Rule 808. Form for Jury Sentencing Verdict Slip.



IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
OF
COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

   CRIMINAL


COMMONWEALTH OF
PENNSYLVANIA
:
vs.     
:NO.

:

   FIRST DEGREE MURDER
SENTENCING VERDICT SLIP

   I. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

 A. READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE VERDICT SLIP BEFORE BEGINNING DELIBERATIONS.

 B. AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED TO THE JURY.

   1. The following aggravating circumstance(s) (is) (are) submitted to the jury and must be proved by the Commonwealth beyond a reasonable doubt:

   (1)

   



   (2)

   



   



   (3)

   



   



   (4)

   



   



   2. The following mitigating circumstance(s) (is) (are) submitted to the jury and must be proved by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence:

   (1)

   



   



   (2)

   



   



   (3)

   



   



   (4) Any other evidence of mitigation concerning the character and record of the defendant and the circumstances of the defendant’s offense.

   C. DO NOT COMPLETE THIS SENTENCING VERDICT SLIP UNTIL YOUR DELIBERATIONS ARE CONCLUDED. THIS SENTENCING VERDICT SLIP IS ONLY TO BE USED TO RECORD YOUR SENTENCING VERDICT AND THE FINDINGS UPON WHICH IT IS BASED.

   D. IF, AFTER SUFFICIENT DELIBERATION, YOU CANNOT UNANIMOUSLY REACH A SENTENCING VERDICT, DO NOT COMPLETE OR SIGN THIS SLIP, BUT RETURN IT TO THE JUDGE. THE JUDGE WILL DETERMINE IF FURTHER DELIBERATIONS ARE REQUIRED; IF THEY ARE NOT, THE JUDGE WILL SENTENCE THE DEFENDANT TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT.

   II. SENTENCING VERDICT AND FINDINGS

 If you have reached a unanimous verdict, complete this part of the form.

 In Section A, indicate whether the sentencing verdict is death or life imprisonment. If the sentence is death, indicate the basis for that verdict by completing Section B. If the sentence is life imprisonment, indicate the basis for that verdict by completing Section C.

   A. We, the jury, unanimously sentence the defendant to (check one):

   


Death

   


Life Imprisonment

   B. The findings on which the sentence of death is based are (check one):

   


1. At least one aggravating circumstance and no mitigating circumstance.

 The aggravating circumstance(s) unanimously found (is) (are):

   



   


   


2. One or more aggravating circumstances which outweigh(s) any mitigating circumstance(s).

 The aggravating circumstance(s) unanimously found (is) (are):

   



   


 The mitigating circumstance(s) found by one or more of us (is) (are):

   



   


   C. The findings on which the sentence of life imprisonment is based are (check one):

   


1. No aggravating circumstance exists.

   


2. The mitigating circumstance(s) (is) (are) not outweighed by the aggravating circumstance(s).

 The mitigating circumstance(s) found by one or more of us (is) (are):

   



   


 The aggravating circumstance(s) unanimously found (is) (are):

   



   


   


DATE

   


JURY FOREPERSON

Comment

   The general instructions contained in Part I of the verdict slip are not intended to replace the jury instructions required by law. See Sentencing Code, 42 Pa.C.S. §  9711(c)(1) and (2).

   The judge should caution the jury that the verdict slip is to be used to record the sentencing verdict and findings, and that the slip should be completed only after their deliberations are concluded.

   In Part I, General Instructions, the judge should set forth those aggravating and mitigating circumstances of which there is some evidence. The list should include the mitigating circumstance ‘‘concerning the character and record of the defendant and the circumstances of his offense.’’ 42 Pa.C.S. §  9711(e)(8). See Commonwealth v. Moody, 382 A.2d 442 (Pa. 1977), cert. den. 438 U. S. 914 (1978), and Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U. S. 586 (1978).

   The list of aggravating and mitigating circumstances completed by the judge in Part I, and by the jury foreperson in Part II, should use the language provided by law for each circumstance. See Sentencing Code, 42 Pa.C.S. §  9711(d) and (e). The judge’s instructions on the weighing of aggravating and mitigating circumstances must comply with Mills v. Maryland, 108 S.Ct. 1860 (1988).

   See Rule 845 for the jury verdict slip form to be used when the jury is to determine if imposition of the death penalty is precluded due to the defendant’s mental retardation.

   Official Note

   Rule 358A adopted February 1, 1989, effective July 1, 1989; renumbered Rule 807 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; renumbered Rule 808 June 4, 2004, effective November 1, 2004; Comment revised July 31, 2013, effective October 1, 2013.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Court’s Order at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).

   Final Report explaining the July 31, 2013 Comment revision cross-referencing Rule 845 published with the Court’s Order at 43 Pa.B. 4722 (August 17, 2013).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 808 amended June 4, 2004, effective November 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 3105; amended July 31, 2013, effective October 1, 2013, 43 Pa.B. 4715. Immediately preceeding text appears at serial pages (304133) to (304136).



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