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PG IX(C) General Rules For Framing Supplemental Instructions [§PG-230].
PG IX(C)(1) Special Care Needed:
The trial judge should be especially careful when framing supplemental instructions. (People v. Thompkins (87) 195 CA3d 244, 255 [240 CR 516]; Powell v. U.S. (9th Cir. 1965) 347 F2d 156, 158, fn 3].)
PG IX(C)(2) Response to Jury Reinstruction Request Must Be Balanced:
Due process demands that, when the jury has expressed difficulty in resolving an issue, the trial court’s response must be balanced and not unequally favoring to either side. (See U.S. v. Meadows (5th Cir. 1979) 598 F2d 984, 990.) “[T]he court must exercise special care to see that inaccuracy or imbalance in supplemental instructions do not poison an otherwise healthy trial.” (U.S. v. Carter (5th Cir. 1974) 491 F2d 625, 633.) [See Brief Bank # B-573 for additional briefing on this issue.]
Hence, in U.S. v. Miller (9th Cir. 1976) 546 F2d 320, 324, the court reversed because the judge, in responding to the jury’s request to rehear the instructions on credibility of witnesses, omitted a crucial instruction on distrust of accomplice testimony. (See also U.S. v. Skarda (8th Cir. 1988) 845 F2d 1508, 1512; U.S. v. Sutherland (5th Cir. 1970) 428 F2d 1152, 1157-58.)
[See Brief Bank # B-793 for additional briefing on this issue.
PG IX(C)(3) Admonition That Supplemental Instructions Have No Greater Weight Than Original Instructions:
After delivering supplemental instructions, the court should admonish the jury not to give the additional instructions any more significance than the other instructions which were previously delivered to the jury. (See Davis v. Erickson(60) 53 C2d 860, 863-64 [3 CR 567].)
PG IX(C)(4) Correct Regular Instruction Does Not Cure Improper Supplemental Instruction.
See People v. Miller (2008) 164 CA4th 653 [supplemental instruction omitted element which had been included in the regular instruction]; Johnson v. Gibson (10th Cir. 2001) 254 F3d 1155, 1166 [reversal required where improper supplemental instruction regarding parole eligibility contradicted rather than referred back to the original correct instructions].)