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Claims Board denies former convict’s request for $90K

By: Erika Strebel, [email protected]//November 2, 2016//

Claims Board denies former convict’s request for $90K

By: Erika Strebel, [email protected]//November 2, 2016//

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The Wisconsin Claims Board on Tuesday denied a man’s request to be compensated for spending three years in jail for convictions that were later overturned.

Maurice Corbine was convicted in 2011 of his fifth operating-while-intoxicated charge and second charge of driving while his license was suspended. He was sentenced to three years in prison and three years on supervision.

Corbine appealed his conviction in 2013, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. In doing so, he said his trial attorney had failed to adequately investigate why the Sawyer County District Attorney’s Office could not find videos of Corbine’s booking and squad-car videos of his arrest.

Corbine alleged that the videos would have showed that he had repeatedly told the arresting officer he was not the driver.

Corbine’s conviction was overturned by the state Court of Appeals last year, the same day he was released after completing his sentence.

Corbine filed a claim with the board in March, asking for $90,000 for the time he spent in jail.

The district attorney’s office recommended that the board deny the claim because the arresting officer testified that she was able to identify Corbine, and the jury deemed that testimony to be more credible than Corbine’s. Corbine, moreover, presented no evidence to support his claim that the arresting officer had targeted him personally and lied under oath.

The Claims Board decided Tuesday to deny Corbine’s claim, finding that he had not proved his innocence by clear and convincing evidence. The board noted in its decision that the standard for obtaining a reversal of a conviction for ineffective counsel is lower – Corbine needed only to show there was a reasonable probability that the outcome at trial would have been different if not for the ineffective counsel.

The board also noted that although the missing videos might have supported Corbine’s claim that he was not the driver, Corbine did not show conclusively that the videos would have proved he was not.

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