Originally Posted by Ataturk
Originally Posted by retronotmetro
In a murder trial, it would be difficult for the evidence not to support a manslaughter charge, since the difference between the two charges is typically just the level of intent or the existence of a mitigating circumstance.
Careful with those generalizations. There are so many different definitions of murder and manslaughter that it really depends on the state. For example in mine to get a manslaughter instruction you have to have some proof the defendant acted in the "heat of passion."
That might not be a problem for Zimmerman but it's not present in every case.
Yes, I was thinking of things in a common law sense. States vary in how they implement the degrees of murder and the variations of manslaughter.
My understanding of Florida law (and I'm not admitted to practice there) is that the second degree murder charge against Zimmerman is basically the classic depraved indifference/malignant heart murder, and that the Florida definition of manslaughter is a broad one--basically it is causing a death by intentional act or culpable negligence, with no applicable justification. In that framework, and knowing the bits and pieces of information that have leaked out, it would be difficult to end up with a trial record that does not support reading the lesser included instruction.