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Criminal Law & Procedure

Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4342

AC43084 - State v. Russaw (Manslaughter in second degree; evading responsibility; motion to suppress; "The defendant, Deykevious Russaw, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of manslaughter in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-56 (a) (1) and one count of evading responsibility in violation of General Statutes § 14-224 (b) (1). The defendant claims on appeal that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress his statements made to the police, which he alleges were obtained in violation of his constitutional rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 478–79, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42574 - State v. Hall-George (Robbery in second degree; "The defendant, Caleb T. Hall-George, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of robbery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-135 (a) (1) (B). The defendant claims that the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he threatened the use of what he represented by his words and conduct to be a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, as required by § 53a-135 (a) (1) (B). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4340

SC20317 - State v. Gonzalez (Home invasion; sexual assault in the first degree; risk of injury to a child; Whether defendant’s right to due process violated by prosecutorial impropriety during closing argument; "This certified appeal requires us to consider whether alleged instances of impropriety during the prosecutor's closing argument deprived the defendant, Jose Diego Gonzalez, of his federal constitutional rights to present a closing argument under the sixth amendment, and his fourteenth amendment due process right to a fair trial. After a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of three counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), one count of home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1), and one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). See State v. Gonzalez, 188 Conn. App. 304, 307, 204 A.3d 1183 (2019). The trial court rendered judgment in accordance with the jury's verdict and imposed a total effective sentence of sixty-five years of incarceration. Id., 307, 312. The defendant appealed from the trial court's judgment of conviction, claiming, among other things, that the prosecutor deprived him of his constitutional rights to present a closing argument and to a fair trial by (1) reserving her analysis of certain evidence for the rebuttal portion of her closing argument, and (2) mischaracterizing two pieces of evidence during rebuttal. Id., 307, 318. The Appellate Court rejected those claims and affirmed the trial court's judgment. Id., 307, 342. The defendant now renews those same claims in the present appeal. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we agree with the Appellate Court that neither the structure nor the content of the prosecutor's closing argument deprived the defendant of his constitutional rights and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4337

SC20287 - Mitchell v. State (Petition for new trial; Whether trial court abused its discretion in denying petitioner's late § 54-95 (a) petition for certification to appeal from ruling denying petition for new trial."The petitioner, James A. Mitchell, appealed from the trial court's denial of his request for leave to file a late petition for certification to appeal from the court's judgment denying his petition for a new criminal trial on the ground that the petitioner's claims were "meritless and too late." The Appellate Court rejected the petitioner's claim that the trial court improperly considered the merits of the petition, rather than the reasons for the delay or any other factors relevant to permitting a late filing, and dismissed the appeal. See Mitchell v. State, 188 Conn. App. 245, 247, 204 A.3d 807 (2019). We conclude that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to engage in the proper analysis to determine whether to excuse the late petition for certification. We further conclude, however, that the trial court acted within its discretion when it determined that the petition did not raise issues warranting certification and, therefore, affirm the Appellate Court's judgment dismissing the petitioner's appeal on this alternative basis.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4319

AC43500 - State v. Sayles (Felony murder; conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; carrying pistol without permit; motion to suppress; "The defendant, Dwayne Sayles, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2), criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied his motions to suppress certain evidence. Specifically, he contends that (1) police detectives violated his Miranda rights and his rights pursuant to article first, § 8, of the Connecticut constitution when they continued to interrogate him after he invoked his right to counsel, (2) the police detectives seized his cell phone in violation of the fourth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, § 7, of the Connecticut constitution, and (3) the affidavit that the police submitted in support of their application for a warrant to search the contents of his cell phone contained materially false information. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4315

SC20187 - State v. Smith (Felony Murder and Manslaughter; Motion to correct illegal sentence; Whether rule established in State v. Polanco requiring vacatur as remedy for cumulative convictions in violation of double jeopardy protections applies retroactively."The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction to entertain a motion to correct an illegal sentence when the defendant, Jeffrey Smith, claimed that the sentencing court improperly failed to follow State v. Polanco, 308 Conn. 242, 255, 61 A.3d 1084 (2013), in which this court exercised its supervisory power to hold that the proper remedy for cumulative convictions that violate the double jeopardy clause is to vacate one of the convictions. In 2005, the defendant was convicted, after a jury trial, of felony murder and manslaughter in the first degree, among other crimes. The trial court, Schimelman, J., merged the conviction for manslaughter with the felony murder conviction and sentenced the defendant to sixty years in prison on the felony murder charge. In 2015, the defendant filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence in which he contended that the sentence was illegal under the Polanco supervisory rule because the court merged the convictions instead of vacating the conviction on the manslaughter charge. The trial court, Strackbein, J., concluded that, because Polanco was decided pursuant to this court's supervisory authority, it did not apply retroactively. Accordingly, the trial court denied the defendant's motion. The defendant appealed, and the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court. See State v. Smith, 180 Conn. App. 371, 384, 184 A.3d 831 (2018). We then granted the defendant's petition for certification to appeal to this court, limited to the following issue: "Does this court's holding in State v. Polanco, [supra, 255], readopting vacatur as a remedy for a cumulative conviction that violates double jeopardy protections, apply retroactively?" State v. Smith, 330 Conn. 908, 193 A.3d 559 (2018). In its brief to this court, the state claims for the first time that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to entertain the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence because the motion sought only to modify the defendant's conviction, not his sentence. We agree with the state's jurisdictional claim, and, accordingly, we conclude that the form of the Appellate Court's judgment affirming the judgment of the trial court was improper. We reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and remand the case to that court with direction to remand the case to the trial court with direction to dismiss the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4306

SC20153 - State v. Graham (Murder; Whether Statements Were Obtained in Violation of Edwards v. Arizona Ban against Further Interrogation of Suspect in Custody Who Invokes Miranda Right to Counsel; Whether Statements Were Obtained in Violation of Miranda Right to Remain Silent." After this case was argued, defense counsel notified this court that the defendant and appellant, Robert Lee Graham, died while in the custody of the Commissioner of Correction on January 8, 2021. Defense counsel did not request any specific disposition of this appeal as a result of the defendant's death. Consistent with the past practice of this court, therefore, we dismiss the appeal as moot.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4296

AC42308 - State v. Njoku (Sexual assault in fourth degree; tampering with witness; "The defendant, Edwin Njoku, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to modify the conditions of his probation under General Statutes § 53a-30 (c). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to modify his probationary conditions with respect to his job related activity and use of social media. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4294

SC20407 - State v. Gomes (Assault in the 2nd Degree; whether "Investigative Inadequacy" jury instruction prejudiced defendant; whether Supreme Court should overrule or limit State v. Williams and State v. Collins and invoke its supervisory authority to prescribe a jury instruction on investigative inadequacy; "The defendant, Wagner Gomes, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming his conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (2). The defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly determined that the trial court's investigative inadequacy jury instruction did not mislead the jury or otherwise deprive him of his right to present an investigative inadequacy defense. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4288

AC40953 - State v. Williams (Larceny in first degree; "The defendant, Diane Williams, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of larceny in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-122 (a). On appeal, the defendant challenges the propriety of various evidentiary rulings and the denial of her request to secure the attendance at trial of several out-of-state witnesses. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42327 - State v. Edwards (Burglary in first degree; robbery in first degree; conspiracy to commit larceny in first degree; assault in second degree; larceny in second degree; "The defendant, Tywan Edwards, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial to a jury, of larceny in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-123 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to convict him of larceny in the second degree because the jury could not reasonably have found that (a) he possessed stolen property of a value greater than $10,000 or (b) he knew the property in his possession was stolen, (2) the trial court improperly admitted into evidence the testimony that the victim had identified items in a video exhibit as his, in violation of the rule against hearsay, (3) the trial court improperly prevented the defendant from cross-examining a witness concerning her alleged drug dealing subsequent to the crime with which he was charged, and (4) the trial court erroneously instructed the jury concerning reasonable doubt. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42481 - State v. Ferrazzano-Mazza (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; operating motor vehicle without license; "The defendant, Julie A. Ferrazzano-Mazza, appeals from the judgment of conviction of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a), which was tried to a jury, and operating a motor vehicle without a license in violation of General Statutes § 14-36 (a), which was tried to the court. The defendant also pleaded nolo contendere to being a third time offender in violation of § 14-227a (g) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) excluded evidence that she had offered to take a blood test in lieu of a Breathalyzer test and delivered to the jury a limiting instruction on the use of such evidence, and (2) denied her request to instruct the jury that field sobriety tests are not based on science. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4284

SC20302 - State v. Bischoff (Possession of narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 21a-279; Whether Appellate Court Properly Held that Public Act Reducing Punishment for Possession of Narcotics in Violation of General Statutes § 21a-279 Does not Apply Retroactively; Whether Supreme Court Should Apply Amelioration Doctrine; "In 2015, our legislature amended General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 21a-279 (a) to reclassify a first offense for possession of narcotics from a class D felony subject to a maximum sentence of imprisonment of seven years to a class A misdemeanor subject to a maximum sentence of one year of incarceration. Public Acts, Spec. Sess., June, 2015, No. 15-2, § 1 (Spec. Sess. P.A. 15-2). This legislative action reflected a change in public policy that emphasized treatment and rehabilitation over incarceration for those convicted of possessing controlled substances. In this certified appeal, we are asked to determine whether the legislature's action applies retroactively to criminal cases pending at the time the amendment became effective.

The defendant, Haji Jhmalah Bischoff, was arrested and charged with, among other crimes, possession of narcotics in violation of § 21a-279 (a) prior to the enactment of Spec. Sess. P.A. 15-2, § 1. He was not convicted and sentenced, however, until after the amendment's enactment. The defendant claims that both the trial court and the Appellate Court incorrectly determined that Spec. Sess. P.A. 15-2, § 1, does not apply retroactively, and, thus, he claims that the sentence imposed on him was illegal, as it exceeded the maximum sentence allowed under § 21a-279 (a) as amended. Specifically, he claims that (1) although the plain language of Spec. Sess. P.A. 15-2, § 1, does not mention retroactivity, a prospective-only application of the amendment would lead to an absurd or unworkable result when viewed in the context of Public Acts 2015, No. 15-244 (P.A. 15-244), the state budget bill that Spec. Sess. P.A. 15-2, § 1, was meant to implement, and (2) alternatively, this court should overrule State v. Kalil, 314 Conn. 529, 107 A.3d 343 (2014), and adopt the amelioration doctrine, which presumes that amendments to statutes that mitigate punishment apply retroactively. We disagree with the defendant on both accounts and affirm the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4274

SC20391 - State v. Imperiale (Illegal possession of child pornography in the second degree; Violation of Probation; "The defendant, Joseph Louis Imperiale, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, Danaher, J., revoking his probation and sentencing him to an effective term of imprisonment of two years. He claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion to dismiss the violation of probation charge because the condition of probation on which the charge was predicated, namely, that he participate in an inpatient sex offender treatment program, violated his fourteenth amendment rights to due process and equal protection, as well as the constitutional prohibition against the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4270

SC20106 - State v. Angel M. (Sentencing; Whether Defendant Penalized for Maintaining his Innocence at Sentencing Hearing; Whether Consideration of Defendant's Refusal to Admit Guilt Violates Right Against Self-Incrimination. "Following a jury trial, the defendant, Angel M., was convicted of sexually assaulting the twelve year old daughter of his romantic partner and sentenced to a total effective prison term of thirty-three years. The defendant appealed to the Appellate Court, claiming, among other things, that the trial court had violated his right to due process at sentencing by penalizing him for refusing to apologize for his criminal misconduct. See State v. Angel M., 180 Conn. App. 250,253, 286, 183 A.3d 636 (2018). According to the defendant, who maintained his innocence both at trial and at the time of sentencing, the trial court’s enhancement of his sentence for that reason was fundamentally unfair because it contravened his constitutional right against self-incrimination insofar as any such apology necessarily would have required him to admit guilt. See id., 286–88. The Appellate Court rejected the defendant’s claim, concluding that the record did not support his contention that the trial court had increased his sentence because of his unwillingness to issue an apology to the victims; see id., 290–91; and we granted the defendant’s petition for certification to appeal. See State v. Angel M., 328 Conn. 931, 182 A.3d 1192 (2018). We agree with the Appellate Court and, accordingly, affirm its judgment.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4258

SC20272 - State v. Stephenson (burglary in the third degree; attempted tampering with physical evidence; attempted arson in the second degree; "The state, on the granting of certification, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which reversed the judgment of the trial court convicting the defendant, Joseph A. Stephenson, of the crimes of burglary in the third degree, attempt to commit tampering with physical evidence, and attempt to commit arson in the second degree in connection with a break-in at the Superior Court for the judicial district of Stamford-Norwalk, geographical area number twenty, which is located in Norwalk. See State v. Stephenson, 187 Conn. App. 20, 39, 201 A.3d 427 (2019). The state claims, inter alia, that the Appellate Court improperly addressed an issue of evidentiary sufficiency sua sponte without calling for supplemental briefing as required by Blumberg Associates Worldwide, Inc. v. Brown & Brown of Connecticut, Inc., 311 Conn. 123, 84 A.3d 840 (2014) (Blumberg). We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4252

AC41587 - State v. Mansfield (Breach of peace in second degree; assault of public safety personnel; plain error doctrine; "The defendant, Brian Mansfield, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of the crimes of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (1) and assault of public safety personnel in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167c (a) (5). On appeal, with regard to his conviction of breach of the peace, the defendant "challenges the sufficiency of the state's evidence to prove the theory of liability for which he was prosecuted: that he . . . engaged in tumultuous behavior"; (emphasis omitted); claims that "[t]he prosecution's theory of criminal liability rendered § 53a-181 (a) (1) unconstitutionally vague as applied," and that the trial court's instruction on the definition of "tumultuous behavior" misled the jury. With regard to his conviction of assault of public safety personnel, the defendant claims that "[t]he state offered insufficient evidence to prove that [the] [o]fficer . . . was acting lawfully in the performance of his official duties," and that "[t]he trial court did not respond adequately to the jury's request . . . to be instructed on the law governing police discretion to issue and serve a summons [on] an individual who has not been arrested first." We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")

AC42456 - State v. Qayyum (Conspiracy to sell narcotics; possession of narcotics with intent to sell; "The defendant, Muhammad A. Qayyum, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of conspiracy to sell narcotics in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 21a-277 (a) and two counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell in violation of § 21a-277 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) violated his due process rights by shifting the burdens of proof and persuasion to him to prove that he had a legitimate source of income and (2) erred by allowing impermissible expert opinion testimony regarding his intent to sell narcotics. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41482 - State v. Ervin B. (Threatening in second degree; "The defendant, Ervin B., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of threatening in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-62 (a) (1). The defendant claims on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty of threatening in the second degree. We agree with the defendant's insufficiency of the evidence claim and therefore remand the case to the trial court with direction to render a judgment of acquittal.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4247

SC20275 - State v. Ruiz (Eyewitness Identification; "The defendant, Jose Ruiz, appeals, upon our granting of certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the judgment of the trial court revoking the defendant's probation following an incident in which he allegedly robbed and threatened a customer, Lawrence Welch, at a Dunkin' Donuts store in the city of New Haven. See State v. Ruiz, 188 Conn. App. 413, 416–17, 204 A.3d 798 (2019). After he was charged with violating a condition of his probation on the basis of that incident, the defendant filed a motion to suppress Welch's identification of him, claiming that the one-on-one showup procedure that the police used in connection with that identification violated his rights under the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution. The trial court denied the motion, concluding that the procedure was not unnecessarily suggestive and, following a hearing, found that the defendant had violated his probation. Thereafter, the court rendered judgment revoking the defendant's probation and imposing a sentence of seven and one-half years of incarceration, execution suspended after four years, and three years of probation. On appeal to the Appellate Court, the defendant claimed, inter alia, that, contrary to the determination of the trial court, the showup identification procedure was unnecessarily suggestive and, further, that the flawed procedure had rendered the identification unreliable. See id., 417. The Appellate Court concluded that the procedure that the police used, although suggestive, was not unnecessarily suggestive due to the exigencies of the ongoing investigation; id., 421–22; and, in light of this determination, the court did not reach the issue of reliability. Id., 422 n.3. The Appellate Court also rejected the defendant's other claims and, accordingly, affirmed the trial court's judgment. In this certified appeal, the defendant contends that the identification procedure used by the police violated the federal constitution because it was unnecessarily suggestive and rendered the identification unreliable. We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court, albeit for a reason different from that relied on by the Appellate Court, namely, because Welch's identification of the defendant was reliable notwithstanding the inherent suggestiveness of the showup procedure.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4240

SC20183 - State v. Raynor (Murder; "The defendant, Donald Raynor, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of the crime of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a). State v. Raynor, 181 Conn. App. 760, 778, 189 A.3d 652 (2018). The defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the trial court had properly (1) denied his motion for a Porter hearing on the reliability of ballistics evidence, (2) denied his motion in limine seeking to limit the scope of testimony from the state's firearm and toolmark examiner, and (3) denied the defendant's motion to exclude uncharged misconduct evidence related to a subsequent shooting. As to the first issue, the defendant claims that reports authored by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) call into question the reliability of methodologies employed in firearm and toolmark examinations and that, as a result, a Porter hearing was necessary to determine if such evidence is admissible. Furthermore, the defendant argues that both the trial court and the Appellate Court construed State v. Legnani, 109 Conn. App. 399, 421, 951 A.2d 674, cert. denied, 289 Conn. 940, 959 A.2d 1007 (2008), too broadly by concluding that a Porter hearing on the reliability of firearm and toolmark examinations is never necessary because it is a well established and admissible science. As to the second issue, the defendant argues that, even if the firearm and toolmark examination evidence was admissible without a Porter hearing, the trial court improperly denied his motion in limine, which would have required the state's expert, James Stephenson, to clarify that his conclusions that certain bullet casings were fired from a specific firearm were not certainties but merely "more likely than not" to be correct. As to the third issue, the defendant claims that the probative value of evidence related to a subsequent shooting, which was admitted to establish the defendant's identity and to show that he had access to the firearm used in the present case, was outweighed by its prejudicial effect. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the Appellate Court (1) improperly upheld the trial court's denial of the defendant's motion for a Porter hearing on the reliability of ballistics evidence based solely on the holding in Legnani, (2) properly upheld the trial court's denial of the defendant's motion in limine, which sought to limit the scope of Stephenson's conclusions, and (3) improperly upheld the trial court's denial of the motion to exclude evidence of uncharged misconduct. We therefore conclude that the defendant is entitled to a new trial and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4234

SC20261 - State v. Jones (Murder; Whether jailhouse Informant credibility instruction required; "In State v. Patterson, 276 Conn. 452, 886 A.2d 777 (2005), we held that a trial court must issue a special credibility instruction when a jailhouse informant testifies because such informants have "a powerful incentive, fueled by self-interest, to implicate falsely the accused," and, "[c]onsequently, [their] testimony . . . is inevitably suspect." Id., 469. A "classic jailhouse informant is a witness who has testified that the defendant has confessed to him or had made inculpatory statements to him while they were incarcerated together." State v. Diaz, 302 Conn. 93, 99 n.4, 25 A.3d 594 (2011). The question presented in this certified appeal is whether the Appellate Court correctly held "that the special credibility instruction required in State v. Patterson, [supra, 452], was not applicable to an incarcerated informant who offered his testimony that the defendant confessed to him when they socialized outside of prison in exchange for favorable treatment of the informant by the state . . . ." (Emphasis added.) State v. Jones, 331 Conn. 909, 202 A.3d 1023 (2019). We answer the certified question in the negative and reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4229

AC43014 - State v. Freeman (Robbery in first degree; claim that trial court erred in denying motion to dismiss; "The defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after his conditional plea of nolo contendere, of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss, arguing that the prosecution was time barred by the five year statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes § 54-193 (b). We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43016 - State v. Han (Sexual assault in the fourth degree; accelerated rehabilitation; "The defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court terminating his participation in the accelerated rehabilitation program. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by sua sponte terminating his participation in the program. We conclude that the court abused its discretion in terminating the defendant's participation in the accelerated rehabilitation program. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4227

SC20273 - State v.Carey ("The defendant, Alanna R. Carey, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial court's judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that any error relating to the admission of testimony from a witness called during the state's case on rebuttal, Mark Manganello, was harmless. Specifically, the defendant claims that Manganello's testimony fatally undermined her theory of self-defense and that, as a result, it likely had a substantial effect on the jury's verdict. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4222

AC43344 - State v. Parker (Probation; "The defendant, Joshua Parker, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32 and sentencing him to thirty months of incarceration. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court improperly revoked his probation for failure to pay restitution without first making a finding that such failure to pay was wilful, as constitutionally required pursuant to Bearden v. Georgia, 461 U.S. 660, 103 S. Ct. 2064, 76 L. Ed. 2d 221 (1983), and (2) the state introduced insufficient evidence to prove that the defendant wilfully refused to pay restitution. We agree that the court did not make the constitutionally requisite finding that the defendant's failure to pay restitution was wilful and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for a new probation revocation hearing.")

AC41168, AC41644 - State v. Knox (Criminal possession of firearm; tampering with physical evidence; motion for judgment of acquittal; right to counsel; "This case involves two separate appeals. First, in the appeal in Docket No. AC 41168, the state appeals from the decision of the trial court granting the motion for judgment of acquittal filed by the defendant, Rickie Lamont Knox, with respect to the charge of tampering with physical evidence in violation of General Statutes § 53a-155. The state contends that sufficient evidence existed to support this conviction. Second, in the appeal in Docket No. AC 41644, the defendant appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217. The defendant contends that his postarrest statements to the police had been obtained following a violation of the prophylactic rule created by our Supreme Court in State v. Purcell, 331 Conn. 318, 203 A.3d 542 (2019), and, therefore, should have been excluded from evidence. The defendant also argues that the court abused its discretion and violated his constitutional rights by admitting into evidence certain inculpatory portions of his police interview while excluding related contextual portions. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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