Ghant v. Commissioner of Correction

In Ghant v. Commissioner of Correction, 255 Conn. 1, 761 A.2d 740 (2000), the Court reversed a habeas court's decision that counsel's representation was ineffective because of counsel's failure to inform the petitioner that he had a right to appeal from the judgment of conviction for murder after entering his guilty plea pursuant to the Alford doctrine. Id., 255 Conn. at 2-3. The Ghant court cited Roe v. Flores-Ortega, 528 U.S. 470 (2000), in which the United States Supreme Court rejected a per se rule and concluded that a constitutionally imposed duty to consult with a defendant regarding an appeal exists if either (1) "a rational defendant would want to appeal (for example, because there are nonfrivolous grounds for appeal), or (2) . . . this particular defendant reasonably demonstrated to counsel that he was interested in appealing." Ghant v. Commissioner of Correction, supra, 255 Conn. at 9. The Ghant court determined that the petitioner failed to show that there were nonfrivolous grounds for appeal from his conviction and, therefore, that counsel had no reason to think that a rational defendant would have wanted to appeal. Id., 255 Conn. at 16-17.