by Justice William Goodloe, Washington State Supreme Court, retired

This proposed jury nullification instruction for trial judges to give the jury are republished from “Jury Nullification: Empowering the Jury as the Fourth Branch of Government”, published by the Fully Informed Jury Association, Fourth Edition, copyright 2001.

No. 7, Given on Court’s Own Motion

You are instructed that this being a criminal case you are the exclusive judges of the evidence, the credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be given to their testimony, and you have a right also to determine the law in the case. The court does not intend to express any opinion concerning the weight of the evidence, but it is the duty of the court to advise you as to the law, and it is your duty to consider the instructions of the court; yet in your decision upon the merits of the case you have a right to determine for yourselves the law as well as the facts by which your verdict shall be governed.

It is your duty to reconcile the statements of witnesses so as to give credence to all of the testimony, if you can, on the theory that the defendant is innocent; but if you can not do this on account of contradictions, then upon you rests the responsibility of determining whom you will or will not believe.

You are the sole judges of the credibility of the witnesses and of the weight to be given to the testimony of each of them. In determining the credit to be given any witness you may take into account his ability and opportunity to observe, his memory, his manner while testifying, any interest, bias or prejudice he may have, and the reasonableness of his testimony considered in the light of all the evidence in the case.

From all of the evidence, you will determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant, and make your verdict accordingly.