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In re Standard Jury Instructions In Criminal Cases- Report 2019-02

Supreme Court of Florida

December 19, 2019

IN RE: STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS IN CRIMINAL CASES- REPORT 2019-02.

         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 proposed changes to the standard jury instructions and asks that the Court authorize the amended standard instructions for publication and use. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 2(a), Fla. Const.

         The Committee proposes amending the following existing standard criminal jury instructions: 7.3 (Felony Murder-First Degree), 7.5 (Felony Murder- Second Degree), and 7.6 (Felony Murder-Third Degree). The Committee published its proposal to amend instruction 7.3 in The Florida Bar News. No comments were received by the Committee. The Committee's report follows this Court's referral arising from the Court's decision in In re Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases-Report 2018-08, 259 So.3d 754, 756 (Fla. 2018).

          The only change to the instructions which merits discussion pertains to instruction 7.3. In our earlier case, we modified the italicized note pertaining to Williams v. State, 242 So.3d 280 (Fla. 2018). In re Std. Jury Instrs. in Criminal Cases-Report 2018-08, 259 So.3d at 756. Upon further consideration, we reauthorize instruction 7.3 for publication and use without that language previously added on the Court's own motion.

         Having considered the Committee's report, we authorize for publication and use amended instructions 7.3, 7.5, and 7.6 as proposed, and as set forth in the appendix to this opinion.[1] In light of our authorization of instruction 7.3 as proposed, we also agree with the Committee that it is unnecessary at this time to further amend instruction 7.2. 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 on 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 be effective when this opinion becomes final. However, because the amendments to instructions 7.5 and 7.6 were not published for comment prior to their authorization, interested persons shall have seventy-five days from the date of this opinion in which to file comments with the Court.[2]

         It is so ordered.

          CANADY, C.J, and POLSTON, LABARGA, LAWSON, and MUÑIZ, JJ, concur

         (Appendix Omitted)

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Notes:

[1]The amendments as reflected in the appendix are to the Criminal Jury Instructions as they appear on the Court's website at www.floridasupremecourt.org /jury_instructions/instructions.shtml. We recognize that there may be minor discrepancies between the instructions as they appear on the website and the published versions of the instructions. Any discrepancies as to instructions authorized for publication and use after October 25, 2007, ...


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