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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

2.11-4  Sentence Enhancers

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified June 13, 2008)

In connection with your deliberations on the crime of <insert name of offense>, if, but only if, you return a verdict of guilty you must also answer the question, which we call an interrogatory, that I will send in with you.

I am in no way suggesting what your verdict on this charge should be.  If it's guilty, answer the interrogatory.  If it's not guilty, ignore it.

Should you reach the interrogatory, your decision must be unanimous.

Your foreperson should check the appropriate answer and sign and date the form.


Many offenses have sentence enhancers that require a factual finding from the jury. These are noted in the commentaries to those offenses. Such factual findings should not be incorporated into the body of the instruction on the offense, as this has the potential of misleading the jury to think that the fact must be proved in order to find the defendant guilty of the offense. It is recommended that the factual question be submitted to the jury by way of an interrogatory. This instruction should be given after you have instructed the jury on the offense.

If the statute defining an offense provides an enhanced sentence on the basis of a prior conviction, it must be charged in a Part B information. Practice Book 36-14. See Subsequent Offenders, Instruction 2.12-2.


Below is an example of the text of the interrogatory:


You will answer the following interrogatory if, but only if, you have found the defendant guilty of <insert name of offense> as charged in count __.  If you have found (him/her) not guilty of that charge, do not answer it.

This submission in no way suggests what your verdict should be.

If you reach the following interrogatory, your conclusion must be unanimous.


Has the state proven to all of you unanimously beyond a reasonable doubt, that <specify the factual finding to be made>.

Yes _____                           No _____


Foreperson                                                 Date

N.B. Foreperson must sign and date in ink.



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