Criminal Jury Instructions for the District of Columbia
Fifth Edition (2014)
Instruction 4.104. MAYHEM
D.C. Official Code § 22-406 (2001).
The elements of the offense of mayhem, each of which the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, are that:
1. [Name of defendant] caused a permanent disabling injury to [name of complainant]. A permanent disabling injury is one that either renders a member or organ of the body wholly useless or leaves its usefulness greatly impaired;
2. [Name of defendant] acted voluntarily and on purpose, and not by mistake or accident; [and]
3. [Name of defendant] intended to permanently or seriously injure [name of complainant] or was aware that his/her conduct created an extreme risk of permanent or serious bodily injury to [name of complainant] but engaged in that conduct nonetheless[.][; and]
[Where there is evidence of mitigation, include the following element and relevant portions of the explanation:
4. There were no mitigating circumstances.
Mitigating circumstances can exist in two situations. One exists [exist] when a person acts in the heat of passion caused by adequate provocation. Heat of passion includes such emotions as rage, resentment, anger, terror and fear. Adequate provocation is conduct on the part of another that would cause an ordinary, reasonable person in the heat of the moment to lose his/her self-control and act on impulse and without reflection. For a provocation to be considered “adequate,” the person’s response must not be entirely out of proportion to the seriousness of the provocation. An act of violence or an immediate threat of violence may be adequate provocation, but mere words, no matter how offensive, are never adequate provocation. [The provocation must be such as would provoke a reasonable sober person. Therefore, if a person was provoked simply because s/he was intoxicated, and a sober person would not have been provoked, the provocation would not be considered as “adequate.”]
[Mitigating circumstances also exist when a person actually believes that s/he is in danger of serious bodily injury, and actually believes that the use of force that was likely to cause serious bodily harm was necessary to defend against that danger, but one or both of those beliefs are not reasonable. [Thus, mitigating circumstances are similar to self-defense, which is a complete defense to the charges, but different in that self-defense requires that person’s actual beliefs about both the danger and the need to respond to it be reasonable.]]
To prove mayhem, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there were no mitigating circumstances. [If it does not, you must find [name of defendant] not guilty of mayhem and go on to consider whether the government has proved him/her guilty of [insert appropriate lesser included offenses.]]
[If an age enhancement was charged, insert Sentencing Enhancement Based on Age, No. 8.103.]