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No prejudice, no Machner hearing

State v. Sadiq Imani, 2018AP596-CR, District 1, 12/18/18 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Imani doesn’t get a Machner hearing on his ineffective assistance of counsel claim because the court of appeals concludes the record shows counsel’s alleged errors didn’t prejudice Imani.

Imani was charged with robbing a bank. He argues his trial lawyer was ineffective for two reasons. First, he failed to object to the use of a prior felon in possession of a firearm conviction to impeach Imani when he testified. In deciding to count the felon in possession, the court also decided it made sense to count the delinquency adjudication that made it unlawful for Imani to possess a gun; plus the court counted a prior misdemeanor conviction. Imani argues the fact he had to tell the jury he had three convictions prejudiced him because of the effect it had on his credibility. (¶¶11, 20-22). Second, Imani says he didn’t want to testify, and did so only on counsel’s advice; but counsel failed to tell him the state had a witness who would directly contradict the alibi Imani offered in his own defense. (¶¶10, 12-13, 25).

These errors don’t undermine the court of appeals’ confidence in the verdict:

¶24     There is not a reasonable probability that Imani would not have been convicted but for [these] omission[s] by counsel. The evidence against Imani was strong and convincing: in physical build he resembled the robber seen on the surveillance video, [and] he was connected to the robbery by (1) the fact that a family member with whom he lived was employed at the bank and without explanation arrived to work on the morning of the robbery when she was not scheduled to work; (2) the fact that money from the robbery was traced back to him; and (3) the substantial amount of his DNA and only his DNA that was found on a mask found in the bank’s parking lot. ….

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