Connecticut Inmate Granted New Trial for Denial of His Constitutional Right to an Attorney's Assistance in his Defense

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Connecticut prisoner Gene Newland, represented by Ruane Attorneys At Law, brought a lawsuit against the State of Connecticut for an alleged denial of his rights. According to court documents, trial Judge Susan Cobb issued a decision on June 10, 2013 that the state had unequivocally violated Newland's constitutional right to an attorney and reversed his conviction.

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"In this, the 50th year since the United States Supreme Court's decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, it is chilling to me that a man with no legal training or access to funds to defend himself could be denied counsel and jailed."

Ruane Attorneys, a boutique criminal defense firm with offices in Shelton and Wethersfield Connecticut is pleased to have been the trial counsel for Gene Newland and announce his victory in the matter of Newland vs. Warden, CV 10-4003410, Superior Court, Tolland Judicial District, Connecticut. Newland was sentenced to 10 years in jail after his conviction in 2009 for sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, according to court documents.

Newland, age 42, has been in jail since his sentencing on August 7 2009. The decision by Judge Susan Cobb reverses the conviction and sends the case back to court in Danielson for a trial on the merits, this time with counsel advocating for Newland, according to the court's decision in the case. There has been no date set for that trial, as the state may appeal this stunning reversal.

"When we first got the file I was appalled that a poor person could be convicted of such serious charges without a lawyer, especially in Connecticut with such a fine tradition of legal services for the indigent. I was present when the Public Defender's Commission was established in 1975 and I never thought our state system would allow a person to fall through the cracks like happened in this case." said Jim Ruane, senior partner of the firm. "Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened here, and Mr. Newland was denied his state and federal rights."

The habeas trial took place December 10, 2012 in the Superior Court in Rockville, CT.

Counsel for Mr. Newland included Attorney Ruane, Attorney Grayson Holmes of Wethersfield and Attorney Stephen Lebedevitch of Fairfield.

"I am incredibly proud of my associates in this case especially as this was their first trial as attorneys" said Jay Ruane, the managing partner of Ruane Attorneys. "In this, the 51st year since the United States Supreme Court's decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, it is chilling to me that a man with no legal training or access to funds to defend himself could be denied counsel and jailed."

Attorney Brian Carlow, the Deputy Chief Public Defender testified at the trial on behalf of Mr. Newland and his testimony was fully credited by Judge Cobb in her 20 page decision filed on June 10. In his testimony Carlow stated that Mr. Newland did qualify for the public defender services and should have been appointed counsel. In the court's decision it was found that Attorney Ramon Canning, the supervisor of the Public Defender's office in Danielson did not follow the official protocol for the appointment of counsel for indigent persons as set forth by the Office of the Chief Public Defender in Hartford. Attorney Canning has since retired from the office.

For more information contact Jay Ruane

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