This is not a diary, but it deserves more than a comment.   People are asking how the Zimmerman jury could have reached the verdicts reached on all of the counts charged.  As a lawyer, I wanted to see the jury instructions that were given in this matter, as they can make a big difference on how a jury see the facts adduced as evidence in a trial.  

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I was very surprised that not a lot of news outlets or websites have posted these yet.  These are the actual instructions given the Zimmerman jury for their deliberations in this case.   Jury instructions are intended to make the relevant law understandable for the jurors, who are lay people.   Jury instructions are generally generated from Model Criminal Charges, used by the Courts of Florida, which are tailored by the Court to meet the facts of each specific case.   These don't get created in a vacuum.   Unless criminal procedure in Florida is a lot different than it is here in New Jersey, the charges are the joint work product of the Court and counsel for the prosecution and the defense.  Counsel for both sides are given an opportunity to object to proposed charges, and provide input as to how they would like the charges to read.   A jury is bound the the law, and must follow the instructions of the Court as to how to apply the law to the facts that they have heard.

Read the charges for yourself and then decide who got the better of that exchange:


I used to work in the Prosecutor's Office in one county here in New Jersey, and I have an opinion in that regard.  Let's just say that if I ever get charged with murder, I am calling Mark O'Mara.  

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