2011 Connecticut Code
Title 53a Penal Code
Chapter 952 Penal Code: Offenses
Sec. 53a-54a. Murder.

      Sec. 53a-54a. Murder. (a) A person is guilty of murder when, with intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person or causes a suicide by force, duress or deception; except that in any prosecution under this subsection, it shall be an affirmative defense that the defendant committed the proscribed act or acts under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse, the reasonableness of which is to be determined from the viewpoint of a person in the defendant's situation under the circumstances as the defendant believed them to be, provided nothing contained in this subsection shall constitute a defense to a prosecution for, or preclude a conviction of, manslaughter in the first degree or any other crime.

      (b) Evidence that the defendant suffered from a mental disease, mental defect or other mental abnormality is admissible, in a prosecution under subsection (a) of this section, on the question of whether the defendant acted with intent to cause the death of another person.

      (c) Murder is punishable as a class A felony in accordance with subdivision (2) of section 53a-35a unless it is a capital felony or murder under section 53a-54d.

      (P.A. 73-137, S. 2; P.A. 80-442, S. 15, 28; P.A. 83-486, S. 4; P.A. 92-260, S. 26.)

      History: P.A. 80-442 amended Subsec. (c) to specify punishment in accordance with Sec. 53a-35a(2), deleting reference to death penalty imposed as provided by Sec. 53a-46a for capital felony, effective July 1, 1981; P.A. 83-486 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing "acted" with "committed the proscribed act or acts"; P.A. 92-260 amended Subsec. (c) to add exception for murder under Sec. 53a-54d.

      See Sec. 53a-54b re capital felony.

      See Sec. 53a-54c re felony murder.

      Cited. 171 C. 241. Cited. 173 C. 414. Cited. 176 C. 508; 177 C. 1. Cited. 178 C. 450; Id., 626. Cited. 179 C. 1; Id., 431. Cited. 180 C. 141. Constitutionally permissible for a jury to find a defendant indicted for murder guilty of homicide in a lesser degree where the evidence supports such a finding although the state of mind required is different. Id., 382. Cited. Id., 589. Cited. 181 C. 406. Cited. 182 C. 66; Id., 388; Id., 497; Id., 603. Cited. 185 C. 163. Cited. 186 C. 261; Id., 476. Cited. 188 C. 626. Cited. 189 C. 303; Id., 346. 190 C. 639. Cited. 191 C. 233; Id., 545. Cited. 194 C. 408; Id., 416; Id., 483; Id., 530. Cited. 195 C. 475. Cited. 196 C. 667. Cited. 197 C. 60; Id., 180; Id., 337; Id., 436; Id., 507. Cited. 198 C. 124; Id., 209; Id., 397; Id., 542; Id., 560; Id., 573; Id., 644. Cited. 199 C. 102; Id., 155; Id., 163; Id., 631; Id., 718. Cited. 200 C. 553. Cited. 201 C. 174; Id., 190; Id., 276; Id., 368; Id., 605. Cited. 202 C. 18; Id., 75; Id., 86; Id., 316. Cited. 203 C. 212; Id., 641. Cited. 204 C. 240. Cited. 205 C. 279; Id., 298; Id., 507; Id., 616. Cited. 206 C. 182. Cited. Id., 213. Cited. Id., 323. Cited. Id., 346; Id., 512; Id., 678. Cited. 207 C. 374; Id., 646. Cited. 208 C. 125. Cited. 209 C. 225; Id., 290; Id., 622. Cited. 210 C. 78; Id., 304; Id., 519; Id., 631; Id., 652. Cited. 211 C. 215; Id., 289; Id., 441. Cited. 212 C. 325; Id., 387; Id., 612. Cited. 213 C. 97; Id., 243; Id., 388; Id., 405; Id., 579; Id., 593; Id., 708. Cited. 214 C. 57; Id., 77; Id., 118; Id., 454; Id., 476; Id., 493; Id., 616. Cited. 215 C. 231; Id., 277; Id., 570; Id., 646; Id., 695; Id., 739. Cited. 216 C. 139; Id., 188; Id., 282; Id., 301; Id., 585; Id., 699. Cited. 218 C. 349; Id., 486; Id., 714. Cited. 219 C. 16; Id., 596; Id., 721. Cited. 220 C. 169; Id., 270; Id., 285; Id., 602; Id., 765. Cited. 221 C. 58; Id., 93; Id., 109. Cited. 222 C. 506. Cited. 223 C. 273; Id., 674. Cited. 224 C. 63; Id., 168; Id., 372. Cited. 225 C. 55; Id., 114; Id., 524; Id., 609. Cited. 226 C. 20; Id., 237; Id., 497. Cited. 227 C. 231; Id., 301; Id., 417; Id., 456; Id., 566. Cited. 228 C. 62; Id., 118; Id., 281; Id., 412. Cited. 229 C. 125; Id., 193; Id., 328; Id., 691. Cited. 231 C. 43; Id., 115; Id., 235. Cited. 233 C. 44; Id., 215. Cited. 234 C. 139; Id., 324; Id., 381; Id., 683. Cited. 235 C. 206; Id., 274; Id., 397; Id., 413; Id., 473. Cited. 236 C. 189. Failure of trial court to instruct jury on extreme emotional disturbance was error; judgment of appellate court affirming judgment of trial court in State v. Person, 36 CA 448, reversed, Id., 342. Affirmative defense of extreme emotional disturbance cited. Id. Cited. Id., 514. Cited. 237 C. 58; Id., 339; Id., 364; Id., 518; Id., 694. Under appropriate circumstances defendant can simultaneously intend to cause death of, and serious physical injury to, the same person; judgment of appellate court in State v. Williams, 39 CA 18, reversed. Id., 748. Cited. 238 C. 389; Id., 588. Cited. 239 C. 56; Id., 481. Cited. 240 C. 210; Id., 727; Id., 743. Cited. 241 C. 322; Id., 502; Id., 702. Cited. 242 C. 605; Id., 666. Cited. 247 C. 318. Evidence that defendant merely solicited a murder by mailing a coded letter from the correctional facility where he was incarcerated, without any accompanying or following act of perpetration was insufficient to support a conviction for attempted murder. 262 C. 295.

      Cited. 7 CA 180; Id., 223; Id., 470. Cited. 10 CA 357. Cited. 12 CA 32; Id., 217. Cited. 17 CA 502; judgment reversed, see 213 C. 579; Id., 602. Cited. 19 CA 111; judgment reversed, see 215 C. 538; Id., 440; Id., 609; Id., 674. Cited. 22 CA 669. Cited. 24 CA 115; Id., 244; Id., 692. Cited. 25 CA 104; Id., 433; Id., 456. Cited. 26 CA 259. Cited. 27 CA 1; Id., 520. Cited. 28 CA 416; Id., 548; Id., 425; Id., 608; Id., 771. Cited. 29 CA 386; Id., 452; Id., 499. Cited. 30 CA 677. Cited. 32 CA 170. Cited. 33 CA 90; Id., 763. Cited. 34 CA 103; Id., 317. Cited. 35 CA 438; Id., 541; Id., 762. Cited. 36 CA 250; Id., 345; Id., 364; Id., 448; judgment reversed, see 236 C. 342; Id., 473; Id., 506; Id., 516; Id., 556. Cited. 37 CA 749. Cited. 38 CA 371; Id., 434. Cited. 39 CA 18; judgment reversed, see 237 C. 748; Id., 242; Id., 224; Id., 632. Cited. 40 CA 151; Id., 318; Id., 387. Cited. 41 CA 604; Id., 809. Cited. 42 CA 348; Id., 555. Cited. 43 CA 61; Id., 549. Cited. 44 CA 6; Id., 70; Id., 231; Id., 476; Id., 790. Cited. 45 CA 148; Id., 207; Id., 261; Id., 584. Cited. 46 CA 216; Id., 285; Id., 578; Cited. Id., 640. Id., 684; Id., 734. Evidence was sufficient beyond a reasonable doubt to conclude that defendant intended to cause victim's death. 55 CA 469. It is possible to commit attempted murder without creating risk of any physical injury to another person. 56 CA 592. Failure of trial court to inform defendant of intent requirement under statute not plain error. 65 CA 234. Trial court did not improperly exclude proffered evidence re defendant's claim of intoxication at time of murder. 91 CA 169.

      Cited. 40 CS 38; Id., 498. Cited. 42 CS 10; Id., 426. Cited. 43 CS 367.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 172 C. 65. "Extreme emotional disturbance" guidelines. 177 C. 1. Cited. Id., 487. Cited. 180 C. 171. Cited. 181 C. 268; Id., 284. Cited. 182 C. 142; Id., 585; part of ruling in State v. Jacobowitz, in which court had ruled that a defendant was entitled on remand to a direction of acquittal with respect to a count improperly added to other charges of which the defendant had had proper notice overruled, see 224 C. 1. Cited. 184 C. 121. Cited. 186 C. 414; Id., 574. Cited. 187 C. 6. Cited. 190 C. 219. Cited. 191 C. 27. Cited. 192 C. 700. Cited. 193 C. 474; Id., 646. Cited. 194 C. 376; Id., 392. Cited. 195 C. 166; Id., 232; Id., 651. Cited. 196 C. 557. Cited. 197 C. 106; Id., 595. Cited. 198 C. 53; Id., 77. Cited. 200 C. 224; Id., 607; Id., 642; Id., 743. Charge on this defense was inadequate under the circumstances. 201 C. 174. Cited. Id., 244; Id., 534. Cited. 202 C. 259; Id., 429. Cited. 204 C. 207; Id., 259. Cited. 205 C. 370; Id., 578; Id., 723. Cited. 206 C. 229; Id., 300; Id., 391. Cited. 208 C. 455. Cited. 209 C. 596. Cited. 210 C. 481; Id., 619. Cited. 212 C. 258; Id., 351; Id., 593. Cited. 214 C. 122; Id., 146; Id., 161; Id., 344; Id., 540. Cited. 216 C. 492. Cited. 217 C. 243. Interpretation of section not to require reasonableness of a defendant's extreme emotional disturbance to be determined solely from his subjective viewpoint. Id., 648. Cited. 218 C. 747; Id., 766. Cited. 219 C. 234; Id., 295. Cited. 220 C. 385; Id., 408. Cited. 221 C. 128; Id., 430. Cited. 222 C. 1; Id., 718. Cited. 223 C. 41; Id., 127; Id., 207; Id., 384; Id., 411; Id., 535; Id., 635. Cited. 224 C. 196; Id., 325. Cited. 227 C. 389; Id., 448. Cited. 228 C. 384. Cited. 230 C. 183. Cited. 232 C. 537. Cited. 233 C. 1; Id., 106; Id., 174; Id., 517; Id., 813. Cited. 236 C. 388. Cited. 238 C. 253; Id., 313; Id., 395. Cited. 241 C. 1; Id., 665. Cited. 242 C. 409; Id., 485. Cited. 243 C. 205. Term "death" as used in Penal Code includes irreversible cessation of functioning of brain. 244 C. 761. Section incorporates the doctrine of transferred intent and holds both a principal and an accomplice liable for death of an unintended victim. 253 C. 354. Re jury charge on extreme emotional disturbance, it was proper for trial court to refuse to instruct jury to consider defendant's unique mental and emotional characteristics and impact of those characteristics on defendant since the statute incorporates a standard that is objective as to its overview, but subjective as to the defendant's belief. 261 C. 336. Defendant was entitled to a jury instruction on the lesser included offense of manslaughter as set forth in Sec. 53a-55(a)(1). 262 C. 453. Statute specifically provides for intent to be transferred from the target of defendant's conduct to an unintended victim. 273 C. 393. The "born alive" rule, which prescribes that only one who has been born alive can be the victim of a homicide, was the common law of this state when the penal code was adopted and has not been abrogated by the legislature, and therefore trial court properly determined that an infant who is born alive and who subsequently dies of injuries sustained in utero is a "person" within meaning of homicide statutes; nothing in section requires a temporal nexus between the victim's status as a person and the conduct that brings about the person's death; transferred intent provisions are equally applicable to a fetus born alive as they are to any other person. 296 C. 622.

      Cited. 7 CA 367; Id., 457. Cited. 8 CA 496; Id., 147; judgment reversed, see 206 C. 278; Id., 169; judgment reversed, see 205 C. 370. Cited. 10 CA 697. Cited. 11 CA 80; Id., 628. Cited. 20 CA 27. Cited. 21 CA 801. Cited. 22 CA 199; Id., 507; Id., 521. Cited. 23 CA 692. Cited. 24 CA 624. Cited. 26 CA 242. Cited. 27 CA 73; Id., 403; Id., 643. Cited. 28 CA 231; Id., 469. Cited. 29 CA 573. Cited. 30 CA 406; judgment reversed, see 228 C. 335. Cited. 31 CA 385. Cited. 32 CA 438; Id., 687; Id., 759. Cited. 33 CA 122; Id., 782. Cited. 34 CA 58; judgment reversed, see 232 C. 537; Id., 96; judgment reversed, see 232 C. 537; Id., 368; see also 233 C. 517. Cited. 35 CA 138; Id., 374; judgment reversed, see 235 C. 413; Id., 541. Cited. 36 CA 336; Id., 417; Id., 805; Id., 831. Cited. 37 CA 252; judgment reversed, see 236 C. 388; Id., 404; Id., 574. Cited. 40 CA 47; Id., 60; Id., 374; Id., 470. Cited. 41 CA 361; Id., 495; Id., 515. Cited. 43 CA 252; Id., 830. Cited. 44 CA 198; Id., 338. Cited. 45 CA 297. Cited. 46 CA 600. Statute sets forth a standard that is objective in its overview, but subjective as to defendant's belief. 48 CA 784. Trial court's instruction re extreme emotional disturbance defense was proper. 55 CA 469. Cited. 57 CA 734. Subsec. permits conviction of manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm under Sec. 53a-55a regardless of extreme emotional disturbance defense. 86 CA 784. One who uses deadly weapon upon a vital part of another will be deemed to have intended the probable result of that act, and from such circumstance a proper inference may be drawn in some cases that there was an intent to kill. 95 CA 263. Murder is a specific intent crime and although court's instruction improperly referred to general intent to engage in proscribed conduct, the erroneous instruction was not harmful beyond a reasonable doubt and defendant was not deprived of fair trial because court also properly instructed jury that it had to find defendant intended to cause victim's death. 99 CA 230. A homicide influenced by an extreme emotional disturbance is not one which is necessarily committed in hot blood stage, but rather one that was brought about by a significant mental trauma that caused defendant to brood for long period of time and then react violently, seemingly without provocation. 104 CA 780.

      Subsec. must be read without the word "affirmative". The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of the offense charged without imposing any burden on the defendant. 33 CS 28. Unborn not included in definition of "person". 40 CS 498. Cited re ineffective counsel claim. 46 CS 344.

      Subsec. (b):

      Evidence of mental capacity admissible when defendant is charged with commission of crime under which state must prove defendant acted recklessly. 195 C. 232.

      Subsec. (c):

      Cited. 180 C. 171. Cited. 181 C. 151. Cited. 193 C. 144; Id., 350. Cited. 194 C. 376; Id., 392. Cited. 196 C. 655. Cited. 200 C. 721. Cited. 201 C. 244; Id., 395. Cited. 205 C. 638. Cited. 214 C. 378.

      Cited erroneously as Sec. 53a-54(c). 41 CA 530.


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