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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

2.4-8  Impeachment -- Prior Convictions of Defendant

Revised to December 1, 2007

In this case evidence was introduced to show that in <insert year> the defendant was convicted of a felony, which is any crime for which a person may be incarcerated for more than one year.  Evidence of the commission of a crime other than the one charged is not admissible to prove the guilt of the defendant in this particular case.  The commission of other crimes by this defendant has been admitted into evidence for the sole purpose of affecting (his/her) credibility.  You must weigh the testimony and consider it along with all the other evidence in the case.  You may consider the convictions of the defendant only as they bear upon (his/her) credibility, and you should determine that credibility upon the same considerations as those given to any other witness.

Commentary

General Statutes § 52-145 (b) provides that "A person's . . . conviction of a crime may be shown for the purpose of affecting his credibility."  Under our Supreme Court's interpretation, "a conviction of a crime, whether or not the crime is denominated a felony, is admissible under § 52-145 only if the maximum permissible penalty for the crime may be imprisonment for more than one year."  State v. Braswell, 194 Conn. 297, 307, cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1112, 105 S. Ct. 793, 83 L. Ed. 2d 786 (1985).
 


 

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