State v. Lane


*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** STATE OF CONNECTICUT v. AHMAAD JAMAL LANE (AC 40185) Elgo, Cradle and DiPentima, Js. Syllabus Convicted of the crime of assault in the first degree in connection with an incident in which he struck the victim in the head with a chair during a confrontation, the defendant appealed to this court. Before the start of trial, the trial court denied the defendant’s motion to disqualify the judicial authority on the basis that the trial judge, while serving as a prosecutor, might have been involved with pretrial proceedings in one of his prior criminal cases and, thus, appeared to lack impartiality. The court also denied in part the defendant’s motion to exclude from evi- dence certain photographs of the victim’s injuries on the basis that they were irrelevant and unduly prejudicial. Held: 1. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendant’s motion to disqualify the trial judge: the defendant made no claim of actual bias, and his claim that a reasonable person would question the impartiality of the judge because she had served as a supervising prosecutor in the Office of the State’s Attorney in the judicial district of Waterbury at the time of pretrial criminal proceedings that were conducted there against him was unavailing, as the judge had a limited role, if any, in the previous criminal proceedings and was not working in her supervisory prosecutorial role when the defendant was convicted in the previous case, twelve years had elapsed between the previous proceedings and the current criminal case, and knowledge of the defen- dant’s conviction in the previous case was available to any trial judge; moreover, this court declined to establish a bright-line rule requiring recusal of a judicial authority when there is an appearance of partiality but an absence of actual partiality, as our Supreme Court already estab- lished a rule in State v. Milner (325 Conn. …

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