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Criminal Jury Instructions

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8.9-5  Hazing -- § 53-23a

Revised to December 1, 2007

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

no (student organization / member of a student organization) shall engage in hazing any member or person pledged to be a member of the organization.  The implied or express consent of the person shall not be a defense in any action brought under this section.

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

Element 1 - By student organization or member
The first element is that at the time of the hazing the defendant was a (student organization / member of a student organization).  "Student organization" means a fraternity, sorority or any other organization organized or operating at an institution of higher education.1

Element 2 - Hazing
The second element is that the defendant engaged in hazing.2  "Hazing" means any action which (recklessly / intentionally) endangers the health or safety of a person for the purpose of initiation, admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a student organization.  The term shall include, but not be limited to <insert as appropriate:>

  • requiring indecent exposure of the body.

  • requiring any activity that would subject the person to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation or extended isolation from social contact.

  • confinement of the person to unreasonably small, unventilated, unsanitary or unlighted areas.

  • any assault upon the person.  This means the intentional infliction of physical injury.

  • requiring the ingestion of any substance or any other physical activity which could adversely affect the health or safety of the individual.

The term shall not include an action sponsored by an institution of higher education which requires any athletic practice, conditioning, or competition or curricular activity.  "Initiation" means a formal ceremonial admission into a student organization.  "Affiliation" means to be in close association or connection to a student organization.

<Insert as appropriate:>

  • A person acts "recklessly" with respect to a result or circumstances when (he/she) is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstances exist.  <See Recklessness, Instruction 2.3-4.>

  • 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 3 - Of a member or pledge
The third element is that the person hazed was either a member or a person pledged to be a member of the student organization.  The implied or express consent of the member or pledge is not a defense to this prosecution.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was a (student organization / member of a student organization), 2) (he/she/it) engaged in hazing, and 3) <insert name of person subjected to hazing> was a member or pledge of the organization.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of hazing, 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 General Statutes § 53-23a (a) (2).

2 Hazing is defined in § 53a-23a (a) (1).


 


 

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