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Wisconsin Innocence Project's Effort To Exonerate And Free Daryl Holloway Applauded

Attorney Raymond M. Dall'Osto and his colleagues at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP applaud the diligent and successful work done by the Wisconsin Innocence Project, which continued and built upon our efforts to obtain definitive new DNA testing. These efforts resulted in the exoneration and freeing of Daryl Holloway on October 6, 2016, after he served 23 years in prison for sexual assaults he did not commit.

Dall’Osto and GRGB were retained by Holloway’s family to conduct a postconviction investigation into his felony convictions, after his earlier appeal was denied and a subsequent attempt at DNA testing did not bear fruit. Noted Wisconsin DNA expert Dr. Alan Friedman was retained by Dall’Osto. After a careful review of the evidence, previous testing and methodology, new DNA testing was requested by the defense.

Attorney Dall’Osto and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, represented by Asst. DA Norm Gahn, had numerous exchanges and meetings over a number of years, including meeting at the State Crime Lab. Old police reports, witness statements and other leads were reviewed and developed. ADA Gahn ultimately agreed to the defense request for testing, and authorized new DNA testing performed by the Crime Lab. This new round of testing showed that there may have been a different source of the seminal fluid evidence obtained from the assault victims. However, Holloway was still not definitively excluded as the source. Dr. Friedman recommended that further DNA testing be done, using the Y-STR method, and Attorney Dall’Osto pursued this. Unfortunately, funds had run out for any further private testing and legal expenses.

Daryl Holloway continued to profess his innocence, as he had from the first time Attorney Dall’Osto spoke with him. Dall’Osto’s investigation convinced him early on that Holloway was not guilty of the crimes. Not to be deterred, Attorney Dall’Osto continued his investigation and pressed to free Holloway. He also referred the case to the Wisconsin Innocence Project, in the hope that some funding for new testing might become available.

In late 2013, Dall’Osto had another long meeting with ADA Gahn, which included a frank and detailed discussion regarding identified and potential DNA test discrepancies, concerns raised by Dr. Friedman and why there should be additional Y-STR testing done. After meeting with Innocence Project co-director Keith Findley in early 2014, the Project followed through with forensic experts and was able to obtain some funding for new Y-STR testing. ADA Gahn and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office under DA John Chisholm, cooperated and retrieved the necessary samples from the closed evidence file, for new testing.

In the summer of 2016, new DNA testing results came in, which definitively excluded Holloway as the source. He did not assault the victims and had been wrongly convicted. The Innocence Project, Attorney Findley and ADA Sara Lewis (who succeeded Gahn) and DA Chisholm had numerous discussions and exchanges, and the DA’s Office carefully considered the new test evidence. An internal review of the case facts and evidence was done, and in October 2016, a stipulation and agreement was reached to reopen, vacate and dismiss Holloway’s convictions. It was filed and Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner approved and signed the order. On October 6, 2016, Daryl Holloway walked out of the Green Bay Correctional Institution, and was met with open arms and smiles by the Innocence Project team, who had come to Green Bay to take him back to Milwaukee.

In addition to applauding the Innocence Project attorneys and law students, Dall’Osto and his law firm extend their personal thanks to Dr. Alan Friedman for his invaluable insights and advice, and thank Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm, ADA Norm Gahn (recently retired) and ADA Sara Lewis for their integrity, professionalism and courage shown. What they did was in the best tradition of former DA Mike McCann, i.e., to do justice and find the truth, and where the truth shows that an injustice has occurred, to cooperate and right the wrong, rather than ignore it.


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