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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

7.4-2  Defense to Obscenity -- § 53a-195

Revised to December 1, 2007

The state has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime of obscenity.  The law also recognizes that under certain circumstances a person might be justified in possessing allegedly obscene material.  In the case of enforcement officials, universities, and other persons or institutions having some governmental, educational, or scientific interest in the material, it is a defense that the audience to an allegedly obscene performance, or the persons to whom allegedly obscene material was disseminated, consisted of persons or institutions having scientific, educational, governmental, or similar justification for possessing or viewing the same.

The state has the burden of disproving this defense beyond a reasonable doubt.

Conclusion

<Substitute for the concluding paragraph in the offense instruction.>  If you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements of obscenity, you shall then find the defendant not guilty and not consider (his/her) defense.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements, then you shall consider the defense of justification.   If you unanimously find that the state has disproved the defense beyond a reasonable doubt, you must reject that defense and find the defendant guilty.  If, on the other hand, you unanimously find that the state has not disproved the defense beyond a reasonable doubt, then on the strength of that defense alone you must find the defendant not guilty of obscenity despite the fact that you have found the elements of that crime proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


 

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