United States District Court, E.D. California
PROPOSED VOIR DIRE, INITIAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS,
CLOSING JURY INSTRUCTIONS, AND VERDICT FORM
GARLAND E. BURRELL, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
are proposed voir dire questions, initial jury instructions,
closing jury instructions, and verdict form.
will commence at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
morning and welcome to the United States District Court.
Thank you for both your presence and your anticipated
cooperation in the questioning process we are about to begin.
You are performing an important function in our legal system.
court personnel who will assist me in this trial are on the
platform below me. The Courtroom Deputy is Shani Furstenau.
Next to her is the Certified Court Reporter. Ms. Furstenau,
please administer the oath to the prospective jurors.
about to begin what is known as voir dire. Voir dire consists
of questions designed to provide the court and the parties
with information about each potential juror. After
questioning is complete, the parties will exercise what is
known as peremptory challenges.
Counsel, the Jury Administrator has already randomly selected
potential jurors and their names are on the sheet you have
been given in the order of the random selection. Each
potential juror has been given a large laminated card on
which the number is placed showing the order in which the
potential juror was randomly selected.
will ask the potential jurors questions as a group. If a
potential juror has a response, he or she shall raise the
laminated card. Generally, the potential juror with the
lowest number will respond first. If no laminated card is
raised, I will simply state "no response" and then
ask the next question. If you know it is your turn to respond
to a question, you may respond before I call your seat number
by stating your seat number, then your response. That could
expedite the process.
3. If a
potential juror concludes a question unduly pries into a
private matter, the potential juror may request to respond
out of the earshot of other potential jurors. I'm
authorized to try to protect legitimate privacy interests,
but may ask questions in the area that you indicate a desire
to discuss in private to determine whether it, or any aspect
of the matter, should be responded to as indicated. This
approach is taken because the trial should be open unless I
have a legitimate reason to close an aspect of it.
presentation of evidence and closing argument portions of the
trial are expected to be completed in approximately two
weeks, after which the case will be submitted to the jury for
jury deliberation. Trial will be conducted on Tuesdays,
Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 9:00 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m.
However, once you commence jury deliberations, you will be
expected to deliberate every day except weekends until you
complete your deliberations. Does the schedule pose a special
problem for any prospective jury?
Counsel may make any desired introductions; however, the
United States shall name anticipated witnesses it may call so
it can be determined whether any potential jury knows or has
had contact with a person named.
a. Do you know and or have you had any contact with a person
is a criminal case involving allegations that defendant
Willie James McNeal initiated an attack on the victim Timothy
Jackson by punching Jackson, and that this occurred in a
federal prison where both the McNeal and Jackson were
imprisoned. The charge against the defendant is contained in
the indictment. The indictment simply describes the charge
the United States brings against the defendant. The
indictment is not evidence and does not prove anything. The
defendant has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is
presumed innocent unless and until the United States proves
the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
light of the allegations, does any potential juror prefer not
being a juror on this case?
there anything about the allegations which causes you to feel
that you might not be a fair juror in this case?
there any reason why you would not be able to be a juror
and/or to give your full attention to this case?
Have you, any member of your family, or any close friend been
arrested for a crime or been the defendant in a criminal
you have any religious or moral objection to sitting in
judgment of another's conduct in a court of law?
Have you ever served as a juror in the past, in any capacity?
a. State whether it was a civil or criminal case, and whether
the jury reached a verdict, but do not state the actual
Would you tend to believe the testimony of a witness just
because of that witness's present or former status as a
correctional officer or as an employee of the Federal Bureau
Would you tend to disbelieve the testimony of a witness just
because of the witness's present or former status as a
correctional officer or as an employee of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation that witness is law enforcement officer?
are required to apply the law I will give you even if you
believe a different law should apply. If you cannot agree to
what I just said, please raise your hand.
you have any difficulty with the rule of law that a person
charged with a crime is presumed innocent and need not
present any evidence, and the government at all times bears
the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?
you have any problem with the rule of law that a defendant
need not testify on his own behalf and that if a defendant
chooses not to testify, that factor may not be considered by
you in your deliberations?
there anything that we have not discussed that you believe
could have a bearing on your ability to be a fair and
impartial juror in this case, or that you suspect a trial
participant would desire to know?
Courtroom Deputy Clerk will give the juror in seat number one
a sheet on which there is information we seek. Please pass
the sheet to a potential juror near you after you respond.
state your juror seat number and then provide the information
requested on the sheet.
a. your name and educational background;
b. the educational background of any person residing with
c. your present and former occupations;
d. the present and former occupations of any person residing
INITIAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS
You now are the jury in this case, and I want to take a few
minutes to tell you something about your duties as jurors and
to give you some initial instructions. At the end of the
trial, I will give you more detailed written instructions
that will control your deliberations. When you deliberate, it
will be your duty to weigh and to evaluate all the evidence
received in the case and, in that process, to decide the
facts as you find them, you will apply the law as I give it
to you, whether you agree with the law or not. You must
decide the case solely on the evidence and the law before you
and must not be influenced by any personal likes or dislikes,
opinions, prejudices, or sympathy.
do not take anything I may say or do during the trial as
indicating what I think of the evidence or what your verdict
should be-that is entirely up to you.
NO. 2 The evidence you are to consider in deciding what the
facts are consists of:
(1) the sworn testimony of any witness;
(2) the exhibits which are received in ...