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Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

by Agati, Taryn


AC45482 - Stephenson v. Commissioner of Correction ("After the granting of certification to appeal, the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court granting the petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by the petitioner, Joseph Stephenson. The habeas court found that the petitioner's criminal trial counsel, James Lamontagne, had provided ineffective assistance by failing to properly advise the petitioner about the mandatory deportation consequence of his guilty pleas to two charges of larceny in the sixth degree. On appeal, the respondent claims that the habeas court's determination that Lamontagne had performed deficiently was improper because the court (1) did not determine what advice Lamontagne actually provided, as required by Budziszewski v. Commissioner of Correction, 322 Conn. 504, 142 A.3d 243 (2016), (2) failed to hold the petitioner to his burden to rebut the presumption that Lamontagne's advice fell within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance, and (3) applied a higher standard than what the law requires when it based its finding of deficient performance on Lamontagne's failure to advise the petitioner that his pleas would "`automatically subject him to mandatory deportation.'" (Emphasis omitted.) We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")