IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF IOWA

EASTERN WATERLOO DIVISION



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

 

Plaintiff,

No. CR 04-2001

vs.

FINAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS

CHRISTOPHER LAKEITH PEARSON,

Defendant.

____________________



         Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury:

         The instructions I gave you at the beginning of the trial and during the trial remain in effect. I will now give you some additional instructions.

          You must, of course, continue to follow the instructions I gave you earlier, as well as those I give you now. You must not single out some instructions and ignore others, because all are important. This is true even though some of those I gave you at the beginning of and during trial are not repeated here.

         The instructions I am about to give you now are in writing and will be available to you in the jury room. I emphasize, however, that this does not mean they are more important than my earlier instructions. Again, all instructions, whenever given and whether in writing or not, must be followed.

 


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         In considering these instructions, attach no importance or significance whatsoever to the order in which they are given.


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         Neither in these instructions nor in any ruling, action, or remark that I have made during this trial have I intended to give any opinion or suggestion as to what the facts are or what your verdict should be.


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         It is your duty to find from the evidence what the facts are. You will then apply the law, as I give it to you, to those facts. You must follow my instructions on the law, even if you thought the law was different or should be different.

         Do not allow sympathy or prejudice to influence you. The law demands of you a just verdict, unaffected by anything except the evidence, your common sense, and the law as I give it to you.

 


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         I have mentioned the word “evidence.” The “evidence” in this case consists of the following: the testimony of the witnesses, the documents and other things received as exhibits, and stipulations, that is, agreements between the parties that certain facts are as they have stated.

         You may use reason and common sense to draw deductions or conclusions from facts which have been established by the evidence in the case.

         Certain things are not evidence. I shall list those things again for you now:

         1. Statements, arguments, questions, and comments by the lawyers are not evidence.

         2. Objections are not evidence. The parties have a right to object when they believe something is improper. You should not be influenced by the objection. If I sustained an objection to a question, you must ignore the question and must not try to guess what the answer might have been.

         3. Testimony that I struck from the record, or told you to disregard, is not evidence and must not be considered.

         4. Anything you saw or heard about this case outside the courtroom is not evidence.

         Finally, you will be given an instruction that some evidence was received for a limited purpose only. You must follow that instruction.


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         There are two types of evidence from which a jury may properly find the truth as to the facts of a case: direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence is the evidence of the witness to a fact or facts of which they have knowledge by means of their senses. The other is circumstantial evidence – the proof of a chain of circumstances pointing to the existence or nonexistence of certain facts. The law makes no distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence. You should give all evidence the weight and value you believe it is entitled to receive.


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         The jurors are the sole judges of the weight and credibility of the testimony and the value to be given to each witness who has testified in this case. In deciding what the facts are, you may have to decide what testimony you believe and what testimony you do not believe. You may believe all of what a witness said, or only part of it, or none of it.

         In deciding what testimony to believe, consider the witness’ intelligence, the opportunity the witness had to have seen or heard the things testified about, the witness’ memory, any motives that witness may have for testifying a certain way, the manner of the witness while testifying, whether that witness said something different at an earlier time, the general reasonableness of the testimony, and the extent to which the testimony is consistent with any evidence that you believe.

         In deciding whether or not to believe a witness, keep in mind that people sometimes hear or see things differently and sometimes forget things. You need to consider, therefore, whether a contradiction is an innocent misrecollection or lapse of memory or an intentional falsehood, and that may depend on whether it has to do with an important fact or only a small detail.

 


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         In the previous instruction, I instructed you generally on the credibility of witnesses. I now give you this further instruction on how the credibility of a witness can be “impeached” and how you are to consider the testimony of certain witnesses.

         A witness may be discredited or impeached by contradictory evidence; by a showing that the witness testified falsely concerning a material matter; by showing the witness has a motive to be untruthful; or by evidence that at some other time the witness has said or done something, or has failed to say or do something, that is inconsistent with the witness’ present testimony.

         You have heard evidence that Roger Hoffert has been convicted of crimes. You may use that evidence only to help you decide whether to believe the witness and how much weight to give the witness’ testimony.

         You have heard evidence that Roger Hoffert has received a promise from the Government that his testimony will not be used against him in a criminal case. The witness’ testimony was received in evidence and may be considered by you. You may give the witness’ testimony such weight as you think it deserves. Whether or not the witness’ testimony may have been influenced by the Government's promise is for you to determine.

 


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         In this case the Defendant did not testify. The fact that the Defendant did not testify must not be considered by you in any way, or even discussed, in arriving at your verdict.


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         You have heard testimony that the defendant made statements to law enforcement. It is for you to decide:

         First, whether the defendant made the statements and

         Second, if so, how much weight you should give to them.

         In making these two decisions you should consider all of the evidence, including the circumstances under which the statements may have been made.


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         You have heard a certain category of evidence called “other acts” evidence. Here, you have heard evidence of defendant’s prior conviction for possession of marijuana. You may not use this “other acts” evidence to decide whether the defendant carried out the acts involved in the crime charged in the Indictment. In order to consider “other acts” evidence at all, you must first unanimously find beyond a reasonable doubt, based on the rest of the evidence introduced, that the defendant carried out the acts involved in the crime charged in the Indictment. If you make that finding, then you may consider the “other acts” evidence to decide the defendant’s intent and knowledge. “Other acts” evidence must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence; that is, you must find that the evidence is more likely true than not true. This is a lower standard than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If you find that this evidence is proven by a preponderance of the evidence, you should give it the weight and value you believe it is entitled to receive. If you find that it is not proven by a preponderance of the evidence, then you shall disregard such evidence.

         Remember, even if you find that the defendant may have committed a similar act, this is not evidence that he committed such an act in this case. You may not convict a person simply because you believe he may have committed a similar act. The defendant is on trial only for the crime charged, and you may consider the evidence of other acts only on the issue of the defendant’s intent and knowledge.


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         Exhibits have been admitted into evidence and are to be considered along with all the other evidence to assist you in reaching a verdict. You are not to tamper with the exhibits or their contents, and each exhibit should be returned into open court, along with your verdict, in the same condition as it was received by you.


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         A reasonable doubt is a doubt based upon reason and common sense, and not the mere possibility of innocence. A reasonable doubt is the kind of doubt that would make a reasonable person hesitate to act. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt, therefore, must be proof of such a convincing character that a reasonable person would not hesitate to rely and act upon it. However, proof beyond a reasonable doubt does not mean proof beyond all possible doubt.


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         At the beginning of the trial I told you that the defendant was accused of two different crimes: possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it and possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Since the trial started, however, one of the charges has been disposed of, the one having to do with possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. That charge is no longer before you, and the only crime that the defendant is charged with now is possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it. You should not guess about or concern yourselves with the reason for this disposition. You are not to consider this fact when deciding if the Government has proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, the count which remains, which is Count 1.

         The following evidence is now stricken by me, and is thus no longer before you and may not be considered by you: the testimony of Artelia Holt, Deputy Herkelman’s testimony relating to Government’s Exhibit 15, which was not admitted into evidence, his testimony that the defendant was previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, and Government’s Exhibit 17O.


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         Count 1 of the Indictment charges that on or about October 2, 2003, in the Northern District of Iowa, Christopher Lakeith Pearson did knowingly and intentionally possess with the intent to distribute approximately 250.5 grams of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance. The defendant has pleaded not guilty to Count 1.

         As I told you at the beginning of trial, an indictment is simply an accusation. It is not evidence of anything. To the contrary, the defendant is presumed to be innocent. Thus the defendant, even though charged, begins the trial with no evidence against him. The presumption of innocence alone is sufficient to find the defendant not guilty and can be overcome only if the Government proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, each essential element of the crime charged.

         There is no burden upon the defendant to prove that he is innocent.


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         The crime of possessing with the intent to distribute marijuana, as charged in Count 1 of the Indictment, has three essential elements, which are:

         One,  on or about October 2, 2003, the defendant was in possession of marijuana;

         Two,  the defendant knew that he was in possession of marijuana; and

Three, the defendant intended to distribute some or all of the marijuana to another person.

 

         If all of these essential elements have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must find the defendant guilty of the crime charged in Count 1; otherwise you must find the defendant not guilty of the crime charged in Count 1.


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         You are instructed as a matter of law that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. You must ascertain whether or not the substance in question as to Count 1 was marijuana. In so doing, you may consider all the evidence in the case which may aid in the determination of that issue.

         In determining whether the defendant is guilty of possessing with the intent to distribute marijuana as charged in Count 1, the government is not required to prove that the amount or quantity of the controlled substance was as charged in the Indictment. The government need only prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a measurable amount of the controlled substance.


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         You are instructed that the term “distribute” means to deliver a controlled substance to the possession of another person. The term “deliver” means the actual or attempted transfer of a controlled substance to the possession of another person. No consideration for the delivery need exist, and it is not necessary that money or anything of value change hands. The law is directed at the act of distribution of a controlled substance and does not concern itself with any need for a sale to occur.


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         The law recognizes several kinds of possession. A person may have actual possession or constructive possession. A person may have sole or joint possession.

         A person who knowingly has direct physical control over a thing, at a given time, is then in “actual possession” of it.

         A person who, although not in actual possession, knowingly has both the power and the intention at a given time to exercise dominion or control over a thing, either directly or through another person or persons, is then in “constructive possession” of it.

         If one person alone has actual or constructive possession of a thing, possession is “sole.” If two or more persons share actual or constructive possession of a thing, possession is “joint.”

         Whenever the word “possession” has been used in these instructions it includes “actual” as well as “constructive” possession and also “sole” as well as “joint” possession.

 

 

 


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         You will note the Indictment charges that the offense was committed “on or about” a certain date. The government need not prove with certainty the exact date or the exact time period of the offense charged. It is sufficient if the evidence established that an offense occurred within a reasonable time of the date or period of time alleged by the Indictment.


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         An act is done “knowingly” if a defendant realized what he was doing and did not act through ignorance, mistake or accident. The government is not required to prove that a defendant knew that his acts or omissions were unlawful. You may consider the evidence of a defendant’s acts and words, along with all other evidence, in deciding whether a defendant acted knowingly.

 


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         Intent may be proven by circumstantial evidence. It rarely can be established by other means. While witnesses may see or hear and thus be able to give direct evidence of what a person does or fails to do, there can be no eyewitness account of the state of mind with which the acts were done or omitted. But what a defendant does or fails to do may indicate intent or lack of intent to commit an offense.

         You may consider it reasonable to draw the inference and find that a person intends the natural and probable consequences of acts knowingly done, but you are not required to do so. As I have said, it is entirely up to you to decide what facts to find from the evidence.


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         Throughout the trial, you have been permitted to take notes. Your notes should be used only as memory aids, and you should not give your notes precedence over your independent recollection of the evidence.

         In any conflict between your notes, a fellow juror’s notes, and your memory, your memory must prevail. Remember that notes sometimes contain the mental impressions of the note taker and can be used only to help you recollect what the testimony was. At the conclusion of your deliberations, your notes should be left in the jury room for destruction.

 


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         In conducting your deliberations and returning your verdict, there are certain rules you must follow. I shall list those rules for you now.

         First, when you go to the jury room, you must select one of your members as your foreperson. That person will preside over your discussions and speak for you here in court.

         Second, it is your duty, as jurors, to discuss this case with one another in the jury room. You should try to reach an agreement if you can do so without violence to individual judgment, because a verdict - whether guilty or not guilty - must be unanimous.

         Each of you must make your own conscientious decision, but only after you have considered all the evidence, discussed it fully with your fellow jurors, and listened to the views of your fellow jurors.

         Do not be afraid to change your opinions if the discussion persuades you that you should. But do not come to a decision simply because other jurors think it is right, or simply to reach a verdict.

         Third, if the defendant is found guilty, the sentence to be imposed is my responsibility. You may not consider punishment in any way in deciding whether the government has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

 

 

(CONTINUED)


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         Fourth, if you need to communicate with me during your deliberations, you may send a note to me through the marshal or court security officer, signed by one or more

jurors. I will respond as soon as possible either in writing or orally in open court. Remember that you should not tell anyone – including me – how your votes stand numerically.

         Finally, your verdict must be based solely on the evidence and on the law which I have given to you in my instructions. The verdict, whether guilty or not guilty, must be unanimous. Nothing I have said or done is intended to suggest what your verdict should be – that is entirely for you to decide.

 


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         Attached to these instructions you will find a Verdict Form. The Verdict Form is simply the written notice of the decision that you reach in this case. The answer to the Verdict Form must be the unanimous decision of the jury.

         You will take the Verdict Form to the jury room, and when you have completed your deliberations and each of you has agreed on an answer to the Verdict Form, your foreperson will fill out the Form, sign and date it, and advise the marshal or court security officer that you are ready to return to the courtroom.

         Finally, members of the jury, take this case and give it your most careful consideration, and then without fear or favor, prejudice or bias of any kind, return such verdict as accords with the evidence and these instructions.

 

 

 

         __________                                       __________________________________

         DATE                                               LINDA R. READE

                                                                 JUDGE, U. S. DISTRICT COURT

 


IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF IOWA

EASTERN WATERLOO DIVISION

 

 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

 

Plaintiff,

No. CR 04-2001

vs.


VERDICT FORM

CHRISTOPHER LAKEITH PEARSON,

Defendant.

____________________

 

 

         We, the Jury, find the defendant, CHRISTOPHER LAKEITH PEARSON,______________of the crime of possessing marijuana with the intent to Guilty/Not Guilty                              

distribute it on or about October 2, 2003, as charged in Count 1 of the Indictment.

                                                             __________________________________

                                                             FOREPERSON

                                                             __________________________________

                                                             DATE