2.01 Stipulations

The evidence in this case includes facts to which the lawyers have agreed or stipulated. A stipulation means simply that the government and the defendant accept the truth of a particular proposition or fact. Since there is no disagreement, there is no need for evidence apart from the stipulation. You must accept the stipulation as fact to be given whatever weight you choose.


Where there are stipulations that are legal as well as factual, it is safest to include them in the jury instructions. The First Circuit has said: “We express no opinion on whether the government’s duty to prove each element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt is diluted impermissibly if the jury instructions do not submit the stipulation for the jury’s consideration. This thorny question has divided the courts of appeals. . . .” United States v. Meade, 175 F.3d 215, 222 n.2 (1st Cir. 1999) (citations omitted).