☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 546

< > Effective - 28 Aug 1939    bottom

  546.380.  Court not to charge, but may instruct jury. — The court shall not, on the trial of the issue in any criminal case, sum up or comment upon the evidence, or charge the jury as to matter of fact, unless requested to so do by the prosecuting attorney and the defendant or his counsel; but the court may instruct the jury in writing on any point of law arising in the cause.


(RSMo 1939 § 4083)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3694; 1919 § 4038; 1909 § 5244

(1954) Where judge, after jury began deliberations, pointed out expense of trial and desirability of reaching verdict and told them they should respect opinions of others and attempt to arrive at a verdict while adhering to instructions, there was no error. State v. Roberts (Mo.), 272 S.W.2d 190.

(1956) An inquiry as to how a jury stands numerically after it has deliberated two hours is not coercive per se but whether it is coercive must be determined on the record of what was said and done at the time. State v. Baker (Mo.), 293 S.W.2d 900.

(1956) Statement by court in ruling objection in presence of jury, to the effect that drunkenness of prosecuting witness constituted no defense in robbery case held not prejudicial error.  State v. Swiney (Mo.), 296 S.W.2d 104.

(1957) Remarks of court held not comment on evidence. State v. Moore (Mo.), 303 S.W.2d 60.

(1958) In robbery prosecution where defendant was accused of giving signal to confederates by lighting match and where witnesses testified they did not see cigarette in defendant's hand, comment by judge that as matter of law evidence was that defendant did not have cigarette held unwarranted and erroneous. State v. Fields (Mo.), 314 S.W.2d 723.

(1959) Statement by court on voir dire examination that information charged two prior convictions, although information charged only one, held not prejudicial in case where defendant testified on direct examination that he entered pleas of guilty to other offenses. State v. Rose (Mo.), 325 S.W.2d 485.

(1960) Instruction not requested by defendant, limiting jury's consideration of any other offense participated in by defendant to sole purpose of shedding light upon identification and presence of defendant at the time of shooting of deceased was cautionary instruction for benefit of defendant and not improper.  Use of word "alibi" in another instruction was not prejudicial. State v. Griffin (Mo.), 336 S.W.2d 364.

(1964) Statement by court to jury after it had retired and in answer to a question relating to time defendant would serve if given life sentence and whether or not defendant could be paroled constituted prejudicial error. State v. Cornett (Mo.), 381 S.W.2d 878.

---- end of effective  28 Aug 1939 ----

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