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


SC19532 - State v. McClean (Murder; assault first degree; carrying pistol without permit; "The principal issue in this certified appeal is whether an implied waiver of a claim of instructional error pursuant to State v. Kitchens, 299 Conn. 447, 482–83, 10 A.3d 942 (2011), precludes review of that claim under the plain error doctrine. The defendant, Tajah McClain, appeals, upon our grant of his petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of, inter alia, murder with a firearm in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-54a and 53-202k. See State v. McClain, 154 Conn. App. 281, 283, 105 A.3d 924 (2014). On appeal, the defendant contends that the Appellate Court improperly determined that a Kitchens waiver precluded plain error review of his claim of instructional error because the implied acquiescence of counsel cannot waive an error of such magnitude. Further, the defendant claims that the trial court's failure to instruct the jury on consciousness of guilt resulted in manifest injustice necessitating reversal under the plain error doctrine. Although we agree with the defendant that a Kitchens waiver does not necessarily foreclose plain error review of that same claim, we conclude that the trial court's decision not to instruct the jury on consciousness of guilt in the present case was not plain error. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")