State v. Prioleau

In State v. Prioleau, 235 Conn. 274, 284, 664 A.2d 743 (1995), the Court set forth the well established standard of review concerning a constitutional claim. "An improper instruction on a defense, like an improper instruction on an element of an offense, is of constitutional dimension. . . . The standard of review to be applied to the defendant's constitutional claim is whether it is reasonably possible that the jury was misled. . . . In determining whether it was indeed reasonably possible that the jury was misled by the trial court's instructions, the charge to the jury is not to be critically dissected for the purpose of discovering possible inaccuracies of statement, but it is to be considered rather as to its probable effect upon the jury in guiding them to a correct verdict in the case. . . . The charge is to be read as a whole and individual instructions are not to be judged in artificial isolation from the overall charge. . . . The test to be applied to any part of a charge is whether the charge, considered as a whole, presents the case to the jury so that no injustice will result." Id.