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Murder conviction overturned, case could be headed back to trial

A Connecticut man who had previously sentenced to 60 years in prison after being found guilty of murder has now succeeded in getting the conviction overturned and may be headed for a new trial. According to reports, the man was convicted of murder in 2011 after he was accused of fatally shooting another man outside of the Cardinal's Club on April 27, 2008.

The now 26-year-old man has been serving time in the Cheshire Correctional Institution. In the appeal, his attorney argued that the court did not allow the defense to thoroughly cross-examine the police officers who testified during the trial, and the Appellate Court found that the original judge sustained several of the prosecution's objections during the officers' cross-examinations.

The case will not go directly to trial, as now that the conviction has been overturned, the state must decide whether or not it will request the Appellate Court's ruling to be certified. If that happens, the case could go all the way to the Supreme Court. If the certifications request is not put in or the Supreme Court declines the case, it would then move forward to trial.

This case provides an example of how the appeals process can be used successfully. The defense has the right to cross-examine witnesses in court as part of its strategy, and when the judicial process does not work as it should, it is important for defendants to understand their options after a conviction and have legal representation that can and will appeal the ruling if necessary. A new trial does not necessarily guarantee a different outcome, but it can give defendants another chance at a fair trial.

Source: New Haven Register, "Connecticut court overturns New Haven man’s murder conviction, orders new trial" Aug. 11, 2014

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