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United States v. Cragg

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 23, 2018



         The jury instructions attached hereto were read to the jury in open court.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 1


         Jurors: 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 preliminary instructions. At the end of the trial I will give you more detailed 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. To 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. Please 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.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 2


         This is a criminal case brought by the United States government. The government charges the defendant with receipt or distribution of material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor. The charges against the defendant are contained in the indictment. The indictment simply describes the charges the government brings against the defendant. The indictment is not evidence and does not prove anything.

         The 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.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 3


         The defendant has the right to be represented by an attorney in this trial, as do all criminal defendants in this country. lie has decided instead to exercise his constitutional right to act as his own attorney in this case. Do not allow that decision to affect your verdict. The court applies the rules of evidence and procedure to a self-represented defendant.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 4


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

(1) the sworn testimony of any witness; and
(2) the exhibits which are received in evidence; and
(3) any facts to which the parties agree.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 5


         The 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.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 6


         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 one 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. 7


         There are rules of evidence that control what can be received in evidence. When a lawyer or party asks a question or offers an exhibit in evidence and a lawyer or party 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.

         Sometimes 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.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 8


         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 things testified to;
(2) The witness's memory;
(3) The witness's manner while testifying;
(4) The witness's interest in the outcome of the case, if any;
(5) The witness's bias or prejudice, if any;
(6) Whether other evidence contradicted the witness's testimony;
(7) The reasonableness of the witness's testimony in light of all the evidence; and
(8) Any other factors that bear on believability.

         The weight of the evidence as to a fact does not necessarily depend on the number of witnesses who testify about it. What is important is how believable the witnesses were, and how much weight you think their testimony deserves.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 9


         From time to time during the trial, it may become necessary for me to take up legal matters with the attorneys privately, either by having a conference at the bench or, when necessary, by calling a recess. Please understand that while you are waiting, we are working. The purpose of these conferences is not to keep relevant information from you, but to decide how certain evidence is to be treated under the rules of evidence and to avoid confusion and error.

         We will do what we can to keep the number and length of these conferences to a minimum. I may not always grant an attorney's request for a conference. Do not consider my granting or denying a request for a conference as any indication of my opinion of the case or what your verdict should be.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 10

         CONDUCT ...

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