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Counsel – Ineffective Assistance – Deficient Performance: Adequate Investigation — Alibi Defense

State v. Eric D. Cooks, 2006 WI App 262
For Cooks: Joseph E. Redding

Issue/Holding:

¶50      Cooks, as the trial court found, provided Barth with the names of alibi witnesses and Barth had Cooks testify to his alibi. However, Barth failed to investigate the potential alibi witnesses and argue Cooks’ alibi to the jury. Barth failed to do so despite the fact that a corroborated alibi clearly would have reinforced Barth’s misidentification theory of defense. Simply put, Barth, at the very least, had a duty to investigate Cooks’ alibi and his failure to fulfill that duty constitutes deficient performance. See Washington v. Smith, 219 F.3d 620, 631 (7th Cir. 2000). Thus, our focus is on the prejudice prong of the Strickland test.

 

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