State v. Burk

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-07-2016
  • Case #: A155683
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Hadlock, C.J.; & Flynn, J.

Jury instructions which substantially amend the indictment violate Article VII, section 5, of the Oregon Constitution.

Defendant appealed his conviction for hindering prosecution, arguing that the trial court erred in instructing the jury they could convict him based on charges not in the indictment, which violated Article VII, section 5, of the Oregon Constitution. Jury instructions may change the form of the indictment, but under Article VII, section 5, of the Oregon Constitution, they may not affect the substance of the indictment. State v. Guckert, 260 Or. App. 50. The Court held that the jury instructions in this case substantively amended the indictment by allowing the jury to convict based on theories not plead in the indictment. However, the Court also held that the error was harmless because there was “little likelihood that the particular error affected the verdict.” Guckert, 260 Or. App. 50. Affirmed.

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