The following standard of review is employed when a habeas petition experienced rejection on the merits.
“The habeas court is afforded broad discretion in making its factual findings, and those findings will not be disturbed unless they are clearly erroneous…Historical facts constitute a recital of external events and the credibility of their narrators…Accordingly, [t]he habeas judge, as the trier of facts, is the sole arbiter of the credibility of witnesses and the weight to be given to their testimony…The application of the habeas court’s factual findings to the pertinent legal standard, however, presents a mixed question of law and fact, which is subject to plenary review.” (internal quotation marks omitted; citations omitted) Gaines v. Commissioner, 306 Conn. 664, 677 (2012).
See also Davis v. Commissioner, 319 Conn. 548, 554 (2015) (In addition, “The issue of whether the representation that a defendant received at trial came up as constitutionally inadequate constitutes a mixed question of law and fact…As such, the question requires plenary review ‘unfettered by the clearly erroneous standard.’” (citation omitted)).
Also see Jackson v. Commissioner, 149 Conn. App. 681, 690 (appeals court will exercise plenary review on the issue of “whether the facts found by the habeas court constitute a violation of the petitioner’s constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel”), cert. granted on other grounds, 313 Conn. 901 (2014); Id. at 711 (In addition, “This court does not retry the case or evaluate the credibility of witnesses. Rather, we must defer to the [trier of fact’s] assessment of the credibility of the witnesses based on its firsthand observation of their conduct, demeanor and attitude.” (internal quotation marks omitted; citation omitted)).
Claims Raised on Appeal
Then, as to the claims raised on appeal, the Connecticut Appellate Court or the Connecticut Supreme Court addresses this. It says, “will not consider claims not raised in the habeas petition or decided by the habeas court…Appellate review of claims not raised before the habeas court would amount to an ambuscade of the [habeas] judge.” (internal quotation marks omitted; citation omitted) Jackson, 149 Conn. App. at 687-88.
Dismissal Based on Defense
The following standard of review gets employed when a habeas petition gets dismissed based on a defense: “The conclusions reached by the trial court in its decision to dismiss [a] habeas petition constitute matters of law, subject to plenary review…[W]hen the legal conclusions of the court get challenged, [the appeals court] must determine whether they have legally and logically correctiveness…and whether they find support in the facts that appear in the record.” (internal quotation marks omitted; citation omitted) Johnson v. Commissioner, 285 Conn. 556, 566 (2008); see Paulino v. Commissioner, 155 Conn. App. 154, 160, cert. denied, 317 Conn. 912 (2015); Thorpe v. Commissioner, 73 Conn. App. 773, 776-77 (2002).
If your case is dismissed based on defense, you might not know what to do next. It will help to contact an attorney who has worked with habeas corpus cases in the past. A lawyer can answer any questions that you still have about your case. They can also make sure that your rights remain protected. This will help you make sure that you do not get taken advantage of.