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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Example Pages from the Jury Instructions

Sources:
http://talkleft.com/LibbyTrial/obstructionstatements.pdf
http://talkleft.com/LibbyTrial/memoryinstructionfinal.pdf

OCR Job.

Seven pages of jury instructions, taken from Jeralyn Merritt's February 28 article, Libby: Factors to Consider While We Wait. They show that the 127 pages of instructions contain very little text on each page, being in rather large print. As an aside, the page numbers are handwritten, not typed.

The last three pages are a fraction of the instructions relating to Count One, Obstruction of Justice, and show the defense-preferred definition of "intent," including the use of "corruptly" and "[to act] with an evil motive" as necessary findings to support the rendering of a guilty verdict. The prosecution argued against using words like "evil motive."

I've also learned that the jury instructions include a "Good Faith Defense" section, as requested by the defense.

On the other hand, unless Ms. Merritt truncated the Memory Instruction actually delivered to the jury, it appears the defense did not get the language it sought under the memory instruction ...

    (8.) A person's confidence in the accuracy of his recollection of an event has little, if any, relation to the accuracy of the person's recollection. In other words, a person may be very confident that his memory of an event is accurate when in fact it is inaccurate.

    (9.) If a person remembers an event incorrectly the first time he tries to recall it, his later recollections of the event are likely to repeat that error.

Feb 14 Libby's Second Set of Proposed Jury Instructions p. 19.

---===---

Without waiving our initial proposal, we requested that two points be added to the Court's proposed memory instruction: (1) that a person's confidence in the accuracy of his recollection of an event has little, if any, relation to the accuracy of the person's recollection--in other words, a person may be very confident that his memory of an event is accurate when in fact it is inaccurate; and (2) that if a person remembers an event incorrectly the first time he tries to recall it, his later recollections of the event are likely to repeat that error.

Feb 17 Libby Response to Court's Proposed Jury Inst. pp. 7, 8

See also Jan 17 Libby Memorandum regarding Jury Instructions pp. 6-8.



             Memory Instruction
      As you have heard, the defense contends
    that Mr. Libby confused, forgot, or
    misremembered all or parts of some of the
    conversations that you have heard about
    during the trial that form the basis for
    the charges that have been filed against
    Mr. Libby. You are also being asked to
    evaluate the accuracy of the memory of
    other witnesses who testified in this
    trial. In considering Mr. Libby's position
    and the testimony of any other witness

                                                35

    whose memory is at issue, it is appropriate
    for you to take into account the following:
      (1.) Your assessment, based on your life
    experiences, of the capacity of human
    beings to remember things they said and
    were told when asked to recall those
    matters at a later point in time;
      (2.) The amount of time between when a
    person said or heard something and the
    impact the passage of time had on the
    person's memory to accurately recall those

                                                36

    events;
      (3.) The circumstances that existed when
    the person was exposed to the events he or
    she is asked to recall;
      (4.) The nature of the information or
    the event the person is called upon to
    remember;
      (5.) The circumstances that existed when
    the person was asked to recall the earlier
    event;
      (6.) The circumstances that existed

                                                37

    during the time between when the person was
    exposed to an event he or she is asked to
    recall and when that person was asked to
    recall the earlier event;
      (7.) Your assessment of the memory
    capacity of the person whose memory is in
    question; and
      (8.) Any evidence that was presented
    during this trial that shed light on any
    issues related to memory of the individuals
    you have to assess in this trial.

                                               38

             -------------------

    corruptly endeavored to influence,
    obstruct, or impede the due administration
    of justice.
      According to count one of the
    indictment, Mr. Libby carried out this
    corrupt endeavor by making the following
    three allegedly false statements to the
    grand jury:
      (1.) That when Mr. Libby spoke with Tim
    Russert of NBC News, on or about July 10,
    2003, Mr. Russert asked Mr. Libby if Mr.

                                              62

    Libby knew that Joseph Wilson's wife worked
    for the CIA and that Mr. Russert told Mr.
    Libby that all the reporters knew it;
      (2.) That when Mr. Libby spoke with
    Tim Russert of NBC News, on or about July
    10, 2003, Mr. Libby was surprised to hear
    that Mr. Wilson's wife worked for the CIA;
    and
      (3.) That Mr. Libby advised Matthew
    Cooper of Time magazine on or about July
    12, 2003, that he had heard that other

                                             63

    reporters were saying that Mr. Wilson's
    wife worked for the CIA, and further
    advised him that Mr. Libby did not know
    whether this assertion was true.
      To act "corruptly," as this word is used
    in these instructions, means to act
    voluntarily and deliberately and with an
    evil motive or improper purpose or intent
    to influence, or obstruct, or interfere
    with the administration of justice.
      The term "endeavors," as used in these

                                            64


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