Pre-Deliberation Instructions (CC3550): Modification When Received Benefits from Prosecution in Exchange for Testimony
December 4th, 2018

Considerations of punishment are important with respect to witnesses who have received or been promised benefits from the prosecution such as immunity or leniency. (See e.g., CC 105 and CC 226.) For example, in Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 154, 92 S. Ct. 763, 31 L. Ed. 2d 104 (1972), “the Government’s case depended almost entirely” on one witness, yet the prosecution failed to inform the defense that the witness testified in exchange for a promise from the government that he would not be prosecuted. The Supreme Court held that the prosecution was required to inform the defense about its agreement with the witness because “evidence of any understanding or agreement as to a future prosecution would be relevant to [the witness’s] credibility and the jury was entitled to know of it,” and the Court ordered a new trial.  (Id. at 154-55; see also, this post: Witness Credibility: Expected Benefit from Prosecutor
August 14th, 2018


Accordingly, the following sentence in CC 3550 should be modified or deleted when a witness has received or been promised a benefit from the prosecution: “You must reach your verdict without any consideration of punishment.”


A possible modification would be as follows:


“You must reach your verdict without any consideration of punishment of the defendant.”

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