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WPIC 6.05 Testimony of Accomplice

11 WAPRAC WPIC 6.05Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal

11 Wash. Prac., Pattern Jury Instr. Crim. WPIC 6.05 (5th Ed)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal
January 2024 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part II. Evidence and Guides for Its Consideration
WPIC CHAPTER 6. Evaluation of Evidence
WPIC 6.05 Testimony of Accomplice
Testimony of an accomplice, given on behalf of the [State] [City] [County], should be subjected to careful examination in the light of other evidence in the case, and should be acted upon with great caution. You should not find the defendant guilty upon such testimony alone unless, after carefully considering the testimony, you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of its truth.
This instruction should be used if requested by the defense. However, the instruction is mandatory if the State relies on testimony of an accomplice that is uncorroborated. Do not use this instruction if an accomplice or codefendant testifies for the defendant. Use WPIC 10.51 (Accomplice—Definition) with this instruction.
The instruction was cited with approval in State v. Statler, 160 Wn.App. 622, 248 P.3d 165 (2011) and State v. Murphy, 98 Wn.App. 42, 47 n.5, 988 P.2d 1018 (1999).
This instruction is not limited to those cases in which a witness is charged as an accomplice, cf. RCW 9A.08.020(6).
An instruction to view the testimony of an accomplice with caution is mandatory when the prosecution relies solely upon the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice. A conviction may rest solely upon the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice only if the jury has been sufficiently cautioned by the court to subject the accomplice's testimony to careful examination and to regard it with great care and caution. State v. Carothers, 84 Wn.2d 256, 525 P.2d 731 (1974), as reinterpreted by State v. Harris, 102 Wn.2d 148, 155, 685 P.2d 584 (1984), overruled on other grounds by State v. Brown, 113 Wn.2d 520, 782 P.2d 1013 (1989).
A cautionary instruction is required if the accomplice's testimony is uncorroborated. State v. Willoughby, 29 Wn.App. 828, 630 P.2d 1387 (1981). When substantial corroborating evidence exists, the instruction need not be given, although “it is always the better practice for a trial court to give the cautionary instruction whenever accomplice testimony is introduced.” State v. Harris, 102 Wn.2d at 155 (whether the instruction is needed depends on the extent of the corroborating evidence; harmless error is not committed if the corroborating evidence is substantial).
[Current as of January 2019.]
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