United States District Court, E.D. California
PROPOSED VOIR DIRE, INITIAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS, JURY
INSTRUCTIONS DURING TRIAL IF REQUESTED BY A PARTY, CLOSING
JURY INSTRUCTIONS, AND VERDICT FORM
GARLAND E. BURRELL, JR. Senior United States District Judge
are proposed voir dire questions, initial jury instructions,
instructions that may be given during trial if a party makes
the request, closing jury instructions, and verdict form.
proposed following voir dire question is not included in the
attached proposed voir dire:
Would you as a juror decide the guilt or innocence of the
defendant solely on the basis of the evidence presented in
Def.'s Proposed Voir Dire ¶ 6, ECF No. 54. This
proposed question appears inconsistent with proposed closing
jury instruction number 4, which is based on instruction
number 3.5 in the Manual of Model Criminal Jury Instruction
for the District Courts of the Ninth Circuit (2010), and
instructs the jury, in part, that “[a] reasonable doubt
is a doubt based upon reason and common sense.” The
parties shall respond to the proposed voir dire questions, as
soon as practicable, and shall request a bench conference, if
one is necessary, before the commencement of voir dire to
discuss any perceived issues of the proposed approach herein.
Failure to respond shall be deemed acquiescence to the
proposed voir dire.
bracketed optional language shall be clarified by a party or
the parties as soon as feasible Trial will commence at 9:00
a.m. on May 2, 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 Clerk is Shani
Furstenau. Next to her is the Certified Court Reporter. Ms.
Furstenau, please administer the oath to the prospective
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 placed in his or her
randomly-selected seat, and 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, you will be given an opportunity
to respond in accordance with the numerical order in which
you are seated, meaning the potential juror in the lowest
numbered seat will respond first. If no 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 three
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 and the government
shall name anticipated witnesses it may call so it can be
determined whether any potential jury knows or has contact
with a person named.
you know and or have you had any contact with a person just
is a criminal case in which the United States charges
defendant Paul Johnson with arson to federal property,
obstruction of justice, and making false statements. The
government alleges that on February 3, 2012, Mr. Johnson
maliciously set fire to his Forest Service truck. The
government further alleges that Mr. Johnson obstructed
justice by misleading three witnesses who observed the fire
by telling them that he had already called for help, when he
had not. Finally, the government alleges that Mr. Johnson
made false statements to government officials regarding the
cause of the vehicle fire. Mr. Johnson has pleaded not guilty
to each of these allegations. The allegations in the
indictment are not evidence. The defendant is presumed
innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt. The government has the burden of proving every element
of the charges 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?
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 state or
federal law enforcement employment, or other governmental
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 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.
juror seat number; b. your name and educational background;
c. the educational background of any person residing with
you; d. your present and former occupations; and e. the
present and former occupations of any person residing with
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. A copy of these
instructions will be available in the jury room for you to
consult. 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.
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.
a criminal case brought by the United States government. The
government charges the defendant with one count of arson to
federal property, one count of obstruction and three counts
of making a false statement. The charges against the
defendant are contained in the Indictment. The Indictment is
simply the description of the charges made by the government
against the defendant; it is not evidence of anything.
defendant has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is
presumed innocent unless and until the government proves the
defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, the
defendant has the right to remain silent and never has to
prove innocence or to present any evidence.
evidence you are to consider in deciding what the facts are
(1) the sworn testimony of any witness;
(2) the exhibits which are received in evidence; and
(3) any facts to which the parties agree.
following things are not evidence, and you must not consider
them as evidence in deciding the facts of this case:
(1) statements and arguments of the attorneys;
(2) questions and objections of the attorneys;
(3) testimony that I instruct you to disregard; and
(4) anything you may see or hear when the court is not in
session, even if what you see or hear is done or said by one
of the parties or by one of the witnesses.
may be direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence is direct
proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what
that witness personally saw or heard or did. Circumstantial
evidence is indirect evidence, that is, it is proof of one or
more facts from which one can find another fact.
to consider both direct and circumstantial evidence. Either
can be used to prove any fact. The law makes no distinction
between the weight to be given to either direct or
circumstantial evidence. It is for you to decide how much
weight to give to any evidence.
are rules of evidence that control what can be received in
evidence. When a lawyer asks a question or offers an exhibit
in evidence and a lawyer on the other side thinks that it is
not permitted by the rules of evidence, that lawyer may
object. If I overrule the objection, the question may be
answered or the exhibit received. If I sustain the objection,
the question cannot be answered, or the exhibit cannot be
received. Whenever I sustain an objection to a question, you
must ignore the question and must not guess what the answer
would have been.
I may order that evidence be stricken from the record and
that you disregard or ignore the evidence. That means that
when you are deciding the case, you must not consider the
evidence that I told you to disregard.
deciding the facts in this case, you may have to decide which
testimony to believe and which testimony not to believe. You
may believe everything a witness says, or part of it, or none
considering the testimony of any witness, you may take into
(1) the witness's opportunity and ability to see or hear
or know the ...