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Jury Instructions

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 2000
Re "Say What, Your Honor?" Sept. 7: As American literacy continues to plummet, we find ourselves bombarded with "pictographs" rather than text on everything from stereo instructions to street signs, in order to accommodate the lowest common denominator. At restaurants we now just point at a picture of what we wish to order, while on the corner that glowing red hand on what used to be a "Don't Walk" sign tips us off to the danger of cross traffic. So now jurors can't understand big words like "preponderance of the evidence"?
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NATIONAL
August 21, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
FT. HOOD, Texas - The Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 in a mass shooting on this Army base nearly four years ago declined to testify or to call witnesses in his defense Wednesday. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 42, has been representing himself at his court martial for the last two weeks. Military legal experts had not expected Hasan to testify , because he would be limited to answering questions and subject to cross-examination by prosecutors.
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BUSINESS
June 16, 2002
Here is the full text of the statement issued by accounting firm Arthur Andersen on Saturday in response to the jury's guilty verdict: * Today's verdict is wrong. In fairness to the jury, they were not permitted to know the full truth about what happened last fall as a result of the Justice Department's actions during this trial.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 15, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Over the weekend, while thousands of people in various cities across the United States were protesting the George Zimmerman trial verdict, one of the six jurors in the trial was apparently quite busy on the phone - with a literary agent. The not guilty verdict in the shooting of Trayvon Martin came on Saturday evening. And on Monday morning, the woman known as “Juror B37,” and the juror's husband, had signed an agreement to be represented by the Los Angeles-based Martin Literary Management agency, as announced by the agency's president, Sharlene Martin.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 23, 1997 | TRACY WILSON
Outside the jury's presence Wednesday, attorneys in the Diana Haun murder trial met with the judge to decide what instructions should be read to the jurors after closing arguments scheduled for Friday. Last month, the jury found Haun, a 36-year-old Port Hueneme resident, guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit those crimes for fatally stabbing her lover's wife, Sherri Dally.
NEWS
March 7, 1993 | Associated Press
Nancy Honig has broken a long silence to blame the conviction of her husband, former state schools chief Bill Honig, on jury instructions that made a guilty verdict inevitable. "I was absolutely shocked by the verdict," she told the San Francisco Chronicle in an article published Saturday. "But I would have voted the same way as the jury. You didn't have a choice." It was the first time she has spoken out since Atty. Gen.
BUSINESS
May 7, 1998 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
Over strong defense objections, the judge in Minnesota's massive trial against the tobacco industry here told jurors Wednesday that they essentially could assume the worst from the cigarette companies' destruction of documents and failure to produce certain witnesses for trial. The jury instructions, issued by Ramsey County District Judge Kenneth J. Fitzpatrick, could help the plaintiffs prevail in the case where Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota are seeking $1.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 1993 | EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Legal experts Monday questioned a judge's decision to allow the jury in the Reginald O. Denny beating trial to consider whether the two defendants suppressed evidence. Superior Court Judge John W. Ouderkirk decided to give the jury an instruction allowing it to make its own inference whether defendants Damian Monroe Williams and Henry Keith Watson discarded certain articles of clothing that are allegedly missing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2007 | Peter Y. Hong and Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writers
The judge in the Phil Spector murder trial threw a life preserver to prosecutors Wednesday by agreeing to revoke an instruction that deadlocked jurors had said they found confusing, legal experts said. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler's decision came during a remarkable day in court, during which jurors were called into the courtroom to speak publicly about the issues behind the impasse, which has left the five-month trial hanging in the balance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2003 | Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer
The slaying could have been committed with malice, but the weapon most definitely wasn't a mallet. A juror in a Fresno murder case misunderstood the judge's instruction on "malice aforethought," and thought that for a guilty verdict the defendant would had to have killed his victim with a mallet. State Supreme Court Justice Marvin R. Baxter, who tried the case as a prosecutor, was floored when he learned several years later about the juror's confusion.
NATIONAL
July 15, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
When deliberations began in George Zimmerman's nationally scrutinized Florida trial, the six female jurors were evenly divided on his guilt, according to the first juror to speak out about the case. In an initial vote inside the jury room in Seminole County, Fla., three thought he was not guilty, two thought he was guilty of manslaughter, and one thought he was guilty of second-degree murder in the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, 17. Then, Juror B37 said, the jury pored over the evidence, waded through the law and ultimately decided to acquit Zimmerman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 2013 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California would allow noncitizens to serve on juries under a proposal being considered by state lawmakers, potentially expanding a fundamental obligation of American life to millions more people. The measure, which would apply only to legal residents, would make California the only state to open the jury box to noncitizens who meet all other requirements of service, according to legal experts. The proposal raises the question of what it means to be judged by peers in a state where more than one in seven residents is not a citizen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2013 | By Corina Knoll and Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
After nearly five days of deliberations, jurors in the Bell corruption trial were ordered Thursday to begin anew after a member of the panel was dismissed for misconduct and replaced by an alternate. The original juror, a white-haired woman identified only as Juror No. 3, told Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy she had gone onto a legal website to look up jury instructions and then asked her daughter to help find a definition for the word "coercion. " Although all but one defense attorney requested that the woman stay, Kennedy said the juror needed to be removed.
SPORTS
January 30, 2013 | By Houston Mitchell
Former Penn State assistant football coach and convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky will not get a new trial after a judge in Harrisburg, Pa., rejected arguments that his lawyers were not given enough time to prepare for the original trial. “I do not think it can be said that either of the defendant's trial counsel failed to test the prosecution's case in a meaningful manner,” Judge John Cleland wrote. “The defendant's attorneys subjected the commonwealth's witnesses to meaningful and effective cross-examination, presented evidence for the defense and presented both a comprehensive opening statement and a clearly developed closing argument.” Cleland said lawyers for Sandusky conceded that their post-trial review turned up no material that would have changed their trial strategy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2009 | associated press
Jurors deliberating in the corruption trial of former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona asked the court another question Thursday. Jurors wanted clarification of the definition of "when a conspiracy has ended." U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford sent a reply instructing the panel to review the jury instructions. The jury went home about two hours later without reaching a verdict. Carona has pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy, three counts of mail fraud and two counts of witness tampering.
SPORTS
May 28, 2008 | Gary Klein; Ben Bolch, From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Track coach Trevor Graham orchestrated a doping scheme for his elite track athletes and lied to federal investigators about his role in it, the prosecution said in closing arguments of Graham's trial in San Francisco on Tuesday. "This is a very simple, straightforward case. It's about telling the truth," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Finigan told the jury. "If federal agents come to speak to you and you speak to them, there's only one rule: You tell them the truth. . . .
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 1992 | LILY DIZON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Citing improper jury instructions by the trial court, an appeals court has reversed the conviction of a gang member who was convicted in 1990 of conspiracy to commit murder for his role in the killing of a 4-year-old boy and a rival gang member. The 4th District Court of Appeal ruled that Superior Court Judge Tully H. Seymour, who presided over the trial of Roman Gabriel Menchaca, should have instructed jurors that they could consider conspiracy to commit second-degree murder as a conviction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2007 | Peter Y. Hong, Times Staff Writer
Jurors in the Phil Spector trial will resume deliberations today, two weeks after they first began considering whether the famous music producer murdered actress Lana Clarkson, and four days after the judge launched an extraordinary effort to break a jury deadlock. Spector, 67, is accused of killing Clarkson, 40, who was found shot to death in his Alhambra mansion on Feb. 3, 2003. Prosecutors say Spector shot Clarkson when she tried to leave against his wishes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2007 | Peter Y. Hong and Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writers
The judge in the Phil Spector murder trial threw a life preserver to prosecutors Wednesday by agreeing to revoke an instruction that deadlocked jurors had said they found confusing, legal experts said. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler's decision came during a remarkable day in court, during which jurors were called into the courtroom to speak publicly about the issues behind the impasse, which has left the five-month trial hanging in the balance.
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