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United States v. Larsen

United States District Court, E.D. California

November 21, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGE LARSEN, et. al., Defendants.

          AMENDED PROPOSED CLOSING JURY INSTRUCTIONS

          GARLAND E. BURRELL, JR. Senior United States District Judge.

         The proposed closing jury instructions docketed as ECF No. 240 are amended in accordance with the United States's Proposed Jury Instructions (Superseding) docketed as ECF No. 283. The amended proposed jury instructions are attached.

         The words “falsely making bonds and obligations of certain lending agencies or” have been deleted from lines 14 and 15 of the United States's proposed jury instruction on page 44 to reflect consistency with its deletion of those words elsewhere in this instruction. This change is reflected in attached Instruction No. 26.

         The 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 November 28, 2017.

         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. Each of you now possesses a copy of these instructions that you may take to the jury room to consult if you desire.

         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 defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until the United States proves the defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, the defendants do not have to testify or present any evidence to prove innocence. The United States has the burden of proving every element of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 3

         A defendant in a criminal case has a constitutional right not to testify. You may not draw any inference of any kind from the fact that any of the defendants did not testify.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 4

         Defendant [NAME] has testified. You should treat this testimony just as you would the testimony of any other witness.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 5

         Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you firmly convinced the defendant is guilty. It is not required that the United States 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 the defendants are guilty, it is your duty to find the defendants not guilty. On the other hand, if after a careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence, you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants are guilty, it is your duty to find the defendants guilty.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 6

         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 in evidence; and
(3) any facts to which the parties have agreed.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 7

         In reaching your verdict you may consider only the testimony and exhibits received in 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 and parties 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. 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. 8

         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 can 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. 9

         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 a witness says, or part of it, or none of it.

         In considering the testimony of any witness, you may take into account:

(1) the witness's opportunity and ability to see or hear or know the ...

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