jury instructions

  • 1.

    The judge gives the jury instructions at the beginning of the trial, before deliberations, and at the end of the trial. Instructions at the beginning of the trial usually include rules for juror conduct. Instructions before deliberations outline the law that the jury must apply in determining the facts and deciding the verdict; the judge may give those instruction before or after final argument. At the end of trial, the court may give some final guidelines about what jurors may discuss with others, what they need not discuss if they choose not to, information about debriefing sessions for jurors in emotionally difficult cases. Judges frequently meet with juries after trial to get feedback about jury service and about what the judge, lawyers, and jury coordinator can do to improve jury service for future jurors.

    Oregon Judicial Department 1
    See also burden of proof
  • 2.

    A judge's directions to the jury before it begins deliberations regarding the factual questions it must answer and the legal rules that it must apply.

    United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 2

1Oregon Judicial Department, Juror Information: Glossary of Terms, http://­www.ojd.state.or.us/­jurorinfo/­glossary.htm (last accessed May 27, 2009).

2United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Commonly Used Terms - U.S. Courts, http://­www.ca9.uscourts.gov/­content/­view.php?pk_id=0000000237 (last accessed May 28, 2009).