Ky. Supreme Court once again sends message to Trial Judges and Attorneys to do a better job on jury instructions –


Oct. 27, 2008


In the case of Wilbert Harp v. Commonwealth  –  an unpublished Decision out of Jefferson Circuit Court released on Oct. 23, 2008. 2007-SC-000288-MR.pdf
The court said:

“[w]hen the evidence is sufficient to support multiple counts of the same offense, the jury instructions must be tailored to the testimony in order to differentiate each count from the others .”.

Based on this precedent, it is apparent that the trial court erred by submitting seven identical sexual abuse instructions to the jury.

We again instruct the bench and bar of the Commonwealth that in a case involving multiple counts of the same offense, a trial court is obliged to include some sort of identifying characteristic in each instruction that will require the jury to determine whether it is satisfied from the evidence the existence of facts proving that each of the separately charged offenses occurred.”

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