Monday, June 9, 2008
Jury Instructions can be important in a trial. In addition to serving as a basis for an appeal, they can also provide the jury with an understanding of the law. The legal complexities often seen in a white collar case make jury instructions particularly important.
In a recent case that alleged fraud, where the prosecution used 18 U.S.C. s 1346 the intangible right to honest services statute, the jury needed to consider state law in reaching its verdict (see here). Specifically they had to examine the role of state law in a state like Rhode Island, that has a part-time legislature and permits its senators to work privately. The court gave the following preliminary and final instructions explaining this aspect of the law to the jury. The jury returned not guilty verdicts for the two former CVS executives.
Preliminary Instructions - Download preliminary_instructions.PDF
Final Instructions - Download jury_instuctions_state_law.PDF