Originally Posted by HORNS
How the hell can do they have the knowledge and therefore authority to decide a different charge if it wasn't presented and broken down for them?
Jurors often aren't presented with the legal standards they are supposed to apply until after the close of evidence and after the closing arguments. During the trial they are just supposed to focus on understanding the facts presented.
The bigger issue, as Harvey has said several times, is whether the defense would be unfairly prejudiced because they would have presented a different case if they had known from the outset that the lesser charges would be at issue. That can be a tricky question and the subject of a lot of gamesmanship. On ine hand, the defense certainly knew of that possibility from the outset and factored it into their strategy, so claims of unfair surprise would be somewhat exaggerated. On the other hand, they still had to make tactical choices based on what was actually on the table, so it really can be unfair to let the prosecution move the finish line late in the game (even if the defense knew it might happen.)