Wright v. Commissioner of Correction
Counts In Habeas Petition Were Properly Dismissed As Successive
- Connecticut Appellate Court
- AC 34562
- Jan 14 2014 (Date Decided)
- Per Curiam
In Carter v. Commissioner of Correction, the 2008 Connecticut Supreme Court explained that, "a petitioner may bring successive petitions on the same legal grounds if the petitions seek different relief." Following a jury trial, Ian Wright was convicted of murder, enhanced by C.G.S. §53-202k, and carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit. His conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. His first petition for a writ of habeas corpus alleged that he was deprived of the effective representation of trial and appellate counsel as guaranteed by the sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The court, Fuger, J. denied the petition. The denial was affirmed on appeal. Wright filed two further habeas petitions, later consolidated, which alleged, in count one, ineffective assistance of first habeas counsel; in count two, ineffective assistance of trial counsel; in count three, ineffective assistance of appellate counsel in the direct appeal; and in count four, ineffective assistance by first appellate habeas counsel. The court, Newson, J., rendered partial judgment, dismissing counts two and three as successive under Practice Book C.G.S. §23-29(3). The court reaffirmed the dismissal on reconsideration and, ultimately, denied the petition, concluding that the petitioner failed to prove ineffective assistance by habeas trial or appellate counsel. Wright appealed contending that the court erred by dismissing counts two and three of his petition as successive. Unpersuaded, the Appellate Court dismissed the appeal. The panel agreed with the habeas court’s conclusion that counts two and three were successive. These claims were nearly identical to claims alleged in Wright’s first petition. Although the petitioner asserted that counts two and three of the amended petition differed because he now claimed constitutional violations for the first time, this was inaccurate because, in both counts of the first petition, he argued that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel in violation of the sixth and fourteenth amendments. Additionally, the prayer for relief in both petitions was identical.