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 Booth, George


AC44745 - Valentine v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; "In 1998, a jury found the petitioner, Daryl Valentine, guilty of two counts of murder and other offenses stemming from a 1991 altercation outside a diner in New Haven during which three men were shot, two of them fatally. The petitioner's conviction was affirmed on direct appeal and, thereafter, he filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which was denied. He subsequently filed the present habeas action, which was dismissed in part and denied in part. Following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal, the petitioner appeals from the judgment of the habeas court, claiming that the court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) improperly concluded, first, that the petitioner's due process rights were not violated by improprieties of the trial prosecutor during closing argument and, relatedly, that he was not deprived of his right to the effective assistance of counsel by virtue of the failure of appellate counsel and first habeas counsel to raise that due process claim on direct appeal and in the first habeas petition, respectively, and (3) improperly denied his motion to open the evidence. We agree with the petitioner that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal. We nevertheless agree with the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, that the petitioner has neither established that prosecutorial improprieties deprived him of his right to a fair trial nor has he demonstrated that appellate counsel and first habeas counsel were ineffective in failing to raise that claim. We also conclude that the denial of the petitioner's motion to open the evidence was not an abuse of discretion. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")