The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

by Townsend, Karen


AC38139 - Carpenter v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court erred in denying her claims of ineffective assistance of counsel with respect to (1) her lost opportunity to pursue a plea bargain and (2) the exclusion of expert witness testimony regarding codependency syndrome. We disagree, and affirm the judgment of the habeas court…With respect to her first claim, that her trial counsel were ineffective by failing to engage in plea negotiations on her behalf, the court concluded that the trial counsel’s performance was not deficient. In support of its conclusion, the court reasoned that the petitioner was adamantly opposed to engaging in plea negotiations throughout the state’s prosecution, she explicitly instructed counsel not to pursue a plea bargain, and the state was not interested in negotiating a plea. The court also concluded that the petitioner failed to demonstrate prejudice. With respect to her second claim, that the petitioner’s trial counsel were ineffective in failing to lay a proper foundation for the introduction of expert testimony regarding codependency syndrome through Dr. Robert Novelly, the habeas court similarly concluded that the petitioner had failed to satisfy her burden under Strickland. Specifically, the court concluded that, because codependency syndrome was a novel concept at the time of the petitioner’s trial, and counsel made a reasonable attempt to introduce Novelly’s testimony by analogizing codependency syndrome evidence to other syndrome evidence, their performance was not deficient.")