Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Tolland, Rockville, Geographic Area 19
Date May 2, 2016
Stanley T. Fuger, J.
COURT: Okay. The following's going to constitute the
decision of this Court. Count four is going to be denied.
It's an actual innocence claim. Before an actual
innocence claim may proceed, there has to be newly discovered
evidence. There has been nothing that even remotely
approaches newly discovered evidence in this case.
as we know from the Gould and Taylor case,
actual innocence requires affirmative proof of innocence.
There has been nothing even approaching affirmative proof of
in this case, this was a guilty plea, straight up guilty
plea. The defendant stood up in court, admitted that he
committed the offenses, was canvassed properly by the judge.
Plea was accepted. I question whether in any guilty plea case
whether one could even thereafter come back and raise an
argument of actual innocence.
before I go on and discuss the other issues, I do want to
discuss a little bit about the state of the evidence in this
case. I've heard testimony from Mr. Sexton, the attorney
that represented the petitioner at the first habeas trial,
and I've heard testimony by Mr. Little, and I have some
and away, the overwhelming majority of the evidence consists
of hearsay-type testimony. Now, I admitted the statements. I
listened to Mr. Little and didn't sustain any objections
for the simple reason there weren't any objections.
our Code of Evidence operates in the State of Connecticut, it
is not a rule of inclusion. Hearsay is not per se
inadmissible. There must be an objection raised before the
Court may rule that a piece of documentary evidence or
hearsay testimony is not admissible.
case, there was an absence of objections, so the evidence was
admitted. Now, the fact that the evidence is admitted into
the record, does not, in and of itself, make it credible and
believable. It simply means it comes into the record. The
Court is free to assess whatever credibility it wishes to
evidence that is admitted without objection.
this case, we have essentially Mr. Little, who has an obvious
reason to misrepresent or spin the truth in his way, and I
have nothing else. So I am going to give very little credence
to the testimony offered by Mr. Little, and I'm going to
give very little credence to most of the hearsay evidence
that was admitted without objection.
count one, it's essentially the argument that the
defendant was denied due process--the petitioner was denied
due process, and this Court doesn't see that. The
petitioner pled guilty, was properly canvassed, and the plea
was properly accepted.
understand the argument regarding the Salamon case,
but, first of all, the Salamon case took place after
the guilty plea, after the acceptance of the guilty plea and
after the imposition of sentence in this case.
the facts that are recited by the prosecution in the guilty
plea support that this was a kidnapping, that
Salamon is not applicable in this case.
also clear that Mr. Little was, could have and indeed was
found to be liable for the kidnapping through the concept of
vicarious liability, and once again I come back to the fact
that there was a guilty plea in this case. Mr. Little entered
a guilty plea, the highest form of proof known to the law, to