State v. Jones

In State v. Jones, 39 Conn. App. 563, 665 A.2d 910, cert. denied, 235 Conn. 931, 667 A.2d 800 (1995), the trial court correctly instructed the jury as to the subjective aspect of the retreat rule by reading to the jury the relevant statutory language. State v. Jones, supra, 39 Conn. App. at 570. The trial court then improperly instructed the jury that "a person must retreat from the perceived harm if they are able to retreat in complete safety." Id. On appeal, this court concluded that "these words incorrectly suggested that the statute permitted the jury to measure the defendant's knowledge of his ability to retreat according to an objective standard of reasonableness rather than the subjective standard of the defendant's actual knowledge." Id. at 571. The Court concluded that despite the fact that the trial court had explicated the correct standard both before and after that improper language, the trial court's reference to an objective standard was of such a nature that made it reasonably possible that the jury was misled. Id. at 573.