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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

6.12-1  Coercion -- § 53a-192

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified June 13, 2008)

The defendant is charged [in count __] with coercion.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part: 

a person is guilty of coercion when (he/she) compels or induces another person to (engage in conduct which such other person has a legal right to abstain from engaging in / abstain from engaging in conduct in which such other person has a legal right to engage) by means of instilling in such other person a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the actor or another will <insert appropriate subsection:>

  • § 53a-192 (a) (1):  commit any criminal offense.

  • § 53a-192 (a) (2):  accuse any person of a criminal offense.

  • § 53a-192 (a) (3):  expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair any person's credit or business repute.

  • § 53a-192 (a) (4):  take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action.

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

Element 1 - Compelled or induced
The first element is that the defendant compelled or induced another person (to do something that person had the right not to do / not to do something that person had the right to do).  "Induce" means to move to action by persuasion or by influence.  "Compel" means to force or constrain to do something.  <Insert specific allegations.

The defendant must have specifically intended to compel or induce the other person <insert specific allegations>.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

Element 2 - By means of fear
The second element is that the defendant did this by instilling in the person a fear that, if the demand was not complied with, then the defendant or another person would <insert as appropriate:>

  • § 53a-192 (a) (1):  commit any criminal offense.

  • § 53a-192 (a) (2):  accuse any person of a criminal offense.

  • § 53a-192 (a) (3):  expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair any person's credit or business repute.

  • § 53a-192 (a) (4):  take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant compelled or induced <insert name of person> to <insert specific allegations>, and 2) (he/she) did so by instilling in the person a fear that, if the demand was not complied with, then the defendant or another person would <insert specific allegations>.

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

See State v. Payne, 40 Conn. App. 1, 14-17 (1995), aff'd on other grounds, 240 Conn. 766 (1997); State v. Nicoletti, 8 Conn. App. 351, 353-55 (1986).

Subsection (b) of the statute provides the following affirmative defense:  "It shall be an affirmative defense to prosecution based on subdivision (2), (3) or (4) of subsection (a) of this section that the actor believed the accusation or secret to be true or the proposed official action justified and that his purpose was limited to compelling the other person to behave in a way reasonably related to the circumstances which were the subject of the accusation, exposure or proposed official action, as by desisting from further misbehavior or making good a wrong done."

Sentence Enhancer
Section 53a-192 (c) provides an enhanced penalty if the threat is to commit a felony.  The jury must find this fact proved beyond a reasonable doubt.  See Sentence Enhancers, Instruction 2.11-4.
 


 

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