CrR 6.15: INSTRUCTIONS AND ARGUMENT

(a) Proposed Instructions. Proposed jury instructions shall be served and filed when a case is called for trial by serving one copy upon counsel for each party, by filing one copy with the clerk, and by delivering the original and one additional copy for each party to the trial judge. Additional instructions, which could not be reasonably anticipated, shall be served and filed at any time before the court has instructed the jury. Not less than 10 days before the date of trial, the court may order counsel to serve and file proposed instructions not less than 3 days before the trial date. Each proposed instruction shall be on a separate sheet of paper. The original shall not be numbered nor include citations of authority. Any superior court may adopt special rules permitting certain instructions to be requested by number from any published book of instructions.

(b) (Reserved.)

(c) Objection to Instructions. Before instructing the jury, the court shall supply counsel with copies of the proposed numbered instructions, verdict and special finding forms. The court shall afford to counsel an opportunity in the absence of the jury to object to the giving of any instructions and the refusal to give a requested instruction or submission of a verdict or special finding form. The party objecting shall state the reasons for the objection, specifying the number, paragraph, and particular part of the instruction to be given or refused. The court shall provide counsel for each party with a copy of the instructions in their final form.

(d) Instructing the Jury and Argument of Counsel. The court shall read the instructions to the jury. The prosecution may then address the jury after which the defense may address the jury followed by the prosecutions rebuttal.

(e) Deliberation. After argument, the jury shall retire to consider the verdict. The jury shall take with it the instructions given, all exhibits received in evidence and a verdict form or forms.

(f) Questions from Jury During Deliberations.

(1) The jury shall be instructed that any question it wishes to ask the court about the instructions or evidence should be signed, dated and submitted in writing to the bailiff. The court shall notify the parties of the contents of the questions and provide them an opportunity to comment upon an appropriate response. Written questions from the jury, the court’s response and any objections thereto shall be made a part of the record. The court shall respond to all questions from a deliberating jury in open court or in writing. In its discretion, the court may grant a jury’s request to rehear or replay evidence, but should do so in a way that is least likely to be seen as a comment on the evidence, in a way that is not unfairly prejudicial and in a way that minimizes the possibility that jurors will give undue weight to such evidence. Any additional instruction upon any point of law shall be given in writing.

(2) After jury deliberations have begun, the court shall not instruct the jury in such a way as to suggest the need for agreement, the consequences of no agreement, or the length of time a jury will be required to deliberate.

(g) Several Offenses. The verdict forms for an offense charged or necessarily included in the offense charged or an attempt to commit either the offense charged or any offense necessarily included therein may be submitted to the jury.

[Amended effective January 2, 1974; September 1, 1986; amended effective October 1, 2002]

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