Jury instructions are too often so poorly written that even the most intelligent juror cannot understand them. That’s a serious problem. So how can we make jury instructions more understandable? Prof. Peter Tiersma offers many concrete suggestions in this article, available for free download on SSRN. If you’re a trial judge or trial lawyer, you need to read it.

From the (new) legal writer blog.  Instructions given in a court-martial prosecution under the UCMJ can at times be confusing.  Certainly the current practice in a court-martial of reading the instructions and then giving a written copy does help somewhat to alleviate potential issues from reading only.

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