The purpose of jury instructions is to give the law to the jury in language they can understand. The committee believes the best way to do this is to write jury instructions in plain English. With this in mind, the committee asked the Board of Governors of The Iowa State Bar Association to approve redrafting the Iowa Civil and Criminal Uniform Jury Instructions in plain English. The Board approved this request. It also approved our request to employ a communications specialist to help us translate "legalese" into "plain English" and we did this.
While the Iowa Supreme Court cannot give prior approval to the instructions, the Court has unanimously approved, in principle, the plain English redraft of the Iowa Civil and Criminal Jury Instructions. The Court also adopted a resolution commending the Criminal Jury Instructions for consideration by the Trial Bench.
These instructions are available as a free download to ISBA members.
Click here to download the instructions.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cross Reference Table - Iowa Code
Model Jury Instructions
100 General Instructions
200 Criminal Law - Special Issues
300 Accessory After The Fact
900 Sexual Abuse
1000 Kidnapping and Related Offenses
1100 Robbery and Extortion
1300 Burglary and Related Offenses
1600 Criminal Mischief and Criminal Trespass
1700 Computer Crime
1800 Offenses against the Government
1900 Interference with Official Acts and Escape
2200 Habitual Criminal
2300 Controlled Substances
2600 Incest and Child Endangerment
2800 Criminal Street Gangs
2900 Hate Crimes
3000 Animal Torture Statute
3100 Securities Fraud (New 12/12)