2.4-5 Impeachment -- Prior Convictions or Misconduct of Witness
Revised to December 1, 2007
The evidence that one of the (state/defense) witnesses, <insert name of witness>, <insert one of the following:>
- was previously convicted of the crime(s) of <insert crime(s)>
- has admitted (stealing / cheating / lying)
is only admissible on the question of the credibility of the witness, that is, the weight that you will give the witness's testimony. The witness's (criminal record / admission of act[s] of (stealing / cheating / lying)) bears only on this witness's credibility.
It is your duty to determine whether this witness is to be believed wholly, or partly, or not at all. You may consider the witness's (prior conviction / act[s] of (stealing / cheating / lying)) in weighing the credibility of this witness and give such weight to those facts that you decide is fair and reasonable in determining the credibility of this witness.
See generally General Statutes § 52-145; Code of Evidence § 4-5 (prior misconduct) and § 6-7 (a) (prior convictions).
In State v. Theriault, 38
Conn. App. 815, 818-23, cert. denied, 235 Conn. 922 (1995), the Appellate Court
ordered a new trial because the trial court had misstated the number of crimes
for which evidence had been presented against a witness, who was the only
witness linking the defendant to the alleged crime. Because this evidence was
highly relevant to the defendant's defense, "the trial court fell short of its
duty to refer the jury to the essential facts surrounding the jury instruction
regarding use of a witness's prior felony convictions." Id., 823.