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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

5.1-4  Manslaughter in the Second Degree -- 53a-56 (a) (1)

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count ___] with manslaughter in the second degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when (he/she) recklessly causes the death of another person.

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

Element 1 - Caused death
The first element is that the defendant caused the death of <insert name of decedent>.  This means that the defendant's conduct was the proximate cause of the decedent's death.  You must find it proved beyond a reasonable doubt that <insert name of decedent> died as a result of the actions of the defendant.  <See Proximate Cause, Instruction 2.6-1.>
 

Element 2 - Recklessness
The second element is that the defendant's actions that resulted in the death of <insert name of decedent> were reckless.  A person acts "recklessly" with respect to a result or circumstances when (he/she) is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstances exist.  <See Recklessness, Instruction 2.3-4.>
 

Conclusion
In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant caused the death of <insert name of decedent>, and 2) the defendant's actions that resulted in the death were reckless.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of manslaughter in the second degree, 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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