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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up (108 comments)

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  •  Prosecutors can request that lesser include (3+ / 0-)

    charges be included in the instructions given to the jury. The jury could find Zimmerman guilty of some sort of manslaughter if it finds the prosecution failed to prove its case.

    I am not a lawyer, and most assuredly do not know Florida law, so I could be wrong, but that is how it usually works.

    I think it is unlikely he walks scot-free.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:17:22 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  his self-defense claim applies equally to (3+ / 0-)

      manslaughter and murder.  if the jury finds that the prosecution couldn't carry its burden on self-defense, he can't be found guilty of either charge.

      •  Thanks, I was thinking of the elements of ill (2+ / 0-)

        will I guess.

        The prosecution did make the point that Zimmerman's injuries where marginal at best. So the jury could conclude that Zimmerman did not set out to kill the 'punk' but was never in danger for his life when he pulled the trigger.

        “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

        by se portland on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:31:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have served on a Florida First Degree Murder ... (5+ / 0-)

      case and if this is played as it should be the lesser charges will be included.  If the state does not include third-degree murder (unique to Florida - means death that would not otherwise happen if the accused was not committing a felony - unless they have changed the law since 1976) and manslaughter they are asking for acquittal.

      Self-defense seems s bit off as does second-degree murder. I think that manslaughter is the more likely. but I still don't understand the six member jury- we had 12.  I thought those were for civil cases.  

      In any case I think, from what I have heard of the evidence that Zimmerman had a "Barney Fife" complex - he was one of those people that real policemen hate, a wannabe with no ability other than enthusiasm.  I think he decided that he would be a hero and than maybe people would make him a real police officer, once they saw his true mettle.  I've known people like this.  Unfortunately Martin did not go quietly and the result was his death.  Martin probably had every reason to believe that he was being stalked by a mugger or worse, and being a teenager he tried to handle it, unaware that Zimmerman had a gun.  In any case I think it is impossible to prove second degree murder and the prosecutor is an idiot for trying (our prosecutor was also an idiot - the case I was on was an obvious case of second degree.)  

      •  As a former (retired) Florida lawyer... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Desert Scientist

        ....juries can be 6 people for any case except for capital murder and eminent domain(!).

        Manslaughter should be included because of imperfect self-defense, which is definitely a possibility in this case with the defense muddying the waters about the confrontation.

        9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

        by varro on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:17:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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