Example of An Incomplete a Jury Instruction
In State v. Lord, 117 Wn.2d 829, 878, 822 P.2d 177 (1991), the Court found "incomplete" a jury instruction that allowed the jury to find rape or kidnapping was the underlying crime, and the jury was not required to unanimously agree as to which underlying crime--rape, or kidnapping, or both--was committed:
Each of the alternatives set out in both instruction 13 and Special Verdict Form A-1 allowed the jury to find that either rape or kidnapping was the underlying crime.
Because neither required the jury to unanimously agree as to which underlying crime--rape, or kidnapping, or both--was committed, the instruction was incomplete. Lord, 117 Wn.2d at 878.
However, the Court concluded that the special verdict form, when read with the "to convict" instruction for the alternative of first degree murder, cured any problem because that instruction informed the jury its verdict had to be unanimous on which of the alternatives was committed by the defendant: premeditated murder, first degree murder (felony-rape) or first degree murder (felony-kidnapping). Id. at 879-80.