2011 Connecticut Code
Title 52 Civil Actions
Chapter 899 Evidence
Sec. 52-145. Certain witnesses not disqualified. Credibility.

      Sec. 52-145. Certain witnesses not disqualified. Credibility. (a) A person shall not be disqualified as a witness in any action because of, (1) his interest in the outcome of the action as a party or otherwise, (2) his disbelief in the existence of a supreme being, or (3) his conviction of crime.

      (b) A person's interest in the outcome of the action or his conviction of crime may be shown for the purpose of affecting his credibility.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7868; P.A. 82-160, S. 61.)

      History: P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section and inserted Subsec. indicators.

      Wife may testify for husband. 3 D. 57; 20 C. 354. The conviction must be of an infamous crime; a petty offense is not sufficient. 57 C. 432; 104 C. 124. Record of a judgment of conviction vacated by appeal is insufficient. 57 C. 432. Cited. 58 C. 64. Particular instances of untruthfulness inadmissible to affect credit of witness. 72 C. 204. Attorney trying case cannot ordinarily be witness therein; Id., 437; 80 C. 531; 81 C. 350; otherwise, if he is also a party; 68 C. 206; 85 C. 211; and he may be called by adverse party. 81 C. 344. Insolvent debtor may testify as to knowledge of insolvency when transfer was made. 75 C. 17. Incapacity to manage his affairs does not disqualify witness. 76 C. 406. Where accused becomes witness for himself, usual rules as to attacking credit apply. 67 C. 290; 76 C. 94; 87 C. 22; 89 C. 417. Evidence of arrest alone not sufficient. 76 C. 92; 86 C. 262. Party to action is ordinarily competent. 79 C. 478. Members of a commission may testify as to proceedings before it; 75 C. 248; 76 C. 567; so judge, as to claims of law made on trial. 82 C. 51. Evidence that witness has incurred expenses which he must pay if party producing him loses is admissible. 74 C. 555. Nature of crimes conviction of which may be shown. 95 C. 501; 104 C. 124; Id., 264; 106 C. 350. When a child is competent. 100 C. 570. Improper reference to this statute held cured by instruction of judge. 108 C. 192. Statement of witness that he has scruples against taking oath must be taken as true; belief in supreme being does not destroy witness's right to take affirmation instead of oath. 109 C. 712. Purpose of statute to remove common law disqualification of witness because of conviction of crime. 121 C. 678. For purpose of affecting credibility conviction of crime may be shown by questions on cross-examination. Id.; 132 C. 574; Overruling 72 C. 205 and 97 C. 452. Owner is competent witness to location of bounds and occupancy of own land when within his personal knowledge. 125 C. 333. Where plaintiff administrator was questioned on direct as to decedent's health and financial standing, question on cross as to whether he expected to share in recovery in case was proper. 131 C. 515. Cited. 136 C. 106. Fact that conviction was ten years before went to weight not to admissibility. 137 C. 140. Conviction of section 53-246 "intoxication" is not infamous crime to attack credibility of a witness. 140 C. 39. Cited. 149 C. 125. A plea of guilty by one of several persons charged with a crime can be no more than hearsay as to others so charged. Therefore, while the plea may be used to attack the credibility of the one so pleading if he testifies as a witness for or against the others, it is not admissible on the trial of the others to establish that the crime was committed. 150 C. 195. The conviction of a crime, whether or not denominated a felony by statute, is admissible in evidence to affect credibility under this section only if the maximum permissible penalty for the crime may be imprisonment for more than one year, and the presence or absence of moral turpitude is not a consideration affecting the admissibility. 152 C. 472. Where defendant chose to take stand on his own behalf, question on cross-examination as to prior conviction was properly asked of him in his capacity as a witness, but court does not consider whether defendant could raise his constitutional privilege against compulsory self-incrimination. 153 C. 30. In same case, use of defendant's answer, over his objection, in second part of information, brought under habitual criminal statute, was a violation of his constitutional privilege against compulsory self-incrimination. Id., 34, 35. Cited. Id., 208;. Cited. 154 C. 68, 74. Writ, summons and complaint in another action brought by plaintiff admissible to affect credibility insofar as testimony in present action is inconsistent with prior claim. On redirect plaintiff should be allowed to show extent of his knowledge of allegations in prior writ. 155 C. 197. Cited. 158 C. 156. Where statement of witness was offered to show bias against defendant, it was properly excluded where it related to criminal activity of witness for which he had not been convicted. Id., 536. Judge's discretion to exclude evidence as prejudicial. 160 C. 47. Court's instructions to jury as to historic common law background and purpose of statute does not raise any federal constitutional questions. Id., 171, 175. Cited. Id., 378. Impeachment of witness on the basis of misconduct accomplished only by proof of felony convictions. 164 C. 145. Specific acts of misconduct to show lack of veracity cannot be shown by extrinsic evidence. Id. Cited. 165 C. 559. Cited. 166 C. 226, 230. Cited re constitutional separation of powers (dissent). Id., 501. Credibility of a witness may be impeached by proof of convictions of crimes for which imprisonment may be more than one year. 167 C. 539. Cited. 182 C. 207. Cited. 185 C. 372. Cited. 186 C. 654. Cited. 187 C. 513. Cited. 188 C. 259; Id., 515. Cited. 189 C. 631. Cited. 190 C. 20. Prudent course where trial court faced with decision on admission as evidence of credibility prior convictions for crimes not directly reflecting on credibility is to allow prosecution to mention that defendant was convicted of unspecified crime or crimes carrying a penalty of more than one year. 194 C. 1. Cited. Id., 297. Where a prior charge resulted in a determination that defendant was a youthful offender and not in a criminal conviction, it was not admissible for impeachment purposes under the statute. 196 C. 122, 128. Cited. 198 C. 273. Cited. 201 C. 74. Cited. 202 C. 224. Cited. 210 C. 359. Cited. 211 C. 555. Cited. 227 C. 417; Id., 711.

      Cited. 3 CA 684. Cited. 7 CA 217. Cited. 20 CA 6. Cited. 22 CA 610. Cited. 23 CA 479; Id., 692. Cited. 26 CA 157. Cited. 38 CA 815.

      Credit of witness may not be attacked by showing his conviction of a crime which is not infamous, that is, for which maximum penalty cannot be more than six months in jail. 23 CS 294. Cited. 33 CS 586. Cited. 36 CS 89.

      Conviction of crime of trespass inadmissible under this statute. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 391. Any question about previous arrests is improper because statute allows questions about convictions only in establishing credibility and reputation of witness. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 441.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 198 C. 454.

      Cited. 7 CA 601. Cited. 34 CA 823.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 199 C. 255. Cited. 227 C. 389. Cited. 228 C. 412. Trial court abused discretion in barring evidence of victim's prior felony conviction for larceny since outcome of case depended upon relative credibility of victim and defendant, and state was allowed to impeach credibility of defendant with a prior felony conviction. 245 C. 351.

      Cited. 3 CA 459. Cited. 6 CA 189. Cited. 7 CA 377; Id., 445, 451. Cited. 10 CA 71. Cited. 16 CA 346. Cited. 26 CA 758. Cited. 27 CA 279. Cited. 32 CA 773. Cited. 37 CA 722. Cited. 40 CA 151. Cited. 42 CA 810. Cited. 44 CA 280; Id., 790. Cited. 45 CA 390. Cited. 46 CA 285.

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