Closing Remarks

CR03-011.  Jury Deliberations (11/22/19).  The instructions on jury deliberations, including the requirement of unanimity, are usually given at the conclusion of the closing instructions. Note that the unanimity instruction here is a “general unanimity instruction,” which “informs the jury generally that they must agree unanimously on the verdict.” State v. Robitille, 2019 VT 36, ¶ 48. Case circumstances may dictate that a more specific unanimity instruction also be given, for instance, when there is more than one act that might support the offense charged. See id. In such cases, courts and attorneys should consider CR04-081.

CR03-021.  A Reminder About Juror Note Taking (06/18/03).  If jurors are allowed to take notes, they should be reminded that they should pay equal attention to all jurors, whether or not they have taken notes.  The concern is that a juror who has taken notes might exercise undue influence on others.

CR03-031.  Juror Recollection of the Evidence  (05/27/03).

CR03-041.  Foreperson’s Duties (09/05/02).  Although the practice varies, the committee recommends that the judge announce the appointment of the foreperson toward the end of the closing instructions.  An earlier announcement could cause unnecessary distraction.

CR03-051.  Juror Use of Electronic Devices During Deliberations (06/20/12).  Following the suggestion of State v. Abdi, 2012 VT 4, 191 Vt. 162, the committee has established a long version of the instruction on juror prohibitions, including juror use of electronic devices, to be read at the beginning of the trial, and which may be found at CR01-031.  This shorter version is meant to be included in the final jury instructions, but some judges may wish to use the longer instruction as part of the final instructions.  Judges may also consider ordering the collection of all electronic devices from the jurors during deliberations.

CR03-061.  Partial Rule 29 Dismissal (other charges remain) (10/22/19).