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Don’t Make It a Memory Test: Let Jurors in New York Have Written Copies of the Court’s Instructions

Member Jason P.W. Halperin and Associate Erin Galliher co-authored an article in the New York Law Journal arguing that New York should change its current practice and allow written jury instructions to be sent to the jury room during deliberations in criminal trials. 

The authors wrote, “Judges tell jurors that they (the judges) will provide the jury with the law for the counts against the defendant, and that the jury’s job is to determine the facts and to apply the law the court gave them to render a verdict.  But if the jurors are unclear about the law, that does not help anyone.  Giving jurors a copy of the instructions would remove this particular hazard from the deliberation process.”


New York Law Journal