George Zimmerman Trial manslaughter instructions

9:37 PM, Jul 13, 2013   |    comments
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  • Sanford, Florida - George Zimmerman and  the trial attorneys assembled in the courtroom in front of the judge when they learned that the jury had a question.

    The question they asked was for clarification on the instructions they were given for the charges of manslaughter.

    The judge then announced they would recess for 30 mintues.

    Below are the instructions they were given:

    MANSLAUGHTER


    To prove the crime of Manslaughter, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

    1. Trayvon Martin is dead.

    2. George Zimmerman intentionally committed an act or acts that
    caused the death of Trayvon Martin.

    George Zimmermancannot be guilty of manslaughter by committing a merely negligent act or if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide:

    Each of us has a duty to act reasonably toward others. If there is a violation of that duty, without any conscious intention to harm, that violation is negligence.

    The killing of a human being is justifiable homicide and lawful if necessarily done while resisting an attempt to murder or commit a felony upon George Zimmerman , or to commit a felony in any  dwelling house in which George Zmmerman was at the time of the killing.

    The kill ing of a human being is excusable, and therefore lawful, under any one of the following three circumstances:

    1. When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution and without any unlaw ful intent, or

    2. When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or

    3. When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune resulting from a sudden combat, if a dangerous weapon is not used and the killing is not done in a cruel or unusual manner.

    In order to convict of manslaughter by act, it is not necessary for the State to prove that George Zimmerman had an intent to cause death, only an intent to commit an act that was not merely negligent, justified, or excusable and which caused death.

    If you find George Zimmerman committed Manslaughter, and you also find beyond a reasonable doubt that during the commission of the Manslaughter, George Zimmerman carried, displayed, used, threatened to use, or attempted to use a firearm, you should check the appropriate box on the verdict form which I will discuss with you later in these instructions.

    The definition of a firearm has been previously provided in these instructions.    

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