United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
DAMIEN A. SUBLETT
LINDA S. GREEN CHRIS HATTON JON TANGEROSE
of the jury, it is now time for me to instruct you about the
law that you must follow in deciding this case. I will start
by explaining your duties and the general rules that apply in
every civil case. Then I will explain the elements, or parts,
of the claims in question.
have two main duties as a juror: The first is to decide what
the facts are from the evidence that you saw and heard here
in Court. Deciding what the facts are is your job-not mine.
Nothing that I have said or done during this trial was meant
to influence your decision about the facts in any way.
second duty is to take the law that I give you and to apply
it to the facts. It is my job to instruct you about the law,
and you are bound by the oath you took at the beginning of
the trial to follow the instructions that I give you, even if
you personally disagree with them. This includes the
instructions that I gave you during the trial and these
instructions now. All of the instructions are important, and
you should consider them together as a whole.
lawyers may have talked about the law during their arguments.
But if what they said is different from what I say, you must
follow what I say. What I say about the law controls.
these duties fairly. Do not let any bias, sympathy, or
prejudice that you may feel toward one side or the other
influence your decision in any way. The law does not permit
you to be governed by sympathy, prejudice, or public opinion.
All parties expect that you will carefully and impartially
consider all of the evidence, follow the law as I give it to
you, and reach a just verdict, regardless of the
should consider and decide this case as a dispute between
persons of equal standing in the community, of equal worth,
and holding the same or similar stations in life. All persons
stand equal before the law and are to be treated as equals.
to consider only the evidence in the case. Unless you are
otherwise instructed, the evidence in the case consists of
the sworn testimony of the witnesses regardless of who called
the witness, all exhibits received in evidence regardless of
who may have produced them, and all facts and events that may
have been admitted or stipulated to. Statements and arguments
by lawyers are not evidence. The lawyers are not witnesses.
What they have said in their opening statement, closing
arguments, and at other times is intended to help you
understand the evidence, but it is not evidence.
part of your job as jurors is to decide how credible, or
believable, each witness was. This is your job, not mine. It
is up to you to decide if a witness's testimony was
believable and how much weight you think it deserves. You are
free to believe everything that a witness said, or only part
of it, or none of it at all. But you should act reasonably
and carefully in making these decisions.
required to evaluate the testimony of a corrections officer
as you would the testimony of any other witness. No. special
weight may be given to his or her testimony because he or she
is a corrections officer.
your common sense and your everyday experience in dealing
with other people, and then decide what testimony you believe
and how much weight you think it deserves. The weight of the
evidence does not necessarily depend upon the number of
witnesses who testify for either side.
Plaintiff has the burden of proving his case against the
Defendants by what is called a "preponderance of
the evidence." This means that the Plaintiff
has to produce evidence that, considered in light of all the
facts, leads you to believe that what the Plaintiff claims is
more likely true than not.
term "preponderance of the evidence" does not, of
course, require proof to an absolute certainty, since proof
to an absolute certainty is seldom possible in any case.
determining whether any fact in issue has been established by
a preponderance of the evidence in the case, you may-unless
otherwise instructed-consider the testimony of all witnesses,
regardless of who may have called them, and all exhibits
received into evidence, regardless of who may have produced
have heard of the term "proof beyond a reasonable
doubt." That is a stricter standard applicable in
criminal cases. It does not apply in civil cases, such as
this one. Therefore, you should disregard it.
and Gentlemen of the jury, before I instruct you as to the
law in this case, I want to point out something about having
multiple defendants in one case. As you have heard and seen
during this trial, there are three Defendants in this case.
And while the Plaintiff has only presented two different
legal claims, Plaintiff has made factual allegations against
crucial that you, the jury, give separate consideration to
each claim and each party in this case. Although there are
three defendants, it does not follow that if one is liable,
then another is liable, or that all are liable. Conversely,
it does not follow that if one is not liable, then another is
not liable, and so on.
discuss the elements, or parts, of each of Plaintiff s claims
below. But it is important for you to keep these incidents
and claims separate, and to apply them only to the Defendant
against whom the Plaintiff has brought that individual claim.