The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

by Booth, George


SC19497 - State v. A.M. ("In this certified appeal, we consider whether the state deprived the defendant, A. M., of his fifth amendment right to remain silent when the prosecutor twice noted during closing arguments that the defendant had not testified in his own defense. After a trial, a jury found the defendant guilty of multiple offenses, including sexual assault in the first degree, attempt to commit sexual assault in the first degree, and risk of injury to a child. The trial court rendered judgment in accordance with the jury’s verdict, and the defendant appealed to the Appellate Court. In his appeal, the defendant claimed, among other things, that the prosecutor’s comments during closing argument were improper because they infringed on his fifth amendment right to remain silent, depriving him of a fair trial. The Appellate Court agreed and reversed the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial. State v. A. M., 156 Conn. App. 138, 156, 111 A.3d 974 (2015). We agree that the prosecutor’s comments were improper and we find that the state has failed in its burden of proof to show that the comments were harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court")