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PG II(A) The Statute.
“The language of a statute defining a crime or defense is generally an appropriate and desirable basis for an instruction, and is ordinarily sufficient when the defendant fails to request amplification. If the jury would have no difficulty in understanding the statute without guidance, the court need do no more than instruct in statutory language.” (People v. Poggi (88) 45 C3d 306, 327 [246 CR 886].)
“Although instructions based on code sections should follow the language of the particular section at issue, the court should give explanatory instructions where the statutory wording is confusing or couched in legal terms. [Citation.] ‘It is incumbent upon the trial court to determine whether or not a code section should be explained.’ [Citations.]” (Brown v. Smith (97) 55 CA4th 767, 784-85 [64 CR2d 301].
Instruction in the language of the statute is not proper if “reasonable men might differ as to the construction of the statute” or if use of the statutory language would delegate to the jury the function of statutory interpretation that belongs to the court. (People v. Thomas (45) 25 C2d 880, 895 [156 P2d 7].)
[See also FORECITE BIBLIO, “Language/Drafting of Instructions” (BIBLIO L)]