Tonight I finally had enough. All these moronic talking heads on TV talking about how if George Zimmerman is not acquitted of murder he could be convicted of manslaughter as a lesser included offense. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Under Florida law manslaughter is
"(1) The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification according to the provisions of chapter 776 and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder, according to the provisions of this chapter, is manslaughter, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. § 782.07(1), Fla. Stat. (2005)." (My emphasis.)
This is the Florida statute on lesser included offenses:
Fla. R. Crim. P. Rule 3.510
Rule 3.510. Determination of Attempts and Lesser Included Offenses
"On an indictment or information on which the defendant is to be tried for any offense the jury may convict the defendant of: * * * (b) any offense that as a matter of law is a necessarily included offense or a lesser included offense of the offense charged in the indictment or information and is supported by the evidence. The judge shall not instruct on any lesser included offense as to which there is no evidence. (My emphasis.)
There is no such evidence of manslaughter. None. To the contrary, there is overwhelming evidence of self-defense.
If the judge charges manslaughter over defenses objections, she will be reversed on appeal.
If she does not charge manslaughter, George Zimmerman will likely be acquitted because the jury will have murder or nothing.
If Zimmerman is convicted, because there is not a shred of evidence to satisfy the Florida murder second degree statute the appellate court will reverse. Indeed, the gutless judge lacked the courage to dismiss the case after the People rested because of the lack of evidence for murder II.
Talk of manslaughter is nonsense.