Archive for December, 2011

Criminal Jury Instructions Online

At the end of a criminal jury trial, the judge will give the jury certain instructions that they must follow when determing whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. Up until recently, the pattern jury instructions (the instructions that a judge will use unless the law is not correctly reflected in them), were not freely available on the Internet. As reported by Illinois Lawyer Now, they are now. Click here to access them.

When I begin a case (or need to think through the law applicable to a situation), I often head to the pattern  jury instructions. After all, as Stephen Covey  tells us, we need to begin with the end in mind. Since the jury will use these instructions at the end of the case — and the State must prove what is contained in the instructions —  our focus as defense attorneys and defendants must be on them too. If we are not considering the end at the beginning, we are less likely to reach a two-word (not guilty) verdict.

Jeremy Richey

Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.