complete bar on defendant’s testimony at trial strips the defendant of control over a critical component of defense strategy and constitutes structure error. A complete bar on the testimony of the accused offends the dignity and autonomy interest underlying the right and demands reversal. Failure to resolve this issue threatens to erode confidence in the criminal justice system.

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Bruce E. Yannett, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York, NY; Jeffrey T. Green, Washington, DC.