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 Supreme Court Opinion

by Booth, George


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.")