In a prosecution for murder, the prosecution and the defense, with the express consent of the accused, stipulate in writing that the firearm offered into evidence in court was the same firearm taken by law enforcement at the scene of the murder. The judge accepts the stipulation of fact and admits the firearm into evidence. The judge tells the prosecution and the defense that they are bound by the stipulation of fact and cannot introduce any evidence contrary to this fact during the trial, unless the court approves the change.
In his instructions to the jury, before the jury deliberated, the judge told the jury that the stipulation of fact that the firearm admitted into evidence was the same firearm that was seized by law enforcement at the scene of the alleged murder must be accepted as a true fact by the jury and they may not disregard this evidence.
- Was the instruction the judge gave to the prosecution and defense appropriate under the law? Please explain your answer
- Was the instruction the judge gave to the jury appropriate under the law? Please explain your answer
- Paragraph for each.