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AMI 3503 Jury to Reach Agreement if Possible—Deadlocked Jury

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 3503
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
December 2023 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 35. Closing Instructions
AMI 3503 Jury to Reach Agreement if Possible—Deadlocked Jury
It is important that the jury reach a verdict in the trial of this case. A mistrial or a hung jury means a continuation of litigation and a delay in the administration of justice, impairing, at times, the rights and remedies of litigants.
Under your oath as jurors, you have obligated yourselves to render verdicts in accordance with the law and the evidence. In your deliberations you should weigh and discuss the evidence and make every reasonable effort to harmonize your individual views on the merits of the case and to decide where the preponderance of the evidence lies. Each of you should give due consideration to the views and opinions of other jurors who disagree with your views and opinions. No juror should surrender his or her sincere beliefs in order to reach a verdict; to the contrary, the verdict should be the result of each juror's free and voluntary opinion. By what I have said as to the importance of the jury reaching a verdict, I do not intend to suggest or require that you surrender your conscientious convictions, only that each of you make every sincere effort to reach a proper verdict. Therefore, I request the jury to retire for further deliberation for a reasonable time in an attempt to reach a verdict.
This instruction should not be given until the jury after prolonged deliberation has not reached a verdict. The trial judge may wish to give this type of instruction in his own words. The above is submitted as a guide to avoid errors sometimes made.
The practical administration of the law requires that trial judges shall have the power to admonish the jury as to the desirability of reaching a verdict. Kansas City Southern Ry. Co. v. Winter, 217 Ark. 148, 228 S.W.2d 1001 (1950).
It is proper to tell the jury to make a conscientious effort to reach a verdict. St. Louis, I.M. & S. Ry. Co. v. Carter, 111 Ark. 272, 164 S.W. 715 (1914). However, it is error for the court to indicate an opinion as to the merits of the case, St. Louis, I.M. & S.R. Co. v. Devaney, 98 Ark. 83, 135 S.W. 802 (1911); and it is error to indicate that the minority should yield to the majority views. J.F. McGehee & Co. v. Fuller, 169 Ark. 920, 277 S.W. 39 (1925).
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