Home > Uncategorized > Dr. Conrad Murray Jury Instruction – Involuntary Manslaughter

Dr. Conrad Murray Jury Instruction – Involuntary Manslaughter

October 25, 2011

I cannot be certain about the actual wording of the final jury instruction in the Dr. Conrad Murray / Michael Jackson case; however, the following involuntary manslaughter instruction wording is probably close.  In all case preparation, criminal and civil, you need to evaluate the specifics of the allegation in light of the evidence that will or might be admissible.

CALCRIM 581, Involuntary Manslaughter: Murder Not Charged

The defendant is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant committed a crime or a lawful act in an unlawful manner;

2. The defendant committed the crime or act with criminal negligence; and

3. The defendant’s acts caused the death of another person.

The People allege that the defendant committed the following crimes or unlawful acts: __________________ .  Instructions
tell you what the People must prove in order to prove that the defendant committed those alleged crimes or unlawful acts.

The People also allege that the defendant committed the following lawful acts with criminal negligence: _______________________________.

Criminal negligence involves more than ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistake in judgment. A person acts with criminal negligence when:

1. He or she acts in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury; and

2. A reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create such a risk.

In other words, a person acts with criminal negligence when the way he or she acts is so different from the way an ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation that his or her act amounts to disregard for human life or indifference to the consequences of that act.

An act causes death if the death is the direct, natural, and probable consequence of the act and the death would not have happened without the act. A natural and probable consequence is one that a reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual intervenes. In deciding whether a consequence is natural and probable, consider all of the circumstances established by the evidence.

There may be more than one cause of death. An act causes death only if it is a substantial factor in causing the death. A substantial factor is more than a trivial or remote factor. However, it does not need to be the only factor that causes the death.

Great bodily injury means significant or substantial physical injury. It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.

The People allege that the defendant committed the following crimes and unlawful acts with criminal negligence: __________________.

You may not find the defendant guilty unless all of you agree that the People have proved that the defendant committed at least one of these alleged acts and you all agree on which act he committed.

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