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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

2.10-2  Note-Taking

Revised to December 1, 2007

If you took notes during the evidence, you may use them during deliberations and you may discuss your notes with your fellow jurors.  Remember that notes are merely aids to your memory and should not be given precedence over your independent recollection of the evidence.  If there is a conflict between your recollection and your notes or the notes of any other juror, it is your recollection of the evidence that must prevail.

Your notes or the notes of any other juror are not evidence.  You will recall my earlier definition of what constitutes evidence.  Your verdict must be based exclusively on evidence presented at trial and the principles of law given to you in these final instructions.

A juror who has not taken notes should rely on his or her recollection of the evidence and should not be influenced by the fact that other jurors have taken notes.  Notes are only a tool and are not always accurate.  Do not assume that a voluminous note-taker has taken notes that are necessarily more accurate than your memory.

You may discuss your notes with your fellow jurors during the deliberation phase.  The decision to do so is yours and yours alone.  After the trial is concluded all notes will be collected by the court staff and destroyed.

I remind you that you have the right to request portions of the testimony to be read back to you, if you deem it essential during your deliberations.  You will have all the exhibits with you during your deliberations.


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