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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

4.1-1  Bribery -- § 53a-147

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

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

a person is guilty of bribery if (he/she) (promises / offers / confers / agrees to confer) upon a (public servant / a person selected to be a public servant), any benefit as consideration for the recipient's (decision / opinion / recommendation / vote) as a (public servant / a person selected to be a public servant).

The essence of the crime of bribery is the voluntary giving of something of monetary value to a (public servant / a person selected to be a public servant) to influence the performance of official duty.

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

Element 1 - Benefit
The first element is that the defendant (promised / offered / conferred / agreed to confer) a benefit.  "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 2 - To public servant
The second element is that at the time that the benefit was (promised / offered / conferred / agreed to be conferred), the person who was to receive that benefit was a (public servant / 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, 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 3 - For consideration
The third element is that the benefit was consideration for the recipient's (decision / opinion / recommendation / vote) as a (public servant / person selected to be a public servant).  In this case the state alleges that the benefit was <identify the benefit>.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant (promised / offered / conferred / agreed to confer) a benefit, 2) to a public servant, and 3) in consideration for the recipient's (decision / opinion / recommendation / vote) as a (public servant / person selected to be a public servant).

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of bribery, 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.

Commentary

Section 53a-147 does not require proof of a specific intent to influence official behavior. State v. Carr, 172 Conn. 458, 466 (1977).

It is no defense that the public servant sought to be influenced could not have acted in the manner desired because the result sought was outside the scope of the public servant's authority.  Nor is it necessary to show that the alleged bribe had the desired result.  Id., 468. 

Lesser included offenses
Offering a gift to a police officer, General Statutes § 29-9, is not a lesser included offense of § 53a-147, because it requires proof of specific intent, which the offense of bribery does not.  State v. Carr, supra, 172 Conn. 467.
 


 

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