Jury Instructions

When both sides have presented their case to the judge and jury, the jury must render a verdict. Judges issue instructions to assist them in the deliberations, spelling out elements of offenses and other issues that must be satisfied. These instructions can be provided by the two sides in the case and there are a number of sources for jury instructions. Like many legal forms, they are customized to reflect the laws of particular jurisdictions.

The Law Library has print jury instructions from various states and Federal court circuits that can be borrowed by our subscribers. Our Westlaw subscription also provides access to jury instructions in electronic formats.


The Ohio Jury Instructions (OJI) are written by a committee of the Ohio Judicial Conference. The Law Library has the OJI in its Westlaw database as well as in print. You can buy Ohio Jury Instructions in print or electronically from LexisNexis.


The Law Library has the Kentucky civil and criminal jury instructions in its LexisNexis subscription as well as in print. You can buy Kentucky jury instructions from LexisNexis.


The Law Library has the Indiana civil and criminal jury instructions in its print collection. You can buy Indiana jury instructions from LexisNexis or from the Indiana Public Defenders Council.


Some of the Federal courts provide sample jury instructions, including our own Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Other Federal appellate courts with instructions available publicly are the 5th7th, 8th9th11th.


US Department of Justice Samples
The United States Attorneys' Manual has numerous samples, if you can find them. Use this search on Google [ "jury instruction" site:http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/ ] to bring up all of the instructions, which cover topics as varied as food fraud, fair housing, and odometer fraud.