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CAUTIONARY INSTRUCTIONS DURING TRIAL - MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges
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CAUTIONARY INSTRUCTIONS DURING TRIAL

From MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges

See also CURATIVE AND CAUTIONARY INSTRUCTIONS

1. CRIMJIG 2.01: Cautionary Instruction on Receipt of Testimony of Other Crimes or Occurrences – SPREIGL EVIDENCE
2. CRIMJIG 2.02: Cautionary Instruction on Use of Prior Conviction for Impeachment
3. CRIMJIG 2.03: Cautionary Instruction on Receipt of Prior Inconsistent Statement
4. CRIMJIG 2.04: Cautionary Instruction on Computer Generated Animation as Demonstrative Exhibit
5. CRIMJIG 2.05: Use of Interpreter
6. CRIMJIG 2.06: Cautionary Instruction on Firearms as Evidence
7. Cautionary Instruction on Use of Transcript of Tape Recording
8. Cautionary Instruction on Redaction of Portion of Video or Audio Tape Recording
9.1 Cautionary Instruction Regarding Breaks (CRIMJIG - option 1)
9.2 Cautionary Instruction Regarding Breaks (option 2)
10. Cautionary Instruction on Non-Hearsay 911 Calls
11. Cautionary Instruction on Non-Hearsay Statements
12. Cautionary Instruction on Receipt of Relationship Evidence
13. Cautionary Instruction on Credibility of Witnesses (Informant)
14. Cautionary Instruction on Testimony of Informer
15. Cautionary Instruction on Credibility of Witnesses (Immunized Witness)
16. Cautionary Instruction on Consultation at the Bench


1. CRIMJIG 2.01, Cautionary Instruction on Receipt of Testimony of Other Crimes or Occurrences – SPREIGL EVIDENCE


The State is about to introduce evidence of occurrences on ______________________ at_______________________. This evidence is being offered for the limited purpose of assisting you in determining whether the defendant committed those acts with which the defendant is charged in the complaint. [This evidence is not to be used to prove the character of the defendant or that defendant acted in conformity with such character.] [In other words, this evidence is not to be used by you to infer from this conduct that the defendant was disposed to commit the crime for which he is now on trial.]

The defendant is not being tried for and may not be convicted of any offense(s) other than the charged offense(s). You are not to convict the defendant on the basis of occurrences on _______________________ at ____________. To do so might result in unjust double punishment.


2. CRIMJIG 2.02: Cautionary Instruction on Use of Prior Conviction for Impeachment

The evidence concerning a prior conviction of (the defendant) (_______________) is admitted only for your consideration in deciding whether (the defendant) (__________________) is telling the truth in this case. You must not consider this conviction as evidence of (the defendant's) (__________________) character or conduct except as you may think it reflects on believability.


3. CRIMJIG 2.03: Cautionary Instruction on Receipt of Prior Inconsistent Statement

The evidence that has just been received concerning a statement that ______________________ is alleged to have made sometime before testifying here is admitted only for the light it may cast on the truth of ______________________'s testimony at this trial. You must not consider the statement as evidence of the facts referred to in the statement.


4. CRIMJIG 2.04: Cautionary Instruction on Computer Generated Animation as Demonstrative Exhibit

[The State] [Defendant] is about to introduce a computer-generated animation. This does not serve as proof of any facts in itself. It is presented only to aid your understanding of a witness' testimony or other evidence here in court. If the animation is not consistent with your evaluation of the testimony or other evidence, you should disregard the animation and determine the facts from the underlying testimony or other evidence


5. CRIMJIG 2.05: Use of Interpreter

[[Name of language] may be used during this trial.]

Minnesota law provides that a defendant who cannot fully understand or participate in legal proceedings because of a difficulty speaking or comprehending English must be provided a qualified interpreter. This is because a defendant who lacks an understanding of the legal proceedings surrounding [her] [his] case cannot assist in the defense, challenge the accusers, and make informed choices regarding [her] [his] fundamental rights. It is through the use of qualified interpreters that defendants who cannot fully understand English are afforded the same fair treatment and opportunities in their defense as English speaking defendants.

[The state policy is to use [interpreters] [translators] where it is the judgment of the court that it is necessary to ensure fairness in a trial.]

[(Name of person) speaks and understands some English, but it is my judgment that (his)(her) understanding of English is not sufficient to ensure that (he) (she) has a full understanding of the proceedings. I have therefore authorized the use of [an interpreter] [a translator] in this case.]

[The decision to use [an interpreter] [a translator] is my decision.]

[[An interpreter] [A translator] is necessary for a defendant to understand everything that is said in the courtroom. The court instructs the [interpreter] [translator] to interpret every word that is said.]

[The use of [an interpreter] [a translator] may make the case take longer than it would without [an interpreter] [a translator]. You should not hold this against the defendant.]


6. CRIMJIG 2.06: Cautionary Instruction on Firearms as Evidence

At some point in this trial a firearm may be brought into the courtroom and offered as evidence.
The following rules will be followed by all individuals handling the firearm.

  1. The firearm will come into the courtroom unloaded and secured with a device that will be visible to you and the court.
  2. The firearm securing device will be such that it will physically impossible to operate the firing mechanism of the firearm or put a bullet into the firearm.
  3. The firearm securing device will be locked and the key will be maintained by court staff.
  4. The firearm will be under the control and possession of a court staff person.
  5. The firearm will always be handled by the barrel and, when handled, will always be pointed at the floor or the ceiling.
  6. The firearm will be handed to a person, other than court staff, in the courtroom only with the previous express permission of the court.


7. Cautionary Instruction on Use of Transcript of Tape Recording

You will each be provided with what is reported to be a transcript of the taped conversation. Because of the nature and quality of the tape, portions of the recording are difficult to hear from a distance. As a result, copies of the transcript will be provided to you to assist you in listening to the tape and will be collected from you at the conclusion of the playing of the tape. Any difference in understanding of meaning or meaning what was said may be caused by such factors as the inflection of a voice or inaccuracies of the transcript, and you should rely upon what you hear rather than what you read if you find a difference between the tape and the transcript. The transcript is not to control. The tape recording is to control. The transcript will not be available to you during your deliberations in reaching a verdict.[1]


8. Cautionary Instruction on Redaction of Portion of Video or Audio Tape Recording

Ladies and Gentleman, as I’m sure you noticed, a portion of the audio/video tape-recording that you just heard/viewed was redacted. I earlier ordered and both parties agreed that a designated portion of the audio/video tape be deleted. It was deleted because it had nothing to do with the issues in this case. You should not speculate concerning that deletion and you are ordered to draw NO inference one way or the other concerning the deletion.


9.1 Cautionary Instruction Regarding Breaks (Lunch and Recesses)

(option one - long)
CRIMJIG 2.08 (added in 2009)
CAUTIONARY INSTRUCTION AT FIRST RECESS OR
ADJOURNEMENT FOR THE DAY AND DURING
DELIBERATIONS IF NOT SEQUESTERED

We will now (recess for ___ minutes) (adjourn for the day). I want to remind you of the instructions I gave you earlier regarding your conduct as jurors. Please these in mind each time we recess and when we adjourn for the day. While I will try to repeat the instructions to help you remember, I may not always do so. This does not mean they do not apply.

Do not let outsiders influence you.

Do not discuss this case with other jury members during the trial.

You will have plenty of time to do this at the end of the trial, once you have all the evidence, and I have sent you to the jury room with my instructions and the verdict forms.

Do not talk to anyone involved in this case, the defendant, the lawyers, or the witnesses.

If anyone tries to discuss this case with you outside the courtroom, report this to me.

When you go home during the trial, do not talk to your family, friends, or others about the case. You may tell them you are a juror on a criminal case and that is all that you should tell them. Do not report your experiences as a juror while the trial and deliberations are going on. Do not e-mail, blog, tweet, text or post anything to your Facebook, MySpace, or other social networking sites about this trial. Do not visit any “chat rooms” where this case may be discussed.

Do not read or listen to news reports about the case.

Do not do your own investigation. Do not ask people about this case. Do not visit any of the locations mentioned in the trial. Do not research anything about the case, including the issues, evidence, parties, witnesses, location, or the law, through any form of written, print, electronic or Internet media..

Keep an open mind until you have heard or seen all of the evidence.

Remember you cannot consider anything you hear or learn about this case outside this courtroom.

If you do not follow these instructions, you may jeopardize the trial. This may require the whole trial to be redone and we will have to start over.


9.2 Cautionary Instruction at First Recess or Adjournment for the Day and During Deliberations If Not Sequestered

(option 2 – short version)

Please remember, while court is in recess you must not talk to anyone who is involved in this case nor shall you discuss the case among yourself. During the recess you may see the attorneys, parties, witnesses or myself in the hallways or outside. Don’t take offense if we don’t stop to say hello or talk with you. Everyone involved in this case has been ordered to have no contact or communication with any member of the Jury. Any violation of that order could jeopardize this trial. This prohibition shall continue until a verdict has been returned.


10. Cautionary Instruction on Non-Hearsay 911 Calls

You will now hear a tape recording of a conversation between ___________________________ and a 911 operator. This conversation is to be considered by you only for the purpose of establishing what the police officers reasonably believed had occurred on the evening of ________________________.


11. Cautionary Instruction on Non-Hearsay Statements

You will hear testimony in this case about statements made by ________________ to the police. These statements are to be considered by you only for the purpose of establishing what the police officers reasonably believed had occurred on the evenings of ______________ and __________________. You cannot consider these statements as substantive evidence of the defendant's guilt.

(OR)

You are about to hear testimony about a statement made by_____________________ to _____________________________. This statement is NOT being admitted for the purpose of proving any particular fact. This statement may be considered by you only for the purpose of establishing what _______________________________reasonably believed on ___________________________ (OR) “for the purpose of establishing what _______________________’s state of mind was on _______________________.


12. Cautionary Instruction on Receipt of Relationship Evidence

The State is about to introduce evidence of an occurrence on __________ at _______________. This evidence is being offered for the limited purpose of assisting you in understanding the background of the relationship between the defendant and some of the witnesses. Defendant is not being tried for and may not be convicted of any offense other than the offense charged in the complaint.


13. Cautionary Instruction on Credibility of Witnesses (Informant)

The testimony of an informant, someone who provides evidence against someone else for money, or to escape punishment for [his] [her] own misdeeds or crimes, or for other personal reason or advantage, must be examined and weighed by the jury with greater care than the testimony of a witness who is not so motivated. _______________ may be considered to be an informant in this case. The jury must determine whether the informer's testimony has been affected by self-interest, or by the agreement [he] [she] has made with the government, or [his own] [her own] interest in the outcome of this case, or by prejudice against the defendant.


14. Cautionary Instruction on Testimony of Informer

You have heard evidence that Anthony Wallace has an arrangement with the government under which he receives consideration in a plea agreement for providing information to the government. His testimony was received in evidence and may be considered by you. You may give his testimony such weight as you think it deserves. Whether or not his information or testimony may have been influenced by receiving consideration in a plea agreement is for you to determine.


15. Cautionary Instruction on Credibility of Witnesses (Immunized Witness)

The testimony of an immunized witness, someone who has been told either that [his] [her] crimes will go unpunished in return for testimony or that [his] [her] testimony will not be used against [him] [her] in return for that cooperation, must be examined and weighed by the jury with greater care than the testimony of someone who is appearing in court without the need for such an agreement with the government.

______________ may be considered to be an immunized witness in this case. The jury must determine whether the testimony of the immunized witness has been affected by self-interest, or by the agreement [he] [she] has with the government, or by [his own] [her own] interest in the outcome of this case, or by prejudice against the defendant.


16. Cautionary Instruction on Consultation at the Bench

During the course of the trial there have been consultations at the bench or in the chambers of the Court. Our consultations have been so held to prevent you from considering matters which should not come before you in the trial of this case. You may rest assured that we have not concealed from you anything which in the opinion of the Court was proper or necessary for you to hear in order to properly perform your duties as jurors in this case.

  1. State v. Olkon, 229 NW2d (Minn. 1980); see United States v. McMillan, 508 F2d 101 (8th Cir. 1974).