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This Manual of Model Criminal Jury Instructions ("Manual") has been prepared to help judges communicate more effectively with juries.

The instructions in this Manual are models. They are not mandatory, and must be reviewed carefully before use in a particular case. They are not a substitute for the individual research and drafting that may be required in a particular case, nor are they intended to discourage judges from using their own forms and techniques for instructing juries.

In addition to its ongoing consideration of legislative developments and appellate court decisions that may impact these model instructions, the Jury Instructions Committee (the Committee) welcomes suggestions from judges, staff and practitioners about possible revisions, additions and deletions. After careful assessment and research, the Committee updates and revises instructions from time to time as necessary. Revisions are available online. They are later compiled and published in the printed version of the Manual. The Committee strongly recommends that the online version of any instruction be consulted to be sure an up to date instruction is being considered. The Committee encourages users of this book to make suggestions for further revisions and updates.

This 2010 edition incorporates new and modified instructions. However, the print publication of the Manual necessarily presents a snap-shot of an ongoing research and drafting process. Accordingly, even the most recently dated edition of the Manual does not guarantee that one is using instructions that are up to date. The entire publication and any later changes can be found at the Ninth Circuit’s website at this link: This 2010 edition is current as to instructions approved as of July 2010. To assist users, the Committee has included a table listing the old instruction numbers in the 2003 edition and the corresponding numbers in the 2010 edition.

These model instructions have been reviewed by various members of the federal bench and bar. The Committee extends its thanks to those who reviewed and commented on various parts of the book. The Committee also extends its thanks to former Committee members, Chief District Judge Roger L. Hunt and Judge Stephen G. Larson, for their contributions to this edition and to Ninth Circuit Office of the Circuit Executive staff member Debra Landis for her invaluable diligence, grace and expertise. In addition, the Committee acknowledges with gratitude the singular contributions of Joseph Franaszek, Esq. For many years, Mr. Franaszek has worked with the Committee on a voluntary basis, providing careful research and drafting assistance, as well as a unique "institutional memory" that enables the changing membership of the Committee to understand how existing instructions came to be formulated. Mr. Franaszek has performed an invaluable service to the bench and bar, and has earned the Committee’s enduring respect.


These model jury instructions are written and organized by judges who are appointed to the Ninth Circuit Jury Instructions Committee by the Chief Circuit Judge.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals does not adopt these instructions as definitive. Indeed, occasionally the correctness of a given instruction may be the subject of a Ninth Circuit opinion.

Ninth Circuit Jury Instructions Committee

July 2010