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 and Appellate Court Opinions

by Zigadto, Janet


SC20087 - State v. Blaine ("The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether the defendant's conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2) should be reversed under the plain error doctrine due to an alleged error in the trial court's jury instructions. The defendant, Jayevon Blaine, contends that the trial court improperly failed to instruct the jury on an essential element of the crime as required by State v. Pond, 138 Conn. App. 228, 238–39, 50 A.3d 950 (2012), aff'd, 315 Conn. 451, 108 A.3d 1083 (2015), namely, that he agreed and specifically intended that he or another participant in the robbery would be 'armed with a deadly weapon . . . .' General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (2). The Appellate Court held that there was no 'obvious and undebatable error' in the trial court's jury instructions because the relevant instructions 'logically required the jury to find that the defendant had agreed that a participant would be armed with a deadly weapon.' State v. Blaine, 179 Conn. App. 499, 510, 180 A.3d 622 (2018). The Appellate Court also held that, even if the instructions were erroneous, there was no manifest injustice necessitating reversal of the defendant's conviction because '[e]very witness who testified that the agreement existed also testified that use of a weapon was contemplated.' Id., 511. We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")

AC42443 - State v. Francis ("The defendant, Maurice Francis, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered by the trial court of one count of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly denied his motion for a judgment of acquittal because there was insufficient evidence to establish that he caused the death of the victim or that he had the specific intent to cause the death of the victim. In the alternative, the defendant requests that we change our long-standing standard of review with respect to insufficiency of evidence claims, so that we review the evidence under a much more rigorous standard to determine if there is a reasonable view of the evidence that would support a hypothesis of innocence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")