State v. Boscarino
In State v. Boscarino, 204 Conn. 714, 734-37, 529 A.2d 1260 (1987) the Court held that the trial court improperly allowed the state to impeach the credibility of the defendant on cross-examination with an inconsistent statement he had made to a psychiatrist, and, thus, a new trial was ordered.
In Boscarino, Practice Book 760, now 40-19, was the backdrop for the existence of the psychiatric record. State v. Boscarino, supra, 204 Conn. at 735-36.
That section is a compromise between a defendant's right to avoid self-incrimination and the state's right to present evidence of a mental state of a defendant when the evidence is relevant to an issue at trial. Id. at 736.
Practice Book 40-19, formerly 760, "must be strictly construed to protect the defendant's fundamental constitutional right to liberty." State v. Boscarino, supra, 204 Conn. at 736.
Practice Book 40-19 provides in relevant part that no statement made by the defendant "in the course of the court- ordered examination shall be admitted in evidence against the defendant on the issue of guilt in any criminal proceeding. . . ." The Boscarino court determined that the inconsistent statement was introduced on the issue of guilt and, therefore, the error was not "'irrelevant.'" State v. Boscarino, supra, 204 Conn. at 737.
In Boscarino, the court noted that "Section 760 now 40-19 of our Practice Book effects a compromise between the defendant's right to avoid self-incrimination and the state's right to procure and present evidence of the defendant's mental state when such evidence is relevant to an issue at trial. . . . To safeguard the rights of criminal defendants to due process of law, 760 now 40-19 must be 'strictly construed to protect the fundamental constitutional right to liberty.'" State v. Boscarino, supra, 204 Conn. at 736.
The court in Boscarino concluded that "the state's use of the statement made by the defendant in the court-ordered psychiatric examination violated 760 now 40-19, and that the trial court erred in permitting the statement to be used on cross-examination." State v. Boscarino, supra, 204 Conn. at 736-37. Significantly, the court went on to address the state's argument that "any error precipitated by its use of the defendant's statement" was "irrelevant" or "academic." Id. at 737.