Goals and Format [§DP-1]
FORECITE’S penalty phase instruction section has three goals:
1. Develop a comprehensive, organized format for identifying and tracking penalty phase instruction issues.
2. Provide proposed instructions on selected issues.
3. Provide monthly updates to keep subscribers current as to the disposition of current issues, to report new issues as they become identified, and to provide updated instruction proposals.
To accomplish its goals FORECITE has developed checklists of death penalty principles and instructional issues. Additionally, the death penalty section will include proposed instructions using the standard FORECITE form which includes the instructional language with well reasoned and documented points and authorities.
1. Selected Constitutional Principles. This checklist provides a guide to general constitutional principles which may be particularly applicable to jury instructions.
2. Issue Checklist. The issue checklist catalogs special circumstance and penalty phase instructional issues. The checklist is cross referenced to relevant cases and/or sources such as the CACJ/CPDA Death Penalty Manual. The checklist also cross references proposed instructions relating to the issues which are contained in FORECITE or other sources.,/
Caveat: Counsel should not rely exclusively on the FORECITE checklist for issue identification or substantive briefing. There may well be other instructional issues which have not been identified by FORECITE or which are applicable under the facts of an individual case. Also, the checklist is not designed to fully address or develop the arguments related to a particular issue. The relevant cases and other available sources should be consulted in order to fully develop the arguments.
3. Selected Proposed Instructions. Proposed instructions which are available in sources other than FORECITE are cross referenced in the issue outline. Additionally, FORECITE has developed proposed instructions on selected issues for which proposed instructions may be unavailable or incomplete.
Caveat: As with the issue checklist, counsel should not rely exclusively upon FORECITE’S proposed instructions. There are likely to be many proposed instructions appropriate for an individual case which are not included in FORECITE’S instructions. Moreover, in the realm of penalty phase instructions there are often many variations of the same instruction. The particular version chosen by FORECITE may not necessarily be the best or most appropriate instruction under the circumstances of an individual case.