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Habeas Corpus Law

Habeas Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4049

SC20089 - Gomez v. Commissioner of Correction ("The dispositive question presented by this certified appeal is whether a criminal defendant's federal due process rights are violated when the state knowingly fails to correct the material, false testimony of a prosecution witness when defense counsel had actual or constructive notice that the testimony is false. We conclude that, under the circumstances of the present case, the fact that defense counsel was aware of the falsity of the testimony of two cooperating witnesses was not sufficient to protect the rights of the petitioner, Jamie Gomez, to due process of the law. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the judgment of the habeas court denying the petitioner's second petition for a writ of habeas corpus.")


Habeas Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4033

AC41434 - Anderson v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; whether habeas court properly denied petition for writ of habeas corpus; claim that conditions of petitioner's confinement were illegal because he was receiving constitutionally inadequate mental health treatment; "The petitioner, Francis Anderson, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which alleged that the conditions of his confinement were illegal because he was receiving constitutionally inadequate mental health treatment while he was in the custody of the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction. On appeal, the petitioner argues that the habeas court violated his right to procedural due process under the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution by failing to provide him adequate notice of the habeas trial and denying him a meaningful opportunity to be heard. We reverse the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC42372 - Davis v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; whether petitioner's trial and appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance for having failed to challenge statute (§ 53a-149) criminalizing bribery of witness as facially overbroad under novel constitutional argument that § 53a-149 could encompass legal activity such as settlement negotiations; "The petitioner, Edward V. Davis, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. In this certified appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly rejected his claims of ineffective assistance of both trial and appellate counsel for their failure (1) to challenge General Statutes § 53a-149 as unconstitutionally overbroad on its face with respect to the charge of bribery of a witness, (2) to request a jury instruction on "true threats" with respect to the charge of breach of the peace in the second degree under General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (3), and (3) to challenge the admissibility of the petitioner's blood test results from the hospital where he was taken after the traffic incident at issue. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4015

AC42250 - Jordan v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; claim that trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance to petitioner by failing to adequately investigate and present witnesses in support of petitioner's claim of self-defense; "This appeal highlights the significant hurdle a habeas corpus petitioner faces in seeking to prove a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel after trial counsel has died and, thus, is unavailable to provide evidence of counsel's strategic decisions regarding, inter alia, the pursuit of defenses for her client and calling witnesses in support of those defenses. The death of the petitioner's trial counsel prior to a habeas corpus trial, however, does not absolve a petitioner of his heavy burden of overcoming the strong presumption that counsel provided effective assistance. See Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 689, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984); see also Slevin v. United States, 71 F. Supp. 2d 348, 358 n.9 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) ("[b]ecause the death of a petitioner's trial counsel is just as, if not more, likely to prejudice the respondent, it does not relieve the petitioner of his heavy burden of proving ineffective assistance" (internal quotation marks omitted)), aff'd, 234 F.3d 1263 (2d Cir. 2000).

The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court granting a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by the petitioner, Bryan Jordan.The respondent claims on appeal that the habeas court improperly determined that the petitioner's trial counsel rendered ineffective legal assistance by failing to investigate adequately and to present available witnesses in support of the petitioner's claim of self-defense and, alternatively, by failing to raise the defense of third-party culpability. We agree with the respondent that the habeas court failed to hold the petitioner to the requisite burden of proof and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4006

AC41987 - Woods v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; "The petitioner, Jermaine Woods, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court dismissing his third petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The habeas court denied the petitioner's petition for certification to appeal. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) abused its discretion by dismissing his petition without fair notice to him and without holding a hearing on his petition, (3) erred by dismissing count one of his petition alleging that his conviction was illegal because (a) evidence of his diminished capacity was not properly presented at his criminal trial and sentencing and (b) mitigating circumstances warrant reduction of his sentence, and (4) erred by dismissing count two of his petition alleging violation of his constitutional right to equal protection. We dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3986

AC42795 - Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc. (Habeas corpus; whether habeas corpus jurisprudence contained indication that habeas corpus relief was intended to apply to nonhuman animal; "The petitioner, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the habeas court dismissing its petition for a writ of habeas corpus that it sought on behalf of an elephant, Minnie, who is alleged to be owned by the named respondents, R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc. (also known as the Commerford Zoo), and its president, William R. Commerford. The petitioner argues that the court improperly dismissed its petition for a writ of habeas corpus. We conclude that the court properly dismissed the petition on the alternative ground that the petitioner lacked standing.")


Habeas Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3977

AC41891 - Benitez v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; ineffective assistance of counsel; "In this appeal, the petitioner claims error as to the habeas court's rulings rejecting both prongs of his ineffective assistance of counsel claim. After carefully reviewing the record before us, we conclude that the habeas court's denial of the petitioner's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel must be affirmed because the petitioner failed to establish the prejudice prong of that claim by proving that his counsel's failure to hire or consult with a defense expert in arson investigation before trial prejudiced his defense.")


Habeas Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3954

AC41812 - Stephenson v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; larceny in fifth degree; larceny in sixth degree; ineffective assistance of trial counsel; "The petitioner, Joseph Stephenson, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court dismissing, as moot, his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The court dismissed the petition, which alleged that the petitioner's trial counsel had rendered ineffective assistance by inaccurately advising him about the consequences of pleading guilty under federal immigration law, because the petitioner's ordered removal from the United States rests, in part, on a conviction that he did not challenge in his habeas petition. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly dismissed his petition as moot, arguing that (1) "deportation—not a deportation order—is the triggering event that renders a case moot, and that a case does not become moot until [the] petitioner is actually physically removed from the United States," and (2) "collateral consequences other than immigration exist and will continue to exist until the petitioner's actual physical removal from the United States." We agree with the petitioner's second argument and, thus, reverse the judgment of the court.")


Habeas Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3926

SC20233 - Diaz v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Raul Diaz, appeals, following our grant of certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the judgment of the habeas court denying his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. See Diaz v.Commissioner of Correction, 185 Conn. App. 686, 687, 691, 198 A.3d 171 (2018). The petitioner asserts, and the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, agrees, that the Appellate Court improperly raised and decided the unpreserved issue of waiver without first providing the parties with an opportunity to be heard on that issue in contravention of Blumberg Associates Worldwide, Inc. v.Brown & Brown of Connecticut, Inc., 311 Conn. 123, 84 A.3d 840 (2014) (Blumberg). We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and remand the case to that court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.")


Habeas Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3916

SC20221 - Langston v. Commissioner of Correction ("In December, 2014, the petitioner, Richard Langston, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, later amended in 2016, which was the most recent in a series of state and federal habeas corpus petitions challenging his 1999 conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of numerous offenses, including robbery in the first degree. Following a hearing on a request for an order to show cause filed by the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, the habeas court rendered judgment dismissing that petition on the ground that the petitioner had failed to show good cause for his untimely filing pursuant to General Statutes § 52-470 (d) and granted the petitioner certification to appeal to the Appellate Court. The petitioner now appeals, upon our grant of his petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the habeas court dismissing the petition. Langston v. Commissioner of Correction, 185 Conn. App. 528, 197 A.3d 1034 (2018). On appeal, the petitioner claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the petition because, in filing it late, he had relied on the advice of an attorney who had represented him in connection with an earlier habeas petition filed in 2012 and who had advised him to withdraw that validly filed petition while a motion to dismiss was pending and to file the present one in its place, even though it would be subject to a statutory presumption of delay.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3868

AC41947 - Ruiz v. Commissioner of Correction (Charge of sexual assault in the first degree and fourth degree; risk of injury to child; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly concluded that his right to effective assistance of counsel was not violated by the performance of his trial counsel in challenging the reliability of the state’s witness at a pretrial hearing on the state’s motion in limine seeking permission to videotape the testimony of the child victim, N, in the petitioner’s absence pursuant to State v. Jarzbek, 204 Conn. 683, 529 A.2d 1245 (1987), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1061, 108 S. Ct. 1017, 98 L. Ed. 2d 982 (1988). We affirm the judgment of the habeas court”).


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3860

SC20124 - Jobe v. Commissioner of Correction (Detention in federal immigration facility; whether Appellate court correctly determined that habeas court lacked subject matter jurisdiction; “On appeal, the petitioner contends that the Appellate Court (1) improperly declined to review his response, contained in his reply brief, to the alternative ground for affirmance advanced by the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, and (2) incorrectly concluded that his federal immigration detention did not satisfy the ‘custody’ requirement of General Statutes § 52-466 (a), as amended in 2006. See Public Acts 2006, No. 06-152, § 5 (P.A. 06-152). We agree with the petitioner’s first claim but disagree with his second claim and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court”).


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3859

AC41763 - Ervin v. Commissioner of Correction ( “In this certified appeal from the habeas court’s denial of his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus, the petitioner, Michael Ervin, claims that the court erred in rejecting his claim that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance to him in his criminal trial for the murder of his wife (victim) (1) by failing to call a defense pathologist to rebut the testimony of the state’s chief medical examiner, Harold Wayne Carver, as to the cause of the victim’s death and/or (2) by presenting an inadequate argument in support of his motion for a judgment of acquittal. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court”).


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3847

AC41647 - Lenti v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) improperly concluded that he had failed to establish that his plea was not made knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily, and (2) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal from the court’s determination that he had received the effective assistance of counsel. Both of these claims rest on the petitioner’s assertion that he was impaired at the time of his plea by the ingestion of medications prescribed by Department of Correction personnel. We disagree with this assertion and the petitioner’s claims and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal”).

AC41765 - Bagalloo 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 denied his petition for a writ of habeas corpus in which he alleged, inter alia, that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance when the petitioner entered into a plea agreement. Because the petitioner has failed to demonstrate that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal, we dismiss the appeal”).


Habeas Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3842

SC20141 - Gilchrist v. Commissioner of Correction (Clarification of proper procedure to be used by habeas court in preliminary consideration of a petition for writ of habeas under Practice Book §§ 23-24 and 23-29; petitioner request to withdraw guilty plea and have judgment vacated and/or dismissed; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly dismissed the petition without first acting on his request for the appointment of counsel and providing him with notice and an opportunity to be heard. Although we agree with the Appellate Court that the petitioner was not entitled to the appointment of counsel, notice or a hearing under the circumstances, we disagree with the analysis that it used to arrive at that conclusion and, therefore, reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and remand the case to that court with direction to render judgment in accordance with this opinion”).

AC41339 - Goguen v. Commissioner of Correction (“The self-represented petitioner, Robert Goguen, appeals, following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal, from the judgment of the habeas court declining to issue a writ of habeas corpus. Although the petitioner raises a variety of substantive claims with respect to his underlying conviction on appeal, he has failed to brief the threshold issue of whether the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the petitioner’s appeal”).


Habeas Corpus Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3807

AC41330 - Zillo v. Commisioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Geovanny Zillo, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his revised amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion by denying his request to "unwithdraw" a claim and present medical evidence regarding his genitals, (2) improperly concluded that he was not denied the effective assistance of trial counsel, and (3) improperly concluded that he was not denied the effective assistance of appellate counsel. We conclude that the habeas court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the third claim and dismiss that portion of the appeal. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court as to the remaining two claims.")



Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3801

AC41622 - Michael D. v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance of counsel: claim of failure to “(1) to ensure that a pornographic magazine was not admitted into evidence by ensuring that the trial court conduct an in camera review of the magazine and (2) to request a specific unanimity instruction. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the habeas court”).

AC42058 - Cunningham v. Commissioner of Correction (Denial of amended petition; “The petitioner claims that the court improperly rejected his claims that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by (1) failing to conduct an adequate pretrial investigation into the petitioner’s theory of self-defense, and (2) referring to the petitioner as a ‘bully’ during closing argument. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court”).


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3796

AC41640 - John B. v. Commissioner of Correction (Affirmative defense of mental disease or defect pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-13; whether due process rights were violated under federal and state constitutions when trial court failed to instruct jury; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred when it concluded that (1) the trial court’s failure to charge the jury pursuant to Salamon was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt and (2) trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court”.)

AC41930 - Kondjoua v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly rejected his claims that (1) his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to advise him properly of the immigration consequences of pleading guilty under Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 176 L. Ed. 2d 284 (2010), and (2) his guilty plea was not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily made. We disagree and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the habeas court”.)

AC38272 - Cooke v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner asserts that (1) his claims were properly certified for appellate review by the habeas court, (2) the cumulative effect of his trial counsel’s errors deprived him of effective assistance of counsel, (3) his trial counsel was ineffective in not ensuring that he was competent to stand trial, and (4) the court erred in failing to issue a writ of mandamus directing the Office of the Chief Public Defender to provide him with legal assistance to pursue the present appeal. The respondent, in turn, argues that the habeas court lacked jurisdiction to grant the petition for certification to appeal more than four months after its initial denial of certification to appeal. In response, the petitioner contends that the court had continuing jurisdiction to grant the petition for certification to appeal. We agree that the court had continuing jurisdiction to grant the petition for certification to appeal, but conclude that it did not abuse its discretion in denying both the petition for a writ of habeas corpus and the petition for a writ of mandamus. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court”.)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3785

AC41677 - Haywood 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 concluded that he was not denied the effective assistance of previous habeas counsel, Attorney Mark Diamond, with respect to Attorney Diamond’s efforts to establish the ineffective assistance of original appellate counsel, Attorney Glenn W. Falk… The petitioner argues in this appeal that Attorney Falk performed deficiently in the petitioner’s direct appeal because, when he addressed in the petition for certification to appeal to our Supreme Court this court’s decision that the petitioner’s robbery conviction should be modified, he failed to include a citation to State v. Sanseverino, 287 Conn. 608, 949 A.2d 1156 (2008) (Sanseverino I), and failed, while the petition for certification was pending in our Supreme Court, to file a motion for reconsideration in this court regarding the modification issue after our Supreme Court officially released its decision in Sanseverino I. He further argues that Attorney Diamond performed deficiently in the petitioner’s first habeas trial because he failed to point out sufficiently Attorney Falk’s errors”.)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3772

AC41186 - Saunders v. Commissioner of Correction (Dismissal of petition on the grounds “his due process claims, predicated on allegations that he was incompetent to stand trial and that the state and the trial court failed to comply with General Statutes § 54-56d, were procedurally defaulted. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly dismissed the petition because (1) his due process claims were not subject to the procedural default rule, or (2) alternatively, he sufficiently pleaded cause and prejudice to overcome the procedural defaults and allow judicial review of his claims. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court”.)

AC42049 - Watts v. Commissioner of Correction (“In his two underlying criminal cases, the petitioner rejected a plea offer from the court, Clifford, J., to resolve the two cases because he allegedly was not properly advised of the charges, defenses, and best course of action regarding the offer, and, therefore, was unaware of ‘the consequences of rejecting [the offer].’ Following a jury trial, the petitioner was convicted and sentenced to ninety-five years in prison, the functional equivalent of a life sentence.1 The petitioner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in which he alleged (1) that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel regarding the plea offer he rejected, and (2) that his sentence violated the eighth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, §§ 8 and 9, of the constitution of Connecticut. The habeas court denied the petitioner’s first claim on the grounds that trial counsel’s representation was not deficient and that the petitioner failed to prove prejudice. The court dismissed the cruel and unusual punishment claims ‘without prejudice,’ reasoning that, if it ruled on the merits of the claim, it would be bound to follow this court’s decision in State v. Williams-Bey, 167 Conn. App. 744, 144 A.3d 467, cert. granted, 326 Conn. 920, 169 A.3d 793 (2017), which, at the time, was under review by our Supreme Court”).

AC41052 - Crawley v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas appeal “dismissing in part and denying in part his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. He contends that the court improperly rejected his claims of ineffective assistance on the part of both his criminal trial counsel and his first habeas counsel. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court... This appeal concerns the petitioner’s convictions on two counts of possession of narcotics with the intent to sell by a person who is not drug-dependent in violation of General Statutes § 21a-278 (b)”)



Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3758

AC41895 - Robert S. 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 he failed to establish that he had received ineffective assistance from his trial counsel because they failed to conduct a proper investigation and to advise him of the viability of an intoxication defense. 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”).


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