The post conviction habeas corpus process can speed by in the blink of an eye compared to the months and years spent litigating the case prior to the trial. A number of things happen in the final proceedings.
End of a Habeas Trial
First and foremost, sometimes it becomes necessary to withdraw a habeas petition. This may be because you have discovered something new, or you want to change your petition and allege a new theory, and they court won’t permit an amendment this late in the process, or you are worried about litigating an issue that might not go in your favor.
Once you know you are going forward, your lawyer should prepare for the habeas trial. The Habeas trial in Connecticut generally takes place in Rockville, but in limited circumstances could be held at other courthouses. If you need to compel a witness to appear, you can issue a subpoena to have them appear at a hearing or trial. Of course, byt this time, your trial strategy is set and you should be ready to proceed.
One of the biggest issues in habeas trials is the testimony of the petitioner. The petitioner may never have testified in their original trial, so you should be ready to be the first witness called in a habeas trial. When you proceed, you should have all your transcripts and discovery ready. You can oftentimes make an agreement with the other side to premark exhibits.
If during the process of your habeas trial you discover new evidence, it should be treated carefully because this may be the first time it is publicly known.
The judge who is assigned to the habeas will review the evidence and make a decision on the case, and oftentimes it may be denied, but that doesn’t mean it is over. Only this stage of the process ends with a denial, you then have the ability to appeal if the judge made an error.