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Habeas Corpus Law

Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3098

AC39462 - Gaskin v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; "It has been usual for trial judges, when instructing jurors on how to weigh the credibility of witnesses, to tell them to consider whether the witness has an interest of whatever sort in the outcome of the trial that might influence or color the witness’ testimony. In the petitioner’s criminal trial, however, the jury never received important evidence of a cooperating witness’ interest in the outcome. This appeal requires us to examine a situation where a necessary cooperating witness, the only one who put the defendant at the crime scene with the likely murder weapon in his hand, falsely denied before the jury any promise from the state in exchange for his testimony and such falsity was not disclosed to the jury, but the prosecutor argued in summation to the jury that the witness had ‘‘everything to lose, nothing to gain,’’ by giving statements to the police and testifying. We hold this scenario to be antithetical to due process under the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution.

The petitioner, Christopher Gaskin, filed this appeal following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court: (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal; (2) erred in finding that the petitioner’s due process claim was procedurally defaulted; and (3) in addressing the merits, erred in finding that the state did not deprive the petitioner of his due process rights when it did not correct a witness’ known false testimony at the underlying criminal trial. We agree with all of the petitioner’s claims as they pertain to his underlying convictions of murder and conspiracy to commit murder under General Statutes §§ 53a-54 and 53a-48, respectively. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the habeas court and remand the case to the habeas court with instruction to render judgment granting the peti- tion for a writ of habeas corpus, vacating the petitioner’s underlying convictions of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and ordering a new trial on those charges. We affirm the judgment as to the petitioner’s underlying conviction of tampering with a witness under General Statutes § 53a-151.")

AC39802 - Mercado v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; ineffective assistance of trial counsel; "The petitioner, Marcos Mercado, appeals from the denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and improperly rejected his claim that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Specifically, the petitioner claims that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing: (1) to take appropriate measures at trial to preclude the introduction of evidence of the petitioner’s prior commission of crimes; (2) to take appropriate measures to preclude, or failing to call an expert to challenge, the state’s introduction of firearms and ballistics evidence; and (3) to adequately preserve an issue for appellate review. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Appellate Law Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3086

AC33424 - St. Juste v. Commisssioner of Correction ("The petitioner claimed that the habeas court improperly rejected his claim that his trial counsel had rendered ineffective assistance because he failed to inform him that if he were convicted of the crime of assault in the second degree, his conviction would result in his certain deportation. In 2015, this court dismissed the appeal on mootness grounds. St. Juste v. Commissioner of Correction, 155 Conn. App. 164, 181, 109 A.3d 523 (2015). In 2018, following a grant of certification to appeal, our Supreme Court reversed the judgment of this court and remanded the case to this court with direction to consider the merits of the petitioner’s appeal. St. Juste v. Commissioner of Correction, 328 Conn. 198, 219, 177 A.3d 1144 (2018). Having done so, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3037

AC37131 - Bennett v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) abused its discretion in declining to admit into evidence a transcript from the criminal trial of another defendant, and (3) erred in finding that his right to the effective assistance of counsel at his criminal trial had not been violated. We disagree and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.")

AC39445 - Francis v. Commissioner of Correction ("The habeas court granted his petition for certification to appeal to this court; he claims on appeal that he was prejudiced as a result of the ineffective assistance of his erstwhile habeas counsel, Michael Day. Specifically, the petitioner argues that, at his habeas trial, Day failed (1) to question a witness properly and (2) to present evidence of that witness’ availability to testify at the original criminal trial. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3006

AC39783- White v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly rejected his claims that (1) his right to due process was violated because his guilty plea was not made knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily and (2) his right to effective assistance of counsel was violated because his attorney failed to adequately research and investigate the issue of the petitioner’s mental state at the time of his guilty plea and to bring information about the petitioner’s compromised mental state to the attention of the criminal trial court. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2993

SC19251 - Skakel v. Commissioner of Correction ("The sole issue now before us in this appeal by the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, is whether the habeas court properly concluded that the petitioner, Michael Skakel, is entitled to a new trial because counsel in his murder case, Michael Sherman, rendered ineffective assistance by failing to obtain certain readily available evidence that Sherman should have known was potentially critical to the petitioner's alibi defense, that is, the testimony of a disinterested alibi witness whom the habeas court found to be highly credible. Because we agree with the habeas court both that Sherman's failure to secure that evidence was constitutionally inexcusable and that that deficiency undermines confidence in the reliability of the petitioner's conviction—a conviction founded on a case, aptly characterized by the habeas court as far from overwhelming, that was devoid of any forensic evidence or eyewitness testimony linking the petitioner to the crime—we affirm the judgment of the habeas court ordering a new trial.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2990

AC39131 - Turner v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, and (2) improperly concluded that there were no violations of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), at his underlying criminal trial. For the reasons set forth herein, we agree with the petitioner and conclude that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and in denying the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court and remand the matter for a new trial.")

AC39493 - Henderson v. Commissioner of Correction (Cohabitation; motion to modify; “On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court applied an improper legal standard as a prerequisite for the termination of alimony under General Statutes § 46b-86 (b). We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the court and remand the case for further proceedings.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2979

AC39946 - Johnson v. Commissioner of Correction ("In his habeas petition, the petitioner alleged that his conviction is illegal because he did not understand, due to his compromised mental state, what was occurring when he pleaded guilty to one charge and then proceeded to trial on a second charge. The habeas court sua sponte dismissed the petition because it raised the same ground as two prior petitions that had been denied, and it failed to state new facts or to proffer new evidence not reasonably available at the time of the prior petitions. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal because he has a meritorious claim that his prior habeas counsel was ineffective. The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, argues that the issue raised on appeal is not reviewable because the petitioner did not raise it in his habeas petition or in his petition for certification. We agree and, therefore, dismiss the appeal.")



Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2961

SC19774 - Barlow v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the commissioner contends that the Appellate Court improperly concluded in Barlow II that (1) General Statutes § 51-183c required that a different habeas judge preside over the proceedings directed by Barlow I to determine whether deficient performance by the petitioner’s attorney during the plea bargaining process was prejudicial under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984), and (2) the Barlow I remand order allowed for the introduction of new evidence on the question of whether counsel’s deficient performance had prejudiced the petitioner, rather than requiring the habeas court to make that determination based solely on evidence already in the record. After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2952

AC39795 - Cator v. Commissioner of Correction (General Statutes § 53a-3 (11); "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal from the denial of his amended petition, (2) improperly concluded that he failed to establish that his appellate counsel in his direct criminal appeal rendered deficient performance, and (3) improperly concluded that his stand-alone due process claim was procedurally defaulted. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.")

AC39760 - Jobe v. Commissioner of Correction (General Statutes § 52-466 (a); “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly determined that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the merits of his claim under Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 176 L. Ed. 2d 284 (2010). The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, concedes that the habeas court improperly dismissed the petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to Padilla, but contends that the judgment of dismissal may be affirmed on the alternate ground that the petitioner failed to allege that he was in custody at the time he filed his petition. We affirm the judgment of dismissal on the basis of the respondent’s alternate ground.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2938

AC39441 - Humble v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and improperly rejected his claim that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Specifically, the petitioner claims that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by (1) failing to adequately investigate exculpatory evidence, and (2) misadvising him to plead guilty to murder. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denyingthe petition for certification to appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2929

AC39238 - Silver v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance; plea agreement; credibility of witnesses; " The dispositive issue is whether the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal. We conclude that the habeas court properly denied certification, and we, therefore, dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2914

AC39862 - Artiaco v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in concluding that he was not denied the effective assistance of trial counsel and denying his petition for certification to appeal. Because the petitioner has failed to adequately brief his claims of error, we decline to review them, and thus dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1906

AC39626 - Gilchrist v. Commissioner of Correction (whether court properly dismissed petition; Practice Book § 23-29 (1); "On appeal, the petitioner asserts that he was denied his rights to due process, assigned counsel, and notice and a hearing, when the court, sua sponte, dismissed his petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, contends that the court was not required to hold a hearing because the petitioner was not in custody at the time he filed the petition. We agree with the respondent and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1882

AC39202 - Martin v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, he claims that the court erred in: (1) rejecting his claim that his due process right to a fair trial under the state and federal constitutions was violated by the introduction of testimony from an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at his underlying criminal trial, which was later determined to be scientifically invalid; and (2) concluding that his habeas counsel did not render ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC37185 - Omar v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly rejected his contention that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance when she exposed his criminal history to the jury. Because we agree with the habeas court’s conclusion that the petitioner failed to prove prejudice under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984), we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC39582 - Victor C. v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly found that his trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance by (1) failing to present testimony from certain fact witnesses, (2) improperly advising him of his right to testify at trial, and (3) failing to consult and present testimony from an expert in the field of child sexual abuse. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")



Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1870

AC39289 - Hazel v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to present codefendant’s testimony; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred when it concluded that his right to the effective assistance of counsel was not violated during his criminal trial. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC39674 - Fields v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance of counsel; “In his petition, the petitioner claimed that his trial counsel, John Paul Carroll, rendered ineffective assistance by failing to advise him before trial of the state’s offer that he resolve the charges against him by pleading guilty to felony murder in exchange for a recommended sentence of twenty-five years to serve. The habeas court rejected that claim on the ground that, although Carroll had indeed rendered constitutionally deficient performance by failing to advise the petitioner of the state’s twenty-five year plea offer, the petitioner had not been prejudiced by that deficient performance. Specifically, the court concluded that he had not proved, by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that he would have accepted the offer had Carroll conveyed it to him…Accordingly, on the basis of the court’s credibility based rejection of the petitioner’s claim that he would have accepted the state’s plea offer had it been conveyed to him, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=849

AC39971 - Gamble v. Commissioner of Correction (Ineffective assistance; conviction of manslaughter as accessory; concert of action theory; doctrine of collateral estoppel; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly rejected his claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. We are not persuaded by the petitioner’s arguments, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court…On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly concluded that he failed to establish that his appellate counsel was ineffective by not raising insufficiency of evidence as an issue in his direct appeal. He contends that the court improperly concluded that he failed to prove that he was prejudiced by his appellate counsel’s performance. We disagree.”)

AC39476 - Brown v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner claims that the court abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal, and by rejecting his claims that (1) the state violated his rights to due process and a fair trial by failing to disclose material exculpable evidence and failing to correct false testimony from certain witnesses at his criminal trial, and (2) his criminal trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, therefore, dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=830

SC19773 - Epps v. Commissioner of Correction (Amended petition for certification; "In two decisions issued after the petitioner’s conviction was rendered final, this court respectively (1) overruled the long- standing interpretation of our kidnapping statutes under which the crime of kidnapping did not require that the restraint used be more than that which was incidental to and necessary for the commission of another crime against the victim, and (2) deemed that holding to apply retroactively to collateral attacks on final judgments. The petitioner thereafter sought a new trial on the kidnapping charge in light of those holdings in an amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus…The respondent never argued in the alternative that a higher standard of harmfulness should apply to collateral proceedings even if the petitioner’s claim was not subject to procedural default, despite federal case law applying a higher standard since 1993. Accordingly, we conclude that this is not the proper case in which to fairly address this consequential issue and that certification was improvidently granted.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=828

AC38769 - Smith v. Commissioner of Correction (Ineffective assistance; denial of certification to appeal; pretrial confinement credit; "The dispositive issue is whether the habeas court abused its discretion in so doing. We conclude that it did not and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal…We therefore conclude that the petitioner has not demonstrated that his ineffective assistance of counsel claim is debatable among jurists of reason, could be resolved in a different manner, or is adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further. See Simms v. Warden, supra, 230 Conn. 616. Accordingly, the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=809

AC39556 - Vitale v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly concluded that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over his petition. We conclude that the habeas court properly determined that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the petition and, therefore, that it did not abuse its discretion by denying the petitioner’s petition for certification to appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.")

AC38688 - Colon v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly denied his petition for certification to appeal after erroneously concluding that his criminal trial counsel, Nicholas Car- dwell, had not provided ineffective assistance. We conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal, and, accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.")


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