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  1. #11
    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    Does his charge include lesser inclusive charges? For example, could they still find him guilty of manslaughter?
    Yes, it absolutely and inherently includes lesser charges and yes, he can most definitely be convicted of manslaughter or plead to manslaughter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClairesMommy View Post
    Yes, it absolutely and inherently includes lesser charges and yes, he can most definitely be convicted of manslaughter or plead to manslaughter.
    Not as it stands at this point. The prosecutor would have to request the judge to allow the jury to consider lesser charges, and the judge has to grant it. The jury can't just decide to convict him of a lesser charge.

    Mr. Weiner suggested that the prosecutor might have “overcharged” to retain the option, should she feel a murder conviction is slipping away, of asking the judge to instruct the jury to consider lesser offenses, like manslaughter. It is also possible, he said, that she might be trying to coax Mr. Zimmerman to the negotiating table to plead guilty to such a lesser charge. But, he added, it is impossible to say whether it is overly tough, since evidence has not yet been produced.

    The case will almost certainly include a pretrial hearing to determine whether the state’s Stand Your Ground law, which grants broad protections to people who claim to have killed in self-defense, applies; if the judge finds that Mr. Zimmerman acted appropriately, the case will end there. If the judge decides that the protections of the law do not apply, the case will go forward.

    At trial, however, the question of self-defense can be brought up again and possibly will, said Robert Weisberg, a criminal law expert at Stanford Law School. That could lead to a fallback position for the jury — if allowed by the judge — of a lesser verdict of manslaughter should the jury decide that Mr. Zimmerman sincerely but unreasonably believed that he was appropriately using lethal force to defend himself, which is known as “imperfect self-defense.”

    Either side in the case could request that the judge instruct the jury to consider that middle ground, and if the evidence supports such a finding the judge will in almost all cases comply, Professor Weisberg said. A confident prosecutor may not want to risk missing the toughest conviction, however, and a confident defense lawyer may not want to risk giving the jurors a lesser charge that they can choose instead of acquittal. And so, he said, the question may come down to, “Who’s feeling lucky?”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/us...rida.html?_r=0
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    And you really think they are going to be able to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt?
    Yes, I do. And if the jury finds otherwise, then black people everywhere, and especially in Florida, should be very, very scared about simply living their daily lives, because what Mr. Zimmerman did is no better than the KKK hanging people in the 1900s for being the wrong color in the wrong place. If he is acquitted, there should be outrage in the streets because that is NOT how one American should get away with treating another in 2013. Even in Florida. Even wearing a hoodie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    Yes, I do. And if the jury finds otherwise, then black people everywhere, and especially in Florida, should be very, very scared about simply living their daily lives, because what Mr. Zimmerman did is no better than the KKK hanging people in the 1900s for being the wrong color in the wrong place. If he is acquitted, there should be outrage in the streets because that is NOT how one American should get away with treating another in 2013. Even in Florida. Even wearing a hoodie.
    Wow. I guess we can expect riots then if others have that attitude because there is no way they are going to be able to prove 2nd degree murder when Zimmerman is the one that was beaten up. In order to prove it they would have to prove that Zimmerman was the one that attacked first, and they have absolutely no evidence to prove that, even if it was true.
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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I really think 2nd degree will be very hard to prove. If they can lessen it to voluntary manslaughter I think they will get a conviction
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    Not as it stands at this point. The prosecutor would have to request the judge to allow the jury to consider lesser charges, and the judge has to grant it. The jury can't just decide to convict him of a lesser charge.



    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/us...rida.html?_r=0
    Guess I should have googled it before asking. From all of the stuff I read, lesser charges are automatically included in the charge. The prosecution or defense can request the jury be instructed on it, but it doesn't look like the option is off the table. Technically, if it wasn't included neither side could request the jury consider it. In other words, the prosecution would have to charge a defendant with every possible outcome - 2nd degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter. It wouldn't make sense for the prosecution to argue every possible outcome and if the defendant is found guilty of murder 1, he would also be convicted of murder 2, manslaughter, etc. KWIM?

    Which leads me to another question...if his only outcome was guilty or not guilty of 2nd degree murder and it didn't include any lesser charges, couldn't he technically then be charged with voluntary manslaughter since he wouldn't be tried for the same crime twice following a not guilty verdict? If a not guilty verdict is returned, couldn't they then charge him with involuntary manslaughter and keep charging him with lesser charges until they get a guilty verdict or until a jury acquits him of a dozen different charges? Returning a not guilty verdict on 2nd degree murder and included lesser charges ends it right there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    Wow. I guess we can expect riots then if others have that attitude because there is no way they are going to be able to prove 2nd degree murder when Zimmerman is the one that was beaten up. In order to prove it they would have to prove that Zimmerman was the one that attacked first, and they have absolutely no evidence to prove that, even if it was true.
    See, this is what bothers me. If I think someone is following me and I am in danger, why can't I strike first? There was a case in San Diego where a woman was jogging and felt the presence of someone getting closer and elbowed him in the nose. I just can't see how if he fought her that *he* would be the one who could claim self-defense. Why do I have to wait until I'm attacked to use force in a place where I have a legal right to be?

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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    Guess I should have googled it before asking. From all of the stuff I read, lesser charges are automatically included in the charge. The prosecution or defense can request the jury be instructed on it, but it doesn't look like the option is off the table. Technically, if it wasn't included neither side could request the jury consider it. In other words, the prosecution would have to charge a defendant with every possible outcome - 2nd degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter. It wouldn't make sense for the prosecution to argue every possible outcome and if the defendant is found guilty of murder 1, he would also be convicted of murder 2, manslaughter, etc. KWIM?



    Which leads me to another question...if his only outcome was guilty or not guilty of 2nd degree murder and it didn't include any lesser charges, couldn't he technically then be charged with voluntary manslaughter since he wouldn't be tried for the same crime twice following a not guilty verdict? If a not guilty verdict is returned, couldn't they then charge him with involuntary manslaughter and keep charging him with lesser charges until they get a guilty verdict or until a jury acquits him of a dozen different charges? Returning a not guilty verdict on 2nd degree murder and included lesser charges ends it right there.
    No, they cannot try him for any other crime if it comes back with a not guilty verdict as jeopardy would apply
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    No, they cannot try him for any other crime if it comes back with a not guilty verdict as jeopardy would apply
    That's my point - it includes the lesser charges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    That's my point - it includes the lesser charges.
    The jury cannot decide to convict him on lesser charges unless the prosecution includes that option and the judge allows it. The jury is not allowed to make that decision on their own. At this point that option is NOT included, so it is all or nothing. If the prosecutor changes their mind before the end of the trial they can ask the judge to include that option, but it is not on the table at this point.
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