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Habeas Corpus Law

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”).


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3742

AC41974 - Rogers v. Commissioner of Correction (“Habeas on a habeas”; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly rejected his claim that his trial counsel, Paul Carty, provided him with ineffective assistance with respect to whether he should have accepted a plea offer. The petitioner asserts that, but for the deficient legal advice he received from his trial counsel, he would have accepted a thirty-five year plea deal. The petitioner also claims that the habeas court improperly rejected his claim that his prior habeas counsel, Frank P. Cannatelli, provided ineffective assistance by failing to raise this claim in his first habeas petition. Having reviewed the record, we conclude that the habeas court properly denied the amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and, accordingly, 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=3738

AC41689 - Andrews 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) erroneously concluded that he failed to establish that his state and federal constitutional rights to the effective assistance of counsel were violated. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal”).

AC41160 - Perez v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) improperly concluded that his trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance, and (3) improperly concluded that his plea was not coerced or involuntary. We disagree and dismiss the appeal”).


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3721

AC37692 - Fernandez v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Rafael Fernandez, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court dismissing his second amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which alleged that communications between the then self-represented petitioner and the assistant state's attorney during plea negotiations, and the resulting implication of the assistant state's attorney as a potential witness at the petitioner's trial, required the disqualification of all of the state's attorney's offices and the Office of the Chief State's Attorney, and that the failure of the Office of the Chief State's Attorney to disqualify itself violated his right to a fair trial. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly granted the motion to dismiss the petition filed by the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, on the ground that the petition failed to state a claim upon which habeas corpus relief can be granted. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3712

SC20204- Bowens v. Commissioner of Correction (Second petition for habeas; 1998 murder conviction; “On appeal, the petitioner claims, among other things, that the habeas court incorrectly concluded that (1) he did not establish by clear and convincing evidence that he is actually innocent of the murder, (2) the identification procedures employed in his criminal case did not violate his due process rights, (3) his first habeas counsel did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel, and (4) his cruel and unusual punishment claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata. We affirm the judgment of the habeas”).


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3689

AC41026 - Doan v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) improperly concluded that he was not denied the effective assistance of trial counsel. We agree that the court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal. Nonetheless, we conclude that the court properly determined that the petitioner was not denied the effective assistance of trial counsel. We, therefore, affirm the judgment of the habeas court").


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3682

AC40903 - Echeverria v. Commissioner of Correction- (The petitioner’s sole claim on appeal is that the habeas court improperly rejected his claim that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel due to his attorney’s failure to advise him properly of the immigration consequences of his guilty plea pursuant to Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 176 L. Ed. 2d 284 (2010). We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.)

AC40904 - King v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that the petitioner failed to establish that he had received ineffective assistance from his trial counsel, and (2) dismissed the petitioner’s claims that his right to due process was violated by the trial court’s not stating on the record its refusal to accept the petitioner’s pretrial plea agreement. 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=3675

AC40926 - McCarthy v. Commissioner of Correction ("In his underlying criminal case, the petitioner allegedly rejected a plea offer from the state after being misled regarding the strength of the state’s case against him because his prior counsel, Joseph Elder, fabricated affidavits from certain eyewitnesses to the underlying crime. The habeas court denied the petition on the ground that an ineffective assistance of counsel claim was not cognizable because Elder was no longer representing the petitioner when he fabricated the affidavits or at the time the plea offer was made.")

AC40719 - Abrams v. Commissioner of Correction (He claims that counsel who represented him in the appeal taken from the denial of his first petition for a writ of habeas corpus, John C. Drapp, rendered ineffective assistance by withdrawing the appeal pursuant to Practice Book § 63-9. On appeal, the petitioner asserts that the habeas court erred in concluding that Drapp did not render ineffective assistance by withdrawing the appeal at the petitioner’s direction because his decision to withdraw the appeal was based on Drapp’s poor advice. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.)


Habeas Supreme Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3638

SC20137 - Henning v. Commissioner of Correction (Two habeas petitions; “The second habeas petition, which is the subject of this appeal, alleges, among other things, that the state deprived the petitioner of his due process right to a fair trial in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), and its progeny, which require the state to correct any testimony by a state’s witness when the state knew or should have known that that testimony was materially false or misleading. More specifically, the petitioner claims that his right to due process was violated by virtue of the state’s failure to correct the trial testimony of the then director of the state police forensic laboratory, Henry C. Lee, that a red substance on a towel found in the victim’s home had tested positive for blood when, in fact, no such test had been conducted, and, further, a test of the substance conducted in connection with the present case proved negative for blood. The habeas court, Sferrazza, J., rejected all of the petitioner’s claims, including his claim concerning Lee’s testimony about the towel, and this appeal followed. We agree with the petitioner that, contrary to the determination of the habeas court, he is entitled to a new trial due to the state’s failure to alert the trial court and the petitioner that Lee’s testimony was incorrect, and, therefore, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court.”) See also, Henning v. State below.

SC20139 - Henning v. State ("On appeal from the denial of his petition for a new trial, the petitioner claims that the habeas court incorrectly determined that the newly discovered DNA evidence does not warrant a new trial…the petitioner claims that the three year limitation period of § 52-582 (a) simply does not apply to a petition, like the present one, in which there is newly discovered DNA evidence…In a separate opinion issued today, we have concluded, contrary to the determination of the habeas court, that the petitioner is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus granting him a new trial because the state deprived him of a fair trial in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963)... Because our opinion in that case awarding the petitioner a new trial renders moot the petitioner’s appeal from the denial of his petition for a new trial, we must dismiss the present appeal.”)

SC20136 - Birch v. Commissioner of Correction (“The second petition, which is the subject of this appeal, alleged, among other things, that the state deprived the petitioner of a fair trial in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), and its progeny, which require the state to correct any testimony that it knows or should know is materially false or misleading. More specifically, the petitioner claims that his right to due process was violated because the assistant state’s attorney (prosecutor) failed to correct certain testimony of the then director of the state police forensic laboratory, Henry C. Lee, concerning a red substance on a towel found in the victim’s home that, according to Lee, had tested positive for blood. In fact, no such test had been conducted, and, moreover, a test of the substance that was done for purposes of the present case proved negative for blood. The habeas court, Sferrazza, J., rejected all of the petitioner’s claims, including his claim with respect to Lee’s testimony about the towel, and this appeal followed. Because we agree with the petitioner that, contrary to the conclusion of the habeas court, he is entitled to a new trial due to the state’s failure to alert the trial court and the petitioner that Lee’s testimony was incorrect, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court.”) See also, Birch v. State below.

SC20138 - Birch v. State (“On appeal from the denial of his petition for a new trial, the petitioner claims that the habeas court incorrectly determined that the newly discovered DNA evidence does not warrant a new trial. The petitioner further claims that this court, in determining whether a new trial is likely to result in a different outcome, should consider the original trial evidence together with all exculpatory evidence, even evidence that would not otherwise support a petition for a new trial because it was discovered by the petitioner after the three year limitation period for filing such a petition had expired…In a separate opinion issued today, we have concluded, contrary to the determination of the habeas court, that the petitioner is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus granting him a new trial because the state deprived him of a fair trial in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963)... Because our opinion in that case awarding the petitioner a new trial renders moot the petitioner’s appeal from the denial of his petition for a new trial, we must dismiss the present appeal.”)

SC20179 - Griffin v. Commissioner of Correction (Public Act 15-183; transfer to criminal docket from juvenile docket; Public Act 15-84; eligibility for parole; evolution of ‘standards of decency’ for punishments for children; “The issue presented in this appeal is whether the transfer of a fourteen year old defendant’s case to the regular criminal docket and his subsequent sentence of forty years imprisonment violate the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment enshrined in the dual due process provisions of the constitution of Connecticut, article first, §§ 8 and 9… We agree that recent statutory changes to the juvenile justice system—which significantly limit, but do not entirely prohibit, the transfer of a fourteen year old defendant’s case to the regular criminal docket—do not evidence a change in contemporary standards of decency for purposes of the constitutional claim raised by the petitioner in the present case. We also conclude that, because the petitioner is eligible for parole pursuant to P.A. 15-84, his forty year sentence complies with established constitutional safe-guards. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3627

AC41464 - Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc. (Habeas; whether only a person is authorized to file for habeas pursuant to statute 52-466; whether elephants lacked standing to file habeas; practice book rule 23-24 [a] [1] and [2]; “The petitioner argues that the court erred in (1) dismissing its petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the basis that it lacked standing, (2) denying its subsequent motion to amend the petition, and (3) dismissing the habeas petition on the alternative ground that it was ‘wholly frivolous.’ For the reasons discussed herein, we agree with the habeas court that the petitioner lacked standing. Accordingly, 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=3600

SC20075 - Meletrich v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court dismissing his appeal from the judgment of the habeas court, which denied his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The petitioner claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the habeas court acted within its discretion in denying certification to appeal because he established that his counsel had performed deficiently by failing to call a second alibi witness and, further, that had that witness testified, there is a reasonable probability that the outcome of the petitioner’s criminal trial would have been different. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3572

AC41036 - Harris 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 the petitioner’s prior habeas and trial counsel were not ineffective for failing to obtain the psychiatric records of one of the state’s witnesses, Tammy Jamison. 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.")

AC40696 - Gudino v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims, among other things, that the habeas court improperly (1) dismissed count one of the amended petition alleging ineffective assistance of trial counsel on the ground that it constituted an improperly successive petition, and (2) denied count two alleging ineffective assistance of prior habeas counsel on the ground that the petitioner failed to prove that he was prejudiced by the allegedly deficient performance of both his prior habeas counsel and his trial counsel. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3554

AC41625 - Dinham v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner argues that the court improperly dismissed his claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for the failure to state a claim upon which habeas relief can be granted. Specifically, the petitioner argues that the court improperly dismissed his claims that (1) he relied on ‘governmental representations’ that he would receive risk reduction credit when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm, (2) the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, misconstrued and misapplied several statutes pertaining to the petitioner receiving a parole suitability hearing, earning risk reduction credit in the future, and applying risk reduction credit toward the advancement of the petitioner’s parole eligibility date, and (3) the respondent’s customary practices have created a vested liberty interest in receiving a parole suitability hearing, earning future risk reduction credits, and applying risk reduction credits to advance his parole eligibility date. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3539

AC39919 - Roger B. v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance of counsel due to trial counsel failing to assert a statute of limitations affirmative defense. “In the present case, the petitioner not only failed to prove that his counsel’s performance was deficient but also failed to demonstrate that he was prejudiced by the alleged deficient performance. A detailed review of this case’s tangled procedural history is required to place this decision in its proper context.”)


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