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In re Standard Jury Instructions In Criminal Cases- Report 2016-12.

Supreme Court of Florida

April 27, 2017

IN RE: STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS IN CRIMINAL CASES- REPORT 2016-12.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION, AND IF FILED, DETERMINED.

         Original Proceeding - Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases

          Judge F. Rand Wallis, Chair, Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases, Daytona Beach, Florida; and Bart Schneider, Staff Liaison, Office of the State Courts Administrator, Tallahassee, Florida, for Petitioner.

          PER CURIAM.

         The Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases (Committee) has submitted a report proposing amendments to one existing instruction and the addition of one new instruction. The Committee requests that the Court authorize its proposals for publication and use. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 2(a), Fla. Const.

         The Committee proposes amending existing instruction 21.15 (False Information to Law Enforcement), and adopting new instruction 29.26 (Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device). Following publication of its proposals, two comments were received by the Committee. The Committee considered the comments, but did not make the recommended changes.

         The more significant changes to the standard criminal jury instructions include the following. As amended, existing instruction 21.15 (False Information to Law Enforcement), which covers the crime of knowingly giving false information to a law enforcement officer who is conducting a missing person or a felony criminal investigation, adds the sentence, "The court instructs you that (name of crime) is a felony." Next, as adopted, new instruction 29.26 (Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device) instructs upon the crime as set forth in section 934.215, Florida Statutes (2016), and includes the two elements that track the language of the statute. The instruction further provides that the identified felony is a felony.

         Having considered the Committee's report and the comments to the proposals, the proposed amendments to jury instruction 21.15 and new instruction 29.26, as set forth in the appendix to this opinion, are hereby authorized for publication and use.[1] New language is indicated by underlining, and deleted language is indicated by struck-through type. In authorizing the publication and use of these instructions, we express no opinion as to their correctness and remind all interested parties that this authorization forecloses neither requesting additional or alternative instructions nor contesting the legal correctness of the instructions. We further caution all interested parties that any comments associated with the instructions reflect only the opinion of the Committee and are not necessarily indicative of the views of this Court as to their correctness or applicability. The instructions as set forth in the appendix shall become effective when this opinion becomes final.

         It is so ordered.

          LABARGA, CJ, and PARIENTE, LEWIS, QUINCE, CANADY, POLSTON, and LAWSON, JJ, concur

         APPENDIX

         21.15 FALSE INFORMATION TO LAW ENFORCEMENT § 837.055(1), Fla. Stat.

         To prove the crime of False Information to Law Enforcement, the State must prove the following five elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. (Name of law enforcement officer) was conducting a [missing person investigation] [felony criminal ...

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