United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
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 criminal 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
parties of equal standing in the community, of equal worth,
and holding the same or similar stations in the community.
All parties stand equal before the law and are to be treated
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. Use 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.
you may have taken notes during the trial. An individual
juror may use notes to refresh his or her memory of evidence
presented at trial, but the notes should not be relied upon
as definitive fact or as evidence. Juror notes have no
greater weight than memory, and note-aided and nonaided
memory are of equal significance. Jurors should not be
influenced by another juror's notes.
you start deliberating, do not talk to the jury officer, or
to me, or to anyone else except each other about the case. If
you have any questions or messages, you must write them down
on a piece of paper, sign them, and give them to the jury
officer. The officer will give them to me, and I will respond
as soon as I can. I may have to talk to the lawyers about
what you have asked, so it may take some time to get back to
you. Any questions or messages normally should be sent to me
through your foreperson. Do not ever write down or tell
anyone outside the jury room how you stand on your votes.
That should stay secret until you are finished.
verdict or answer to any question must be unanimous. That is,
all twelve (12) members of the jury must agree on any answer
to the question and verdict.
your duty as jurors to consult with one another and to
deliberate with a view to reaching an agreement, if you can
do so without violence to the individual judgment. You must
each decide this case for yourself, but only after an
impartial consideration of the evidence of the case with your
fellow jurors. In the course of your deliberations, do not
hesitate to reexamine your own views and change your opinion,
if you are convinced it is erroneous. But do not surrender
your honest conviction as to the weight or effect of the
evidence, solely because of the opinion of your fellow
jurors, or for the mere purpose of returning a verdict.
OF INNOCENCE AND BURDEN OF PROOF
defendant has pleaded not guilty to the crime charged in the
indictment. The indictment is not any evidence at all of
guilt. It is just the formal way that the government tells
the defendant what crime he is accused of committing. It does
not even raise any suspicion of guilt.
the defendant starts the trial with a clean slate, with no
evidence at all against him, and the law presumes that he is
innocent. This presumption of innocence stays with him unless
the government presents evidence here in court that overcomes
the presumption and convinces you beyond a reasonable doubt
that he is guilty.
government must prove every element of the crime charged
beyond a reasonable doubt. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt
does not mean proof beyond all possible doubt. Possible
doubts or doubts based purely on speculation are not
reasonable doubts. A reasonable doubt is a doubt based on
reason and common sense. It may arise from the evidence, the
lack of evidence, or the nature of the evidence.
beyond a reasonable doubt means proof which is so convincing
that you would not hesitate to rely and act on it in making
the most important decisions in your own lives. If you are
convinced that the government has proved the defendant guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt, say so by returning a ...