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Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//June 24, 2024//

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//June 24, 2024//

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WI Court of Appeals – District I

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. James E. Curry

Case No.: 2022AP001653-CR

Officials: White, C.J., Donald, P.J., and Geenen, J.

Focus: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

James E. Curry pleaded guilty to a hit and run resulting in death. Curry was involved in a high-speed accident in Milwaukee, resulting in a fatality. During the sentencing, the court focused on Curry’s reckless behavior and his flight from the scene with a child, despite Curry’s later denial of the child’s presence in the car. The court sentenced Curry to seventeen years, with twelve years of initial confinement and five years of extended supervision.

Curry appealed, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to investigate the child’s presence and challenge witness credibility. The Court of Appeals found no deficiency in counsel’s performance, noting that Curry admitted to the facts in the complaint and that challenging the child’s presence could have undermined his plea’s credibility. Additionally, the court found no prejudice resulting from counsel’s actions, as the overall severity of Curry’s conduct was the primary basis for the sentence. Consequently, Curry’s motion for postconviction relief was denied without a hearing.

Affirmed.

Decided 06/18/24

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