RULE 6.9 ASSISTING JURORS AT IMPASSE
If the jury informs the court it has reached an impasse, the court, after conferring with counsel, may invite the jurors in writing to list the divisive issues, which if addressed further in the courtroom might bring about a verdict. The invitation must be in the following form:
"This instruction is offered to help your deliberations, not to force you to reach a verdict.
You may wish to identify areas of agreement and areas of disagreement. You may then wish to discuss the law and the evidence as they relate to areas of disagreement.
If you still have disagreement, you may wish to identify for the court and counsel which issues or questions or law or fact you would like counsel or the court to assist you with. If you elect this option, please list in writing the issues where further assistance might help bring about a verdict.
I do not wish or intend to force a verdict. We are merely trying to be responsive to your apparent need for help. If it is reasonably probable that you could reach a verdict as a result of this procedure, it would be wise to give it a try."
After receiving the jurors' response, if any, the judge, after conferring with counsel, may direct further proceedings to occur as appropriate.
Rule 6.9 was adopted, effective .
Rule 6.9 allows a judge to offer assistance when a jury reports it is at an impasse. However a judge must be careful not to be coercive, suggestive, or unduly intrusive. If the jury identifies one of more divisive issues, the court, with the help of the attorneys, can decide whether and how the issues can be addressed. Options include: giving additional instructions; clarifying earlier instructions; directing the attorneys to make additional closing argument; reopening the evidence for limited purposes; or a combination of these measures. The court may decide it is not legally or practically possible to respond to the jury's concerns.
SOURCES: Procedure Committee Minutes of .