Criminal

Punishment Jury Instructions in Intoxicated Manslaughter Trial

By November 13, 2016 No Comments

The Accused, has been found guilty by you of the offense of intoxication manslaughter, and you have found the deadly weapon special issue to be true, and you will no longer concern yourselves with the guilt of the defendant. It now becomes your duty to affix the punishment to be assessed against the defendant.

The punishment for the offense of intoxication manslaughter for which the defendant has been found guilty is by confinement in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for any term of years not less than two, nor more than 20, and a fine not to exceed $10,000 may also be assessed.

In arriving at your verdict on the question of punishment, you may take into consideration all the evidence submitted to you under this charge. However, you are not to discuss nor refer to any matters or issues not in evidence before you.

You may consider evidence of an extraneous crime or bad act in assessing punishment even if the defendant has not yet been charged with or finally convicted of the crime or act. However, you may consider such evidence only if the extraneous crime or bad act has been shown by the state beyond a reasonable doubt to have been committed by the defendant or is one for which the defendant could be held criminally responsible.

The prosecution does not have to prove an extraneous crime or bad act beyond all possible doubt. The prosecution’s proof must exclude all reasonable doubt concerning the extraneous crime or bad act.

Therefore, if you find and believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed an extraneous crime or bad act or could be held criminally responsible for an extraneous crime or bad act, then you may consider such evidence in assessing the defendant’s punishment. However, if you have a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed an extraneous crime or bad act or could be held criminally responsible for an extraneous crime or bad act, then you may not consider such evidence in assessing punishment.

In this case the defendant has filed, before trial, his sworn motion in which he prays that in the event he is convicted he be granted community supervision. If the punishment assessed by you is not more than ten years confinement in the penitentiary and you further find that he has never been convicted of a felony in this or any other state, and if you recommend community supervision be granted in this case, then let your verdict show the punishment which you assess and show that the defendant has never before been convicted of a felony in this or any other state, and further show that you recommend that his sentence be suspended.

Should the punishment assessed by you include a fine, a recommendation of community supervision should state whether or not the fine will be paid or be suspended and probated. Whether you do or do not recommend community supervision for the defendant is a matter that rests within the sound discretion of the jury; however, if you do recommend community supervision, that recommendation must be followed by this Court.

If, however, you find that the defendant has heretofore been convicted of a felony in this or any other state, or if in your discretion as a jury, you do not desire to recommend to the Court that imposition of sentence be suspended and that the defendant be placed on community supervision, then you will say nothing in your verdict about community supervision. It will not be proper for you in determining the penalty to be assessed to fix the same by lot, chance, or any method other than by a full, fair and free exercise of the opinion of the individual jurors, under the evidence admitted before you.

In determining the punishment in this case, you are instructed that you are not to discuss among yourselves how long the defendant will be required to serve any sentence of confinement you decide to impose. Such matters come within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Governor of the State of Texas.

Under the law applicable in this case, the defendant may earn time off the period of incarceration imposed through the award of good conduct time. Prison authorities may award good conduct time to a prisoner who exhibits good behavior, diligence in carrying out prison work assignments, and attempts at rehabilitation. If a prisoner engages in misconduct, prison authorities may also take away all or part of any good conduct time earned by the prisoner. It is also possible that the length of time for which the defendant will be imprisoned might be reduced by the award of parole.

Under the law applicable in this case, if the defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, he will not become eligible for parole until the actual time served equals one-half of the sentence imposed or 30 years, whichever is less, without consideration of any good conduct time he may earn. If the defendant is sentenced to a term of less than four years, he must serve at least two years before he is eligible for parole. Eligibility for parole does not guarantee that parole will be granted.

It cannot accurately be predicted how the parole law and good conduct time might be applied to this defendant if he is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, because the application of these laws will depend on decisions made by prison and parole authorities. You may consider the existence of the parole law and good conduct time. However, you are not to consider the extent to which good conduct time may be awarded to or forfeited by this particular defendant. You are not to consider the manner in which the parole law may be applied to this particular defendant.

Your verdict must be by a unanimous vote of all members of the jury. In deliberating on this case, you shall consider the charge as a whole and you must not refer to or discuss any matters not in evidence before you.

You are the exclusive judges of the facts proved, of the credibility of the witnesses, and of the weight to be given their testimony, but you are bound to receive the law from the Court, which is herein given you, and be governed thereby.

After you have arrived at a unanimous verdict, you will use the attached form and have your presiding juror sign the same.

If the jury wishes to communicate with the Court, such communication must be in writing and signed by the presiding juror and handed to the bailiff.

VERDICT FORM

We, the jury, having found the defendant, Margarita Perez Carmona, guilty of the offense of intoxication manslaughter, assess his punishment at confinement in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a period of (2 to 20 years), and in addition to such confinement, assess a fine of $ (up to $10,000 or none).

PRESIDING JUROR
COMMUNITY SUPERVISION
We, the jury, having found the defendant, Margarita Perez Carmona, guilty of the offense of intoxication manslaughter, assess his punishment at confinement in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a period of (2 to 10 years), and we, the jury, having further found that he has never before been convicted of a felony in this or in any other state, DO RECOMMEND that the imposition of his sentence be suspended and that he be placed on community supervision.

In addition thereof, we, the jury, assess a fine of $ (up to $10,000 or
none), and WE DO RECOMMEND/WE DO NOT RECOMMEND that such fine be probated
and payment thereof be suspended.

Francisco Hernandez

Author Francisco Hernandez

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