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Criminal Jury Instructions

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8.6-6  Inciting Injury to Persons or Property -- § 53a-179a

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified June 13, 2008)

Note:  Because of the dubious constitutionality of the inclusion of the words "justifies" and "praises" in this statute and the judicial gloss given it in State v. Ryan, 48 Conn. App. 148, cert. denied, 244 Conn. 930 (1998); see footnote 1; this instruction does not include those verbs.

The defendant is charged [in count __] with inciting injury to (persons / property).  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of inciting injury to (persons / property) when, in public or private, orally, in writing, in printing or in any other manner, (he/she) (advocates / encourages / incites / solicits)1 <insert as appropriate:>

  • the unlawful burning, injury to or destruction of any public or private property.

  • any assault upon (any organization of the armed forces of the United States or of this state / the police force of this or any other state or any officer or member thereof / the organized police or fire departments of any municipality or any officer or member thereof).

  • the killing or injuring of any class or body of persons, or of any individual.

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

Element 1 - Incitement
The first element is that the defendant (advocated / encouraged / incited / solicited) <insert as appropriate:>

  • the unlawful burning, injury to or destruction of any public or private property.

  • any assault upon (any organization of the armed forces of the United States or of this state / the police force of this or any other state or any officer or member thereof / the organized police or fire departments of any municipality or any officer or member thereof).

  • the killing or injuring of any class or body of persons, or of any individual.

[<Insert if applicable:>  As used in this statute the word "injury" means impairment of physical condition or pain.  There is no requirement that the impairment of physical condition or pain continue for any specific length of time.  It may be brief or lengthy.]

The words "(advocate / encourage / incite / solicit)" have their ordinary meaning.  They pertain to expressions and conduct that are likely to produce imminent action.  The word "imminent" means impending or about to occur.  It does not have a specific time frame.  The action need not immediately follow the expression or conduct if it is otherwise imminent.2

Element 2 - Intent
The second element is that the defendant specifically intended3 to cause injury to (a person / property).  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>  It is not necessary that the (person / property) was, in fact, injured.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant 1) <insert specific allegations under the first element>, and 2) (he/she) specifically intended to cause injury to <describe nature of alleged injury>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of inciting injury to persons or property, 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.
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1 See State v. Ryan, 48 Conn. App. 148, cert. denied, 244 Conn. 930, cert. denied, 525 U.S. 876, 119 S.Ct. 179, 142 L.Ed.2d 146 (1998), for an explication of this list of verbs.  "[W]here the legislature, out of a desire to assure that no artful semanticist will escape the burden of the statute, employs, indiscriminately, seriatim, a number of similar words, some virtually identical, others differing slightly, the better practice would appear to be to let each help to define the other.  Accordingly, we read 'justifies' and 'praises' in the sense of 'encourages,' 'advocates,' and 'incites.'"  (Internal quotation marks omitted.)  Id., 155-56.

2 See State v. Damato, 105 Conn. App. 335, 345-51, cert. denied, 286 Conn. 920 (2008) (discussing the imminence requirement).

3 "[J]udicial gloss makes it clear that the statute requires an intent to cause injury in addition to the proscribed language."  State v. Ryan, supra, 48 Conn. App. 152.

Commentary

General Statutes § 53a-179a is not unconstitutionally void for vagueness and overbreadth.  State v. Ryan, 48 Conn. App. 148, cert. denied, 244 Conn. 930 (1998); State v. Leary, 41 Conn. Sup. 525 (1989).

See State v. O'Neil, 65 Conn. App. 145 (2001), aff'd, 262 Conn. 295 (2003), for a discussion of the difference between solicitation and attempt.


 

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