OUJI-CR 4-80

DEATH PENALTY PROCEEDINGS -

WEIGHING AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES

If you unanimously find that one or more of the aggravating circumstances existed beyond a reasonable doubt, the death penalty shall not be imposed unless you also unanimously find that any such aggravating circumstance or circumstances outweigh the finding of one or more mitigating circumstances. Even if you find that the aggravating circumstance(s) outweigh(s) the mitigating circumstance(s), you may impose a sentence of imprisonment for life with the possibility of parole or imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole.

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Committee Comments

In Paxton v. State, 867 P.2d 1309, 1322 (Okl. Cr. 1993), the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals stated: "It is sufficient that the jury is instructed to weigh the mitigating and aggravating evidence, and only when the aggravating circumstances clearly outweigh the mitigating may the death penalty be imposed."

The last sentence of this instruction is based on the following statement of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals in McGregor v. State, 885 P.2d 1366, 1384 (Okl. Cr. 1994): "A life sentence may be given notwithstanding a jury finding of aggravating circumstances which outweigh mitigating circumstances, but an instruction on this point is not required."