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IAC Claim – Denial without Hearing

State v. Robert L. Brinson, 2010AP001819-CR, District 1, 5/10/11

court of appeals decision (3-judge, not recommended for publication); for Brinson: Paul Bugenhagen, Jr.; case activity

Cautionary instruction cured any potential prejudice from revelation of prior record.

¶16      We disagree.  The trial court instructed the jury several times that it could not consider Brinson’s possible status as a probationer or parolee, or the fact that he spent time in jail, when determining his guilt or innocence.  We presume that juries follow properly given instructions.  See State v. Delgado, 2002 WI App 38, ¶17, 250 Wis. 2d 689, 641 N.W.2d 490; State v. Sigarroa, 2004 WI App 16, ¶24, 269 Wis. 2d 234, 674 N.W.2d 894 (“Where the trial court gives the jury a curative instruction, this court may conclude that such instruction erased any possible prejudice, unless the record supports the conclusion that the jury disregarded the trial court’s admonition.”).  Brinson does not point to anything outside of the jury’s verdict to suggest that the jury disregarded the trial court’s instructions.

Moreover, evidence of guilt was overwhelming; therefore, because the record conclusively showed that Brinson wasn’t entitled to relief, the trial court properly denied his postconviction motion without a Machner hearing, ¶¶17-18. Separately: references to his prior criminal history, while “potentially prejudicial,” were blunted by instructions to disregard, ¶21.

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