Regardless of your opinion on Zimmerman’s innocence or guilt, yesterday’s action by the prosecution should strike you as, at the very least, questionable:
In a surprise move this morning, the prosecution asked the Judge to drop the Aggravated Assault charge and to instruct the jury on Third Degree Murder, which is murder in the course of committing a felony.
The felony the State wanted as the predicate was Aggravated Child Abuse (Jury Instruction) because Trayvon Martin was 17 at the time of the shooting.
Fortunately, Judge Nelson denied the request. But the prosecution’s action still demonstrates how badly they want to find Zimmerman guilty. Throughout the trial the prosecution has, in my opinion, failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman wasn’t acting in self-defense. I believe the prosecutor also believes this but wants to put Zimmerman in a cage no matter the cost. Because of this desire he apparently decided to entering a request to instruct the jury on another lesser charge was his best hope of nailing Zimmerman. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have a problem with either the prosecution or defense requesting something but this request was made after both sides made their closing statements. The defense had no time to address the charges so, had the judge agreed to instruct the jury on the charges, there would have been no way for Zimmerman’s lawyer to defend against the charge.
There has been a lot of chicanery going on since the start of this entire Zimmerman/Martin fiasco. It really demonstrates how ineffective the justice system in this country is.