West Virginia Homicide Jury Instructions Project Professor James R. Elkins & Students at the
West Virginia
University College of Law [Spring][2006]
























































I. Introduction

William W. Schwarzer, Communicating with Juries: Problems and Remedies, 69 Cal. L. Rev. 731 (1981)

William H. Erickson, Criminal Jury Instructions, 1993 U. Ill. L. Rev. 285 (1993)

Charles M. Cork, III, A Better Orientation for Jury Instructions 54 Mercer L. Rev. 1-24 (2002)

II. Jury Comprehension

Amiram Elwork, James J. Alfini & Bruce D. Sales, Toward Understandable Jury Instructions, 65 Judicature 432 (1982)

Laurence J. Severance, Edith Greene, Elizabeth F. Loftus, Toward Criminal Jury Instructions That Jurors Can Understand, 75 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 198 (1984)

Robert P. Charrow & Veda R. Charrow, Making Legal Language Understandable: A Psycholinguistic Study of Jury Instructions, 79 Colum. L. Rev. 1306 (1979)

J. Alexander Tanford, The Law and Psychology of Jury Instructions, 69 Neb. L. Rev. 71 (1990)

Carolyn Semmler & Neil Brewer, Using a Flow-chart to Improve Comprehension of Jury Instructions, 9 Psychiatry, Psychology & L. 262 (2002)

Bethany K. Dumas, Jury Trials: Lay Jurors, Pattern Jury Instructions and Comprehension Issues, 67 Tenn. L. Rev. 701 (2000)

Bradley Saxton, How Well Do Jurors Understand Jury Instructions? A Field Test Using Real Juries and Real Trials in Wyoming, 33 Land & Water L. Rev. 59 (1998)

III. Decision Effects of Jury Instructions

Darryl K. Brown, Regulating Decision Effects of Legally Sufficient Jury Instructions, 73 S. Calif. L. Rev. 1105 (2000)

Kimball R. Anderson & Bruce R. Braun, The Legal Legacy of John Wayne Gacy: The Irrebuttable Presumption that Juries Understand and Follow Jury Instructions, 78 Marq. L. Rev. 791 (1995).

IV. Revising Jury Instructions

Note (Richard Boardman), Pattern Jury Instructions, 40 N.D. L. Rev. 164 (1964)

Luther C. Hames, Jr., Pattern Jury Instructions, 27 Mercer L. Rev. 291 (1975)

Joseph Kimble, How to Mangle Court Rules and Jury Instructions, 8 Scribes J. Leg. Writing 39 (2001-2002).

Peter Meijes Tiersma, Reforming the Language of Jury Instructions, 22 Hofstra L. Rev. 37 (1993)

Peter Tiersma, The Rocky Road to Legal Reform: Improving the Language of Jury Instructions, 66 Brooklyn L. Rev. 1081 (2001)

Dorean Koenig, Jury Instructions for Jurors: Proposals for the Simplification of Michigan Instructions on Murder, 21 Wayne L. Rev. 1 (1974)

Reference: Amiram Elwork, Bruce D. Sales & James J. Alfini, Making Jury Instructions Understandable (Charlottesville, Virginia: Michie Company, 1982)

V. Use of Model Jury Instructions

Dorean Koenig, Norbert L. Kerr, Dawn Van Hoek, Michigan Standard Criminal Jury Instructions: Judges' Perspectives After Ten Years' Use, 4 Cooley L. Rev. 347 (1987)

Jack David Rowe, Missouri Pattern Instructions: Jury Confusion and the Role of the Trial Judge, 40 UMKC L. Rev. 228 (1971-72)

VI. Jury Instructions in West Virginia

Michael J. Farrell, Communication in the Courtroom: Jury Instructions, 85 W.Va. L. Rev. 5 (1982)

VII. Homicide Jury Instructions

Arthur A. Murphy, Suggested Standard Jury Instructions On Criminal Homicide, 85 Dick. L. Rev. 1 (1980)(81?)

VIII. Mens Rea

Leo M. Romero, New Mexico Mens Rea Doctrines and the Uniform Criminal Jury Instructions: The Need for Revision, 8 N.M. L. Rev. 127 (1978)

File Readings

Pattern Jury Instructions:

Harvey S. Perlman, Pattern Jury Instructions: The Application of Social Science Research, 65 Neb. L. Rev. 520, 529 (1986)

Specific Intent:

Case Comment, Presumptions: Abrogating the Use of Presumptive Language in Jury Instructions on Specific Intent, 12 Land & Water L. Rev. 301 (1977)

Reasonable Doubt:

Henry A. Diamond, Note: Reasonable Doubt: To Define, or Not to Define, 90 Colum. L. Rev. 1716 (1990)

Note, Reasonable Doubt: An Argument Against Definition, 108 Harv. L. Rev. 1955 (1995)

Thomas V. Mulrine, Reasonable Doubt: How in the World is it Defined?, 12 Am. U.J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 195 (1997)

Lesser Included Offenses:

Case Comment, Jury Instructions on Lesser Included Offenses, 3 Stetson Intramural L. Rev. 91 (1972)

Case Comment, Instructions to the Jury on Lesser Degrees and Lesser Included Offenses, 21 U. Fla. L. Rev. 123 (1968)

Wanton Murder:

James G. Hodge, Jr., Wanton Murder, Self-Defense, and Jury Instructions: Shannon v. Commonwealth Is Revisited; But Does It Remain?, 22 N. Ky. L. Rev. 435 (1995)

The Reasonable Person:

Hisham M. Ramadan, Reconstruction Reasonableness in Criminal Law: Moderate Jury Instructions Proposal, 29 J. Legis. 233 (2003)


George Neff Stevens, Pattern Jury Instructions: Some Suggestions on Use and the Problem of Presumptions, 41 Wash. L. Rev. 282 (1966)

Self Defense: Battered Woman Syndrome:

Deborrah Ann Klis, Reforms to Criminal Defense Instructions: New Patterned Jury Instructions Which Account for the Experience of the Battered Woman Who Kills Her Battering Mate, 24 Golden Gate U.L. Rev. 131 (1994)

Case Comment (Kris H. Davick), Jury Instructions Given on Subjective Standard of Reasonableness in Self-Defense Do Not Require a Specific Instruction on Battered Woman Syndrome, 60 N.D. L. Rev. 141 (1984)

Insanity Defense:

Note (Joseph P. Liu), Federal Jury Instructions and the Consequences of a Successful Insanity Defense, 93 Colum. L. Rev. 1223 (1993)

Note (Ronald G. Schmidt), The Test of Criminal Responsibility and the Burden of Proof in Jury Instruction, 38 N.D. L. Rev. 349 (1962)


William Scott Stewart, Jury Instructions in Criminal Conspiracy, 6 J. Marshall L. Q. 50 (1940)


Jamison Wilcox, The Movement for Better Jury Instructions: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography for Lawyers, 8 U. Bridgeport L. Rev. 457 (1987)