State v. Hicks

In State v. Hicks, 202 Wis. 2d 150, 153, 549 N.W.2d 435 (1996), the prosecution relied heavily on four pubic hairs found in the victim's apartment as evidence of the defendant's guilt. See Hicks, 202 Wis. 2d at 153. After the trial, a DNA analysis of two of the four hairs was conducted and Hicks was excluded as the primary source of the DNA. See Hicks, 202 Wis. 2d at 155-56. Given this new DNA evidence and the fact that the prosecution had repeatedly used the hair evidence as affirmative proof of Hicks's guilt throughout the trial, the supreme court ordered a new trial in the interests of justice, see Hicks, 202 Wis. 2d at 172, concluding that: "We do not live in a perfect world. In cases such as this, we must depend upon the jury to deliver justice. To maintain the integrity of our system of criminal justice, the jury must be afforded the opportunity to hear and evaluate such critical, relevant, and material evidence, or at the very least, not be presented with evidence on a critical issue that is later determined to be inconsistent with the facts. Only then can we say with confidence that justice has prevailed." (Hicks, 202 Wis. 2d at 171-72.)