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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

1.2-5 Function of the Court and Jury

Revised to December 1, 2007

My responsibility, as judge, is to conduct the trial of this case in an orderly, fair and efficient manner, to rule on questions of law arising during the trial, and to instruct you as to the law that applies to this case. It is your duty to accept the law as I state it to you, whether you agree with it or not.

My actions during the trial in ruling on claims or objections by counsel, in comments to counsel, in questions to witnesses or in setting forth the law in instructions to you are not to be taken by you as any indication of my opinion as to how you should determine the issues of fact. If you come to believe during the trial that I have expressed or intimated any opinion as to the facts, you should disregard it. As I've told you, my job as judge is to ensure that there is a fair trial, so that you can decide the case.

During the course of the trial, I may occasionally ask questions of a witness. Do not assume that I hold any opinion on the matter to which my questions may relate. Remember at all times that you, as jurors, are at liberty to disregard all comments of the court in arriving at your own findings as to the facts. You must not take anything I may say or do during the trial as indicating what I think of the evidence or what you verdict should be.

Your function as the jury is to determine the facts. You are the sole and exclusive judges of the facts, and you alone determine the weight, the effect and the value of the evidence, as well as the credibility of the witnesses. You must consider and weigh the testimony of all the witnesses who appear before you and you alone are to determine whether to believe any witness and the extent to which any witness should be believed. It is your responsibility to resolve any conflicts in testimony that may arise during the course of the trial and to determine where the truth lies. You are entitled in the course of evaluating the evidence to draw any and all inferences that you find reasonable and logical from the evidence you hear.



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