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Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

by Townsend, Karen


SC19773 - Epps v. Commissioner of Correction (Amended petition for certification; "In two decisions issued after the petitioner’s conviction was rendered final, this court respectively (1) overruled the long- standing interpretation of our kidnapping statutes under which the crime of kidnapping did not require that the restraint used be more than that which was incidental to and necessary for the commission of another crime against the victim, and (2) deemed that holding to apply retroactively to collateral attacks on final judgments. The petitioner thereafter sought a new trial on the kidnapping charge in light of those holdings in an amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus…The respondent never argued in the alternative that a higher standard of harmfulness should apply to collateral proceedings even if the petitioner’s claim was not subject to procedural default, despite federal case law applying a higher standard since 1993. Accordingly, we conclude that this is not the proper case in which to fairly address this consequential issue and that certification was improvidently granted.")