The criminal justice system is meant to provide everyone who is accused of a crime with the opportunity for a fair trial, and not to convict the innocent. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and far too many criminal defense cases are over-charged and a significant number result in wrongful convictions. In recognition of this, the State of Wisconsin allows those who have been wrongfully convicted to pursue compensation for the ways their lives have been affected by serving prison sentences for crimes that they did not commit. The lawyers at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP recently helped one of our clients, who was wrongfully convicted, secure a significant award recommendation from the Wisconsin State Claims Board, which is significantly greater than the statutory maximum currently allowed.
Claims Board States That Wrongfully Convicted Man Deserves $1 Million Award
The firm’s client, Daryl Dwayne Holloway, was convicted for two separate charges of home invasion and sexual assault alleged to have occurred in 1992. Even though there was evidence exonerating him at the time, including phone records and witness testimony showing that he was in another location at the times the crimes occurred, the jury convicted him nonetheless, based on the victims’ identifying him in a suggestive police lineup and indicating that they recognized his voice. Mr. Holloway ended up serving 24 years in state prison before his conviction was vacated in 2016 and the charges were dismissed, due to the persistent joint efforts of GRGB attorney Ray Dall’Osto and the Wisconsin Innocence Project. See, https://www.grgblaw.com/case-results/wisconsin-innocence-project-s-effort-to-exonerate-and-free-daryl-holloway-applauded
GRGB firm attorneys Jaclyn Kallie and Ray Dall’Osto subsequently prepared and filed on Mr. Holloway’s behalf, a detailed claim for exonerated compensation with the State Claims Board, urging the Board to go above the extremely low statutory maximum, referencing hard number Bureau of Labor Standards statistics as part of the factual basis for doing so. Attorney Dall’Osto has been active with the State Bar over the years in efforts to get the state Legislature to reform the current exonerated compensation law. See, https://www.grgblaw.com/out-and-about-with-grgb/ray-dall-osto-appears-before-the-assembly-committee-on-state-affairs Law firm attorney Nicole Masnica focuses her practice on postconviction investigations and motions, as well as appeals of improper and wrongful convictions.
After reviewing Mr. Holloway’s case, in March 22, the Claims Board conducted a hearing at which Attorney Dall’Osto presented and answered questions from Board members. In April 2022, the Wisconsin Claims Board issued its decision, in which “the Board concludes and finds that the evidence is clear and convincing that Holloway was innocent of the crimes for which he was imprisoned.” The Board found that Mr. Holloway spent the most productive years of his life behind bars, causing him significant financial hardship, as well as a great deal of psychological trauma.
The Claims Board awarded Mr. Holloway the maximum compensation allowed under the law, which is $25,000, plus $100,000 as reimbursement for past costs, several rounds of post-conviction DNA testing and attorneys’ fees. The Claims Board also approved the additional amount Holloway and his lawyers requested, and recommended that the Wisconsin Legislature to approve an additional $975,000. A total award of $1 million would be just compensation for the harm Mr. Holloway has experienced due to his unfair treatment by the criminal justice system.
Contact Our Milwaukee Criminal Defense Attorneys
At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we believe in protecting the rights and interests of those who have been accused of crimes. The criminal defense team here fights to ensure that our clients are treated fairly, as they defend against criminal charges at the trial level. The firm’s postconviction and appellate lawyers on the criminal defense team, work to help our clients obtain relief whenever possible, including by pursuing appeals, postconviction investigations and motions, requesting pardons, expungement motions and seeking compensation for wrongful convictions. To learn more about how we can help with your criminal case, contact our Milwaukee, WI criminal lawyers at 414-271-1440.