State v. Miranda

In State v. Miranda, 176 Conn. 107, 405 A.2d 622 (1978), the Court held that: "In a homicide prosecution where the accused has claimed self-defense, the accused may show that the deceased was the aggressor by proving the deceased's alleged character for violence. The deceased's character may be proved by reputation testimony, by opinion testimony, or by evidence of the deceased's convictions of crimes of violence, irrespective of whether the accused knew of the deceased's violent character or of the particular evidence adduced at the time of the death-dealing encounter. We emphasize that the accused is not permitted to introduce the deceased's entire criminal record into evidence in an effort to disparage his general character; only specific convictions for violent acts are admissible. . . . Nor is the accused authorized to introduce any and all convictions of crimes involving violence, no matter how petty, how remote in time, or how dissimilar in their nature to the facts of the alleged aggression. In each case the probative value of the evidence of certain convictions rests in the sound discretion of the trial court." Id. at 114.