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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

2.7-2  Alibi

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified May 10, 2012)

The defendant has presented what is commonly known as an alibi defense.  This is a rebuttal by the defendant of the state's attempt to prove that the defendant was present at the scene of the crime and committed or participated in the acts charged.

It is up to the state to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which includes all the elements of a crime, including the defendant's presence at a stated place and the defendant's committing or participating in certain acts at that place at a given time.1  The alibi evidence that the defendant has placed before you seeks to convince you that the defendant was elsewhere at the time and therefore could not possibly have committed the acts charged.  Whether the defendant was or was not present at the scene of the crime, and therefore could or could not have done what the defendant has been charged with doing, is for you to decide, considering all the facts in the case.

Remember, the defendant does not have to prove (his/her) claim that (he/she) was elsewhere.  It is sufficient if, on considering all the evidence, there arises in your minds a reasonable doubt as to the defendant's presence at the scene of the crime when it was committed.  If you have such a doubt, then the defendant is entitled to be found not guilty.
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1 State v. Vasquez, 133 Conn. App. 785, 799 (2012); State v. Milardo, 224 Conn. 397, 405-407 (1993).

Commentary

An alibi is not an actual defense, but a denial of the state's accusations that the defendant was at a stated place at a stated time.  When an alibi is asserted and relied upon as a defense, the defendant is "entitled to have the jury charged that the evidence offered by [the defendant] on that subject is to be considered by them in connection with all the rest of the evidence in ascertaining whether [the defendant] was present, and that if a reasonable doubt on that point exists, it is the jury's duty to acquit [the defendant]."  State v. Butler, 207 Conn. 619, 631 (1988); see also State v. McKnight, 191 Conn. 564, 584 (1984); State v. Rosado, 178 Conn. 704, 708 n.2 (1979); State v. Moran, 53 Conn. App. 406, 411-13, cert. denied, 249 Conn. 925 (1999); State v. Marshall, 3 Conn. App. 126, 127-28 (1985), appeal dismissed, 199 Conn. 244 (1986).

A trial court has no duty to instruct upon alibi in the absence of a request even though substantial alibi evidence may have been introduced by the defense.  State v. Butler, supra, 207 Conn. 631.

The court is not required to give an alibi instruction unless the defendant has complied with the disclosure rule of Practice Book 40-21.  State v. Gonzalez, 69 Conn. App. 649, 662-66, cert. denied, 260 Conn. 937 (2002).
 


 

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