State v. Tucker

In State v. Tucker, 226 Conn. 618, 629, 629 A.2d 1067 (1993), the Court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendant's motion for a mistrial after inadvertently referring to the defendant as "the prisoner." The court reasoned that the jurors "knew that the defendant had been arrested and that, at some point, the defendant must have been in police custody. . . . It certainly could not have surprised the jury, therefore, to have heard the defendant referred to as 'the prisoner' and, if the reference registered with the jury at all, its meaning would in all likelihood have been ambiguous. Moreover, the court provided both preliminary and final instructions concerning the presumption of innocence that the jury is presumed to have followed. Included in those instructions was an admonition that no inference was to be drawn from the defendant's arrest. . . . We are unpersuaded that this isolated reference to the defendant as 'the prisoner' in the overall context of carefully crafted instructions and overwhelming evidence of guilt infected the trial with unfairness and contributed to the verdict." Id., 628-29.