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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

4.1-2  Bribe Receiving -- § 53a-148

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified August 1, 2008)

The defendant is charged [in count ___] with bribe receiving.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a (public servant / a person selected to be a public servant) is guilty of bribe receiving if (he/she) (solicits / accepts / agrees to accept) from another person any benefit (for / because of / as consideration for) (his/her) (decision / opinion / recommendation / vote).

This section prohibits the receipt of a benefit by a public servant, given to (him/her) or so solicited by (him/her) for the purpose of influencing (his/her) conduct.  The essence of the crime of bribe receiving is that a (public servant / person selected to be a public servant) (solicits / accepts / agrees to accept) a benefit from another person.  The bribe must relate to the exercise of the public servant's official powers or to the function of the (public servant / person selected to be a public servant), as opposed to (his/her) individual capacity. 

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

Element 1 - Public servant
The first element is that on the date of the offense the defendant was a (public servant / a person selected to be a public servant).  <Insert the applicable definitions:>

  • A "public servant" is an officer or employee of government or a quasi-public agency, elected or appointed, and any person participating as adviser, consultant or otherwise, either paid or unpaid, in performing a governmental function.

  • A "person selected to be a public servant" means any person who has been nominated or appointed to be a public servant.

Element 2 - Benefit sought
The second element is that the defendant (solicited / accepted / agreed to accept) a benefit from <insert name of the person>.  "Benefit" means a monetary advantage, or anything regarded by the beneficiary as a monetary advantage, including benefit to any person or entity in whose welfare the beneficiary is interested.

Element 3 - For consideration
The third element is that the defendant (solicited / accepted / agreed to accept) from <insert name of the person> the benefit, as consideration for (his/her) (decision / opinion / recommendation / vote).  In this case, the state alleges that the benefit was <insert the benefit alleged>.  "Decision" signifies any exercise of discretion by the public servant.1

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was a (public servant / a person selected to be a public servant) on the date of the offense, 2) the defendant (solicited / accepted / agreed to accept) a benefit from <insert name of person>, and 3) the defendant did so as consideration for (his/her) (decision / opinion / recommendation / vote).

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of bribe receiving, 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. Rado, 14 Conn. App. 322, 329-30, cert. denied, 208 Conn. 813, cert. denied, 488 U.S. 927, 109 S.Ct. 311, 102 L.Ed.2d 330 (1988).

Commentary

"[T]he date the defendant receive[s] the money is not a material element. . . .  Indeed, the defendant might be convicted under the statute without ever having received the money.  It is sufficient for the state to prove that the defendant 'solicits' or 'agrees to accept' any benefit in consideration for his decision."  (Citations omitted.)  State v. Bergin, 214 Conn. 657, 668 (1990).

It is immaterial and no defense that the public servant had no authority to take the action solicited by the bribe.  State v. Carr, 172 Conn. 458, 468 (1977).
 


 

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