If you are involved in a habeas corpus case in Connecticut, you might wonder how original discovery and transcripts might impact the case. You can learn more here.
It is vitally important that habeas counsel make every effort to determine what was and was not provided in discovery by the prosecutor to trial counsel. Proof of disclosure will undermine any testimony from trial counsel that they did not act. This is because they did not receive, or were otherwise unaware of, certain information. Some Part A State’s Attorney’s Offices will attach a discovery letter to the disclosure. They will list each document or item they provided to trial counsel. Such a letter makes the task of identifying the materials disclosed to trial counsel considerably easier. If such a letter is not in trial counsel’s file, consult the State’s Attorney’s Office. You can learn that office’s practice and obtain a copy of the letter.
A claim of ineffective assistance of counsel at trial cannot be perfected without obtaining the transcript of the trial, including jury selection and sentencing. Transcripts of suppression hearings and oral argument on pretrial motions should also be obtained by habeas counsel. If the focus of the habeas petition is a plea and sentencing, transcripts of those proceedings should obviously be obtained. The arraignment and relevant court appearance transcripts should be added to the list if jail credit is at stake. Practice Book § 23-36 provides for the filing of the transcripts in the habeas court.
If an appeal has been taken, some or all of the transcripts will be in the possession of appellate counsel and can usually be obtained by supplying appellate counsel with an authorization signed by the client.
For help with discovery and transcripts in a Habeas Corpus case, contact our office.