Debate Magazine

Jury Instructions

Posted on the 30 August 2011 by Mikeb302000
This is a sample jury instruction telling the Jury to see if the act fits the elements of the charged crime(s):
3.10 RULES FOR DELIBERATION

These are some general rules that apply to your discussion. You must follow these rules in order to return a lawful verdict:

1.You must follow the law as it is set out in these instructions. If you fail to follow the law, your verdict will be a miscarriage of justice. There is no reason for failing to follow the law in this case. All of us are depending upon you to make a wise and legal decision in this matter.

2.This case must be decided only upon the evidence that you have heard from the testimony of the witnesses [and have seen in the form of the exhibits in evidence] and these instructions.

3.This case must not be decided for or against anyone because you feel sorry for anyone, or are angry at anyone.

4.Remember, the lawyers are not on trial. Your feelings about them should not influence your decision in this case.

When the jury is to be involved in a penalty phase, omit the second sentence of paragraph 5.

5.Your duty is to determine if the defendant has been proven guilty or not, in accord with the law. It is the judge's job to determine a proper sentence if the defendant is found guilty.

6.Whatever verdict you render must be unanimous, that is, each juror must agree to the same verdict.

Give 7 if applicable.

7.It is entirely proper for a lawyer to talk to a witness about what testimony the witness would give if called to the courtroom. The witness should not be discredited by talking to a lawyer about [his] [her] testimony.

8.Your verdict should not be influenced by feelings of prejudice, bias, or sympathy. Your verdict must be based on the evidence, and on the law contained in these instructions.



The elements of a crime, in this case shoplifting:
(1) Any person who shall wilfully and unlawfully take possession of any merchandise owned or held by and offered or displayed for sale by any merchant, store or other mercantile establishment with the intention and purpose of converting such merchandise to his own use without paying the merchant's stated price therefor shall be guilty of the crime of shoplifting and, upon conviction, shall be punished as is provided in this section.
  • wilfully and unlawfully
  • take possession of any merchandise owned or held by and offered or displayed for sale by any merchant, store or other mercantile establishment
  • with the intention and purpose of converting such merchandise to his own use without paying the merchant's stated price
The Juror needs to find that the act fit these three elements to return a guilty verdict.

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