STATE v. JOHN DUPIGNEY, SC 18363
Judicial District of New Haven
Criminal; DNA Testing; Whether Trial Court Correctly Applied General Statutes § 54-102kk "Reasonable Probability" Standard. In 2000, the defendant was convicted of murder in connection with the shooting death of Morris Lewis. At trial, a witness to the shooting testified that the shooter wore a black knit cap, and a black knit cap was recovered near the crime scene. After the defendant's conviction was upheld on appeal, the defendant brought a habeas action claiming that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to timely seek forensic testing of the black cap. In connection with the habeas proceeding, the defendant petitioned pursuant to General Statutes § 54-102kk for DNA testing of the cap, claiming that the cap had blood stains on it and that he would not have been convicted if testing of the stains had revealed that the blood did not belong to either the defendant or the victim. The trial court denied the defendant's petition, finding that the defendant had not demonstrated a reasonable probability that he would not have been prosecuted and convicted had DNA testing been performed on the cap or that testing would produce DNA results that would have altered the verdict. In this appeal, the defendant challenges the denial of his petition for DNA testing. Like State v. Marra, SC 18331, this appeal raises issues concerning the proper application of the § 54-102kk "reasonable probability" standard and the standard of appellate review that should be applied to rulings on petitions seeking DNA testing.