Lesser Included Offenses and charging

A person here in CT has recently been charged for a fatal hit-and-run accident with a pedestrian. In addition to the charges of evading responsibility, reckless driving and speeding, he faces both first-degree and second-degree manslaughter charges.

The CT penal code defines “Manslaughter in the first degree” as:

(General Statutes § 53a-55 subsections about intent to cause injury and extreme emotional disturbance omitted)

It defines “Manslaughter in the second degree” as:

(General Statutes § 53a-56 subsection about assisted suicide omitted)

As I understand lesser included offenses (mostly from this Board), second-degree manslaughter would be a lesser included offense of first-degree manslaughter in these circumstances, wouldn’t it? Both require proving of reckless behavior directly leading to the victim’s death. First-degree also requires the state to prove conduct which the average person would recognize as creating a grave risk of death, and proving the conduct shows extreme indifference. Second-degree has no further requirements. Isn’t that the classic definition of LIO?

I don’t know about USA, but in the UK the Crown prosecution Service often includes lesser offences on the indictment to ‘help’ the jury out.

Though on a murder indictment they’re less keen to actually include the lesser offence of manslughter on the indictment because they’re frightened that a jury may encourgae the jury to go for the ‘halfway’ option.

Yes, that’s the classic definition of a lesser included offense, and yes, under the facts described, having both first-degree and second-degree manslaughter charges is an example of a lesser-included offense being charged.

Am I reading too much into your question by asking you… is that what you wanted to know? Or was there something more?

Just in case: No, I’m not connected to the defendant or the victim in any way, except by geographic proximity. How common is it for the LIO to be one of the charges? I thought LIO issues were part of the process of charging the jury?