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Ineffective Assistance of Counsel – Machner hearing

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//January 30, 2023//

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel – Machner hearing

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//January 30, 2023//

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WI Court of Supreme Court

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Larry L. Jackson

Case No.: 2020AP002119-CR

Officials: Rebecca Frank Dallet, J.

Focus: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel – Machner hearing

Jackson was found guilty of homicide. In his postconviction motion, he argued that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to contact two potential alibi witnesses or call them at trial. A defendant is entitled to a Machner hearing to evaluate counsel’s effectiveness, if his postconviction motion sufficiently alleges ineffective assistance of counsel and the record fails to conclusively demonstrate that he is not entitled to relief. See State v. Ruffin, 2022 WI 34, ¶37, 401 Wis. 2d 619, 974 N.W.2d 432. Although one of Larry Jackson’s three postconviction claims met both of these requirements, the circuit court denied his motion without a hearing and the court of appeals affirmed.

The Supreme Court reversed in part and remanded the case to the circuit court with instructions to grant Defendant a hearing on his claim that counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate or call two alibi witnesses, holding that Defendant’s motion alleged sufficient facts that, if true, would entitle him to relief and that the record failed conclusively to establish that Defendant was not entitled to relief.

Affirmed in part and reversed in part.

Decided 01/20/23

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