In Re: Claims of Racial Disparity
Ordinarily, a party who is granted the relief sought is not aggrieved; but, where a party claims alternate forms of relief and expresses a clear preference for one of the forms of relief, the party may be aggrieved when the less preferred alternative is granted. In the 2003 case of State v. Reynolds, the Connecticut Supreme Court determined that similar claims that the death penalty was imposed in a racially discriminatory and arbitrary manner should proceed in a consolidated habeas corpus case. The consolidated habeas matter was instituted in 2005 and a scheduling order issued. The data gathered and analyzed includes information regarding capital eligible homicides disposed of through June 30, 2006. Steven Hayes, convicted for criminal activity from 2007 and sentenced in Dec. 2010, filed a motion for extension of time and stay of the proceedings until his direct appeal was decided or, a continuance of the consolidated habeas hearing for two years to update the data and analysis or, the creation of a second consolidated action to allow the inmates joined later to develop updated data for the presentation of their claims. The habeas court denied the motion as to the first two requests for relief and granted the motion as to the third. Identical orders issued for Jessie Campbell, sentenced to death in 2007 and Lazle Ashby, sentenced in 2008. Hayes, Campbell and Ashby appealed. The commissioner of correction filed a motion to dismiss the appeals claiming a lack of aggrievement and that the appeals were not from final judgments. The Appellate Court dismissed the appeals agreeing that the orders appealed from were not final judgments. The Appellate Court declined to dismiss the appeals based on a lack of aggrievement as the petitioners expressed a clear preference that they remain parties to the consolidated action. The petitioners claimed that, although interlocutory, because their party status in the consolidated action would effectively be revoked by the orders, they lost the right granted by Reynolds and an order of the special master to participate in the consolidated litigation. However, the relevant right is the right to a determination of the claim that the death penalty has been sought in an impermissible manner. Because the court allowed for the full ability to present the claim separately, the right has not been lost. No protected right of the petitioners was irretrievably lost by the court's orders.