Terms Used In Wisconsin Statutes 805.13

  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Jury instructions: A judge's directions to the jury before it begins deliberations regarding the factual questions it must answer and the legal rules that it must apply. Source: U.S. Courts
  • State: when applied to states of the United States, includes the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the several territories organized by Congress. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • Sworn: includes "affirmed" in all cases where by law an affirmation may be substituted for an oath. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trial jury: A group of citizens who hear the evidence presented by both sides at trial and determine the facts in dispute. Federal criminal juries consist of 12 persons. Federal civil juries consist of six persons.
  • Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
   (1)    Statements by judge. After the trial jury is sworn, all statements or comments by the judge to the jury or in their presence relating to the case shall be on the record.
   (2)   Preliminary instructions and note taking.
805.13(2)(a) (a) After the trial jury is sworn, the court shall determine if the jurors may take notes of the proceedings:
         1.    If the court authorizes note-taking, the court shall instruct the jurors that they may make written notes of the proceedings, except the opening statements and closing arguments, if they so desire and that the court will provide materials for that purpose if they so request. The court shall stress the confidentiality of the notes to the jurors. The jurors may refer to their notes during the proceedings and deliberation. The notes may not be the basis for or the object of any motion by any party. After the jury has rendered its verdict, the court shall ensure that the notes are promptly collected and destroyed.
         2.    If the court does not authorize note-taking, the court shall state the reasons for the determination on the record.
      (b)    The court may give additional preliminary instructions to assist the jury in understanding its duty and the evidence it will hear. The preliminary instructions may include, without limitation, a description of the nature of the case, what constitutes evidence and what does not, guidance regarding the burden of proof and the credibility of witnesses, and directions not to discuss the case until deliberations begin. Any such preliminary jury instructions may be given again in the charge at the close of the evidence. The additional preliminary instructions shall be disclosed to the parties before they are given and either party may object to any specific instruction or propose instructions of its own to be given prior to trial.
   (3)   Instruction and verdict conference. At the close of the evidence and before arguments to the jury, the court shall conduct a conference with counsel outside the presence of the jury. At the conference, or at such earlier time as the court reasonably directs, counsel may file written motions that the court instruct the jury on the law, and submit verdict questions, as set forth in the motions. The court shall inform counsel on the record of its proposed action on the motions and of the instructions and verdict it proposes to submit. Counsel may object to the proposed instructions or verdict on the grounds of incompleteness or other error, stating the grounds for objection with particularity on the record. Failure to object at the conference constitutes a waiver of any error in the proposed instructions or verdict.
   (4)   Instruction. The court shall instruct the jury before or after closing arguments of counsel. Failure to object to a material variance or omission between the instructions given and the instructions proposed does not constitute a waiver of error. The court shall provide the jury with one complete set of written instructions providing the burden of proof and the substantive law to be applied to the case to be decided.
   (5)   Reinstruction. After the jury retires, the court may reinstruct the jury as to all or any part of the instructions previously given, or may give supplementary instructions as it deems appropriate.