Libby Trial: Jury Instructions and Lawyerese

Judge Walton reconvened court at 213 to go over jury instructions in anticipation of commencing with the peremptory challenges at 3.

The defense and prosecution have been collegial in resolving minor language differences and the judge has been quite accommodating, including granting a several minute recess for the prosecution to look over some papers.

There is has been a rather arcane discussion as to the meaning of the word “acquired” in the instruction on perjury, as to whether to link it in the conjuctive (using “and” in multiple places) or the disjunctive (using “or”). The defense wanted the disjunctive and, after a lengthy debate, the government agreed for now but reserved the right to comment further at a later time. The discussion has been by no means as interesting as the summary, which has the advantage of brevity. I’m sure it’s much more important than interesting, though.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.