In this collection, we offer 59 new criminal jury instructions, almost all of them dealing with particular offenses. The collection also includes reprints of the original Marshall Committee instructions, and there is a common table of contents. Except for the instruction on insanity, which we have revised to reflect the enactment of 18U.S.C.§17, we have not revised either the original Marshall Committee instructions or the commentary that accompanied them.
In accordance with our mandate, we have focused on the task of drafting instructions that are both clear and accurate. We have made a particular effort to develop clear statements of the state of mind that is necessary for a finding of guilt. Following the leadership of the Ninth Circuit's Committee on Model Jury Instructions, we have abjured the terms "specific intent," "general intent," and "willfully." Indeed, we have gone a step further and avoided the word "knowingly," a term that is a persistent source of ambiguity in statutes as well as jury instructions. We have tried our best to make it clear what it is that a defendant must intend or know to be guilty of an offense. While we have no doubt fallen short of perfection, we believe that in this respect, at least, we have advanced the state of the art.
The subcommittee has followed the Marshall Committee's precedent of drafting instructions that are intended to be tailored to the particular case. We believe . the judge should instruct the jury on the law applicable to the case, but only on that law. If the allegation is that the defendant forged a document by making it from scratch, it can only confuse a jury to instruct in terms of making or altering. We recognize. of course, that tailoring puts a burden on the district judge, but we believe it is a burden that should be accepted.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)|