Miller v. Commissioner of Correction

*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** PETER MILLER v. COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION (AC 39330) Alvord, Sheldon and Norcott, Js. Syllabus The petitioner, a citizen of Jamaica, sought a writ of habeas corpus, claiming that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to advise him adequately as to the immigration consequences of his guilty plea to a certain drug related offense that constituted an aggravated felony under federal immigration law, which subjected him to mandatory depor- tation. The habeas court rendered judgment denying the habeas petition and, thereafter, denied the petition for certification to appeal, and the petitioner appealed to this court. Held: 1. The habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certifica- tion to appeal, as a resolution of the issues raised by the petitioner concerning counsel’s performance were debatable among jurists of rea- son and could have been resolved by a court in a different manner. 2. The habeas court improperly concluded that the petitioner’s trial counsel provided effective assistance in advising the petitioner regarding the immigration consequences of his guilty plea: the record showed that trial counsel failed to accurately advise the petitioner that his guilty plea to an aggravated felony would subject him to mandatory deportation but, instead, advised him that there was a substantial likelihood that he would be deported as a result of the conviction, which was contrary to the requirement that counsel unequivocally convey to the petitioner that, as a result of his guilty plea to an aggravated felony, he was subject to mandatory deportation under federal law; nevertheless, because the habeas court did not make any findings as to whether the petitioner demonstrated that he was prejudiced by trial counsel’s performance, and the question of prejudice presented a mixed question of fact and law, the matter was remanded to the habeas court for a determination of whether the petitioner was prejudiced by his trial counsel’s defi- cient performance. ...

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Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals