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3.5 Deadlocked Jury

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3.5 DEADLOCKED JURY

Members of the jury, you have advised that you have been unable to agree upon a verdict in this case. I have decided to suggest a few thoughts to you.

As jurors, you have a duty to discuss the case with one another and to deliberate in an effort to reach a unanimous verdict if each of you can do so without violating your individual judgment and conscience. Each of you must decide the case for yourself, but only after you consider the evidence impartially with your fellow jurors. During your deliberations, you should not hesitate to reexamine your own views and change your opinion if you become persuaded that it is wrong. However, you should not change an honest belief as to the weight or effect of the evidence solely because of the opinions of your fellow jurors or for the mere purpose of returning a verdict.

All of you are equally honest and conscientious jurors who have heard the same evidence. All of you share an equal desire to arrive at a verdict. Each of you should ask yourself whether you should question the correctness of your present position.

I remind you that in your deliberations you are to consider the instructions I have given you as a whole. You should not single out any part of any instruction, including this one, and ignore others. They are all equally important.

You may now retire and continue your deliberations.

Comment

The committee recommends that a supplemental instruction to encourage a deadlocked jury to reach a verdict should be given with great caution.

An earlier form of instruction for a deadlocked jury was approved by the Supreme Court in Allen v. United States, 164 U.S. 492, 501 (1896).

Before giving any supplemental jury instruction to a deadlocked jury, the committee recommends the court review United States v. Wills, 88 F.3d 704, 716-18 (9th Cir.1996), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 1000 (1996); United States v. Ajiboye, 961 F.2d 892 (9th Cir.1992); United States v. Nickell, 883 F.2d 824 (9th Cir.1989); United States v. Seawell, 550 F.2d 1159 (9th Cir.1977), appeal after remand, 583 F.2d 416 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 991 (1978); and Jury Instructions Committee of the Ninth Circuit, A Manual on Jury Trial Procedures §§ 5.4 and 5.5 (2013).