Looks like Florida prosecutors will charge Zimmerman with 2nd Degree Murder.
I wondered what the difference was between 1st Degree Murder and 2nd Degree Murder, under Florida law.
Found the following on the internet (ooh, there's a reliable source!), from someone who claims to be a "Criminal Defense Attorney" in Rockledge, FL:
In Orlando fl, what factors drop first degree charge down to second degree and what's maximum sentence for second if convicted?
Jeffrey David Boston , Criminal Defense Attorney in Rockledge, FL:
Basically speaking, 1st degree murder is murder that was planned, whereas 2nd degree murder is murder that was unplanned. One common factor, and sometimes the sole reason, for the prosecutor's office lessening the charge to 2nd degree murder is that it does not believe it can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the murder was premeditated.
Being found guilty of 1st degree murder typically results in a sentence of death or life in prison. A 2nd degree murder conviction results in prison for years. How many depends on several factors, including the facts of the case, the defendant's criminal record, and the players present in the courtroom. There would not be a death or life imprisonment sentence.
Anybody know if this is accurate? Anything more to add?
BTW, what's the difference (in Florida) between "Manslaughter" and "Murder"?
"The social contract exists so that everyone doesn’t have to squat in the dust holding a spear to protect his woman and his meat all day every day. It does not exist so that the government can take your spear, your meat, and your woman because it knows better what to do with them." - Instapundit.com
(2) The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree and constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) When a person is killed in the perpetration of, or in the attempt to perpetrate, any:
(a) Trafficking offense prohibited by s. 893.135(1),
(c) Sexual battery,
(h) Aggravated child abuse,
(i) Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult,
(j) Aircraft piracy,
(k) Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb,
(m) Home-invasion robbery,
(n) Aggravated stalking,
(o) Murder of another human being,
(p) Resisting an officer with violence to his or her person, or
(q) Felony that is an act of terrorism or is in furtherance of an act of terrorism,
by a person other than the person engaged in the perpetration of or in the attempt to perpetrate such felony, the person perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate such felony is guilty of murder in the second degree, which constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
As in every jurisdiction that so classifies homicide, the difference between first and second degree murder is the element of premeditation.
This case is drastically overcharged. But that racist killer deserves it.
Last edited by Pho King; 04-12-2012 at 12:05 PM.
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