2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 905. Evidence — privileges.
905.13 Comment upon or inference from claim of privilege; instruction.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 905.13 (2017)

905.13 Comment upon or inference from claim of privilege; instruction.

(1)Comment or inference not permitted. The claim of a privilege, whether in the present proceeding or upon a prior occasion, is not a proper subject of comment by judge or counsel. No inference may be drawn therefrom.

(2)Claiming privilege without knowledge of jury. In jury cases, proceedings shall be conducted, to the extent practicable, so as to facilitate the making of claims of privilege without the knowledge of the jury.

(3)Jury instruction. Upon request, any party against whom the jury might draw an adverse inference from a claim of privilege is entitled to an instruction that no inference may be drawn therefrom.

(4)Application; self-incrimination. Subsections (1) to (3) do not apply in a civil case with respect to the privilege against self-incrimination.

History: Sup. Ct. Order, 59 Wis. 2d R1, R153 (1973); 1981 c. 390.

The prohibition against allowing comments on or drawing an inference from a 3rd-party witness's refusal to testify on 5th amendment grounds does not deny a criminal defendant's constitutional right to equal protection. State v. Heft, 185 Wis. 2d 289, 517 N.W.2d 494 (1994).

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