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 Slip Opinion

by Booth, George


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.")