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United States v. Norris

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 4, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ALEXANDER NATHAN NORRIS, Defendant.

          FINAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS

         INSTRUCTION NO. 1

         Members of the jury, now that you have heard all the evidence, it is my duty to instruct you on the law that applies to this case. A copy of these instructions will be available in the jury room for you to consult.

         It is your duty to weigh and to evaluate all the evidence received in the case and, in that process, to decide the facts. It is also your duty to apply the law as I give it to you to the facts as you find them, whether you agree with the law or not. You must decide the case solely on the evidence and the law and must not be influenced by any personal likes or dislikes, opinions, prejudices, or sympathy. You will recall that you took an oath promising to do so at the beginning of the case.

         You must follow all these instructions and not single out some and ignore others; they are all important. Please do not read into these instructions or into anything I may have said or done any suggestion as to what verdict you should return-that is a matter entirely up to you.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 2

         The Indictment is not evidence. The defendant has plead not guilty to the charges. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until the government proves the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, the defendant does not have to testify or present any evidence to prove innocence. The government has the burden of proving every element of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant has no burden of proof.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 3

         You are here only to determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the charges in the indictment. The defendant is not on trial for any conduct or offense not charged in the indictment.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 4

         Because of the presumption of innocence, a defendant does not have to prove innocence. The burden of proof is always on the government and never shifts to the defendant.

         The burden on the government is to prove every element of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you firmly convinced that the defendant is guilty. It is not required that the government prove guilt beyond all possible doubt.

         A reasonable doubt is a doubt based upon reason and common sense and is not based purely on speculation. It may arise from a careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence, or from lack of evidence.

         If after a careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence, you are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty, it is your duty to find that defendant not guilty. However, if after a careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence, you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty, it is your duty to find that defendant guilty.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 5

         You have heard testimony that the defendant made a statement. It is for you to decide (1) whether the defendant made the statement, and (2) if so, how much weight to give to it. In making those decisions, you should consider all the evidence about the statement, including the circumstances under which the defendant may have made it.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 6

         Mr. Norris has testified. You should treat this testimony just as you would the testimony of any other witness.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 7

         The evidence you are to consider in deciding what the facts are consists of:

(1) the sworn testimony of any witness;
(2) the exhibits received into evidence; and
(3) any facts to which the parties have agreed.

         The parties stipulated to certain facts that have been stated to you. You should therefore treat these facts as having been proved and conclusively established.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 8

         In reaching your verdict you may consider only the testimony and exhibits received into evidence. The following things are not evidence and you may not consider them in deciding what the facts are:

1. Questions, statements, objections, and arguments by the lawyers are not evidence. The lawyers are not witnesses. Although you must consider a lawyer's questions to understand the answers of a witness, the lawyer's questions are not evidence. Similarly, what the lawyers have said in their opening statements, closing arguments and at other times is intended to help you interpret the evidence, but it is not evidence. If the facts as you remember them differ from the way the lawyers state them, your memory of them controls.
2. Any testimony that I have excluded, stricken, or instructed you to disregard is not evidence. In addition, some evidence was received only for a limited purpose; when I have instructed you to consider certain evidence in a limited way, you must do so.
3. Charts and summaries shown to you in order to help explain the evidence in the case. These charts and summaries were not admitted in evidence and will not go into the jury room with you. They are not themselves evidence or proof of any facts. If they do not correctly reflect the facts or figures shown by the evidence in the case, you should disregard the charts and summaries and determine the facts from the underlying evidence.
4. Anything you may have seen or heard when the court was not in session is not evidence. You are to decide the case solely on the evidence received at the trial.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 9

         Evidence 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 you could find another fact.

         You are 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.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 10

         In 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 ...


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