Jury Can Consider Manslaughter In Zimmerman Trial

Prosecutors convinced the judge presiding over George Zimmerman’s  second-degree murder trial to allow jurors to consider manslaughter, but their  surprise bid to include felony murder — based on child abuse —  in the  jury instructions was denied after a heated morning session in which an angry  defense attorney called the effort a “trick.”

Judge Debra Nelson ruled against the prosecution’s request that juror’s be  able to consider a third-degree felony murder charge based on child abuse. Under  felony murder statutes, a defendant can be charged with murder if he or she  causes someone’s death while committing a felony, in this case, according to the  prosecution, child abuse. At 17, Martin was a minor when he was killed.


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