State v. Whistnant

In State v. Whistnant, 179 Conn. 576, 588, 427 A.2d 414 (1980), the Court determined that a lesser included offense instruction should be given when: "(1) an appropriate instruction is requested by either the state or the defendant; (2) it is not possible to commit the greater offense, in the manner described in the information or bill of particulars, without having first committed the lesser; (3) there is some evidence, introduced by either the state or the defendant, or by a combination of their proofs, which justifies conviction of the lesser offense; (4) the proof on the element or elements which differentiate the lesser offense from the offense charged is sufficiently in dispute to permit the jury consistently to find the defendant innocent of the greater offense but guilty of the lesser." "Under the first prong of Whistnant, we must determine if the defendant's request to charge was an appropriate instruction. 'A proposed instruction on a lesser included offense constitutes an appropriate instruction for purposes of the first prong of Whistnant if it complies with Practice Book 854 now 42-18. . . .' Practice Book 42-18 (a) provides in relevant part: 'When there are several requests, they shall be in separate and numbered paragraphs, each containing a single proposition of law clearly and concisely stated with the citation of authority upon which it is based, and the evidence to which the proposition would apply. . . .'" State v. McPhee, 58 Conn. App. 501, 515, 755 A.2d 893, cert. denied, 254 Conn. 920, 759 A.2d 1026 (2000).