History of the Connecticut Judicial Seal Home Home BannerBanner

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

   
Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

4.6-2  Possession of Weapon or Dangerous Instrument in a Correctional Institution -- § 53a-174a

Revised to April 23, 2010

The defendant is charged [in count ___] with possession of a weapon or dangerous instrument in a correctional institution.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of possession of a weapon or dangerous instrument in a correctional institution when, being an inmate of such institution, (he/she) knowingly (makes / conveys from place to place / has in (his/her) possession or under (his/her) control) any (firearm / weapon / dangerous instrument / explosive / any substance or thing designed to kill, injure or disable).

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:  

Element 1 - Inmate in a correctional institution
The first element is that the defendant at the time of the alleged offense was an inmate in <insert name of facility> and that <insert name of facility> is a correctional institution.  "Correctional institution" means any correctional facility administered by the commissioner of correction.  

Element 2 - Knowingly made, conveyed, possessed, or controlled
The second element is that the defendant knowingly (made / conveyed from place to place / had in (his/her) possession or under (his/her) control) certain weapons or dangerous instruments.  In this case, it is alleged that the defendant <insert allegations and type of weapon>.

"Knowingly" means that (he/she) was aware that (he/she) (possessed / made / conveyed / had under (his/her) control) <insert type of weapon>.  <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.

["Possess" means to have physical possession or otherwise to exercise dominion or control over tangible property.] 

Element 3 - Weapon or dangerous instrument
The third element is that the item[s] the defendant had in (his/her) possession was a (firearm / weapon / dangerous instrument / explosive / a substance or thing designed to kill, injure, or disable>.   <Insert the appropriate definition:>

  • "Firearm" means any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged.

  • "Weapon" includes anything used or designed to be used in destroying, defeating, or injuring an enemy.

  • "Dangerous instrument" means any instrument, article or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used or attempted or threatened to be used, is capable of causing death or serious physical injury.  "Serious physical injury" means physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health or serious loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.  It is important to note that the article need not be inherently dangerous; all that is required is that the article was capable of causing death or serious physical injury under the circumstances in which it was used.  Any article or substance, without limitation and even though harmless under normal use, may be found by you to be a dangerous instrument if, under the circumstances of its use or threatened or attempted use, it is capable of producing serious physical injury or death.  The state need not prove that in fact death or serious physical injury resulted, only that the instrument had that potential under the circumstances.

  • "Explosive" is any chemical compound, mixture, or device that functions by explosion.1

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was an inmate at a correctional institution, 2) the defendant knowingly (made/ conveyed / possessed / had under (his/her) control) a weapon, and 3) the weapon was a <insert type of weapon>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of possession of a weapon or dangerous instrument in a correctional institution, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
_______________________________________________________

1 Also see definition in General Statutes § 29-343.
 


 

Attorneys | Case Look-up | Courts | Directories | Educational Resources | E-Services | Español | FAQ's | Juror Information | Media | Opinions | Opportunities | Self-Help | Home

Common Legal Words | Contact Us | Site Map | Website Policies and Disclaimers

Copyright © 2011, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch