State of Utah v. Delgado

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State v. Delgado Case No. 20000899-CA



State of Utah,
Plaintiff and Appellee,


Jose Delgado,
Defendant and Appellant.

(Not For Official Publication)

Case No. 20000899-CA

(December 6, 2001)

2001 UT App 369



Fourth District, Provo Department
The Honorable Raymond S. Uno

Randall K. Spencer and Jennifer K. Gowans, Provo, for Appellant
Mark L. Shurtleff and Jeffrey T. Colemere, Salt Lake City, for Appellee


Before Judges Greenwood, Jackson, and Bench.

BENCH, Judge:

Defendant argues that the trial court erred when it instructed the jury on the culpable mens rea for the offense of transportation or possession of items prohibited in a correctional facility, a violation of Utah Code Ann. § 76-8-311.3(4)(c) (1999). The trial court instructed the jury that it must find that Defendant committed the offense "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly." Defendant argues that the instruction should not have included recklessness as a culpable mental state.

Section 76-8-311.3(4)(c) provides: "Any offender who possesses at a correctional facility . . . any firearm, ammunition, dangerous weapon, or implement of escape is guilty of a second degree felony." Id. Because subsection (4)(c) does not identify a culpable mental state, Defendant contends that we should look to other subsections within section 76-8-311.3. See, e.g., Utah Code Ann. § 76-8-311.3(2)(d), (4)(d), (4)(e), and (5)(d). These other subsections identify the culpable mental state for similar crimes committed by "any person"--including inmates--as either knowing or intentional. Id. Defendant argues that we should read this same language into subsection (4)(c), which deals only with persons already "in custody at a correctional facility." Id. § 76-8-311.3(1)(f).

Defendant's approach, however, is contrary to longstanding rules of statutory construction. When interpreting a statute, we "'first examine the statute's plain language.'" State v. Chaney, 1999 UT App 309,¶22, 989 P.2d 1091 (citation omitted). We also "'presume that the Legislature used each term advisedly.'" Id. (citation omitted). Had the Legislature intended the mens rea for subsection (4)(c) to be intentional or knowing, it could have easily included that specific language as it did in other subsections. See, e.g., Utah Code Ann. § 76-8-311.3(2)(d), (4)(d), (4)(e), and (5)(d). For us to read such language into subsection (4)(c) would be contrary to the plain meaning of the statutes.

Utah Code Annotated § 76-2-102 (1999) instructs that "when the definition of the offense does not specify a culpable mental state and the offense does not involve strict liability, intent, knowledge, or recklessness shall suffice to establish criminal responsibility." Id. Section 76-8-311.3(4)(c) does not "indicate[] a legislative purpose to impose criminal responsibility . . . without requiring proof of any culpable mental state." Id. § 76-2-102. Therefore, we conclude that the trial court did not err in instructing the jury that the culpable mental state for this crime was either knowing, intentional, or reckless.

Accordingly, Defendant's conviction is affirmed.

Russell W. Bench, Judge



Pamela T. Greenwood, Presiding Judge

Norman H. Jackson, Associate Presiding Judge