Trump Hush $$$ Trial Jury Instructions - Post-Summation Instructions - Facts Here

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Offering up multiple links to Judge Merchan's instructions to the jury. Why? So we all can find an easy link to facts that are sure to be misrepresented (by more than one side), misconstrued, misunderstood, and misinterpreted.




Here's a discussion of things in Business Insider (no pay wall):


In the end we either believe in and trust the system, or we don't. Cafeteria style support of the system is part of the problem we love when the courts do this, we hate the courts when they do that. Our nation exists and has only prospered for as long as it has (a short time in democratic, republican history) because it started out anew with an extralegal set of meetings that gave us our present constitution.

Extralegal. Interesting fact. The so-called American Revolution was based and and supported by extralegal means.
 
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Proof the Judge with his instructions seems to be as honorable, fair, and as respectful of the process as can be, given the enormous interest in, and the sure to follow political, societal, constitutional repercussions coming from any Jury verdict.

A few experts of observations from withing the courtroom (source: NYT):

The judge greets the jurors and immediately begins reading them his instructions. He tells them the instructions will take at least an hour to get through.

Justice Merchan, who’s normally very soft-spoken, is now explaining to the jurors that any changes in his inflection are not intended to send a message.

Justice Merchan tells the jurors that it is not his responsibility to judge the evidence in the case. “It is yours,” he says. “You are the judges of the facts, and you are responsible for deciding whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.”



As the judge reads standard legal language on fairness to the jurors, he happens upon an interesting phrase: “As a juror, you are asked to make a very important decision about another member of the community.” It’s unusual to think about Trump as just “another member of the community.” But in court, that’s how jurors are meant to view him. But, as requested by the defense during a charge conference last week in which these instructions were hashed out, Merchan also reminds these jurors not to allow previously held opinions about the defendant to affect their decisions. This remark underscores the tension of this case and the task facing jurors

Judge Merchan Maggie explains.png
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Justice Merchan reminds the jurors they need to “set aside” personal opinions or bias against Trump.

Justice Merchan is saying that jurors can draw inferences while evaluating the evidence during deliberations. To explain the concept of an inference, he uses the example of a wet, rainy sidewalk in the morning. While one may not have seen it rain, Merchan says, one can infer that there was a storm or shower at some point overnight.

Justice Merchan reminds jurors that they cannot hold Trump’s choice not to testify against him as they deliberate.

The judge is explaining the concept of reasonable doubt, using standard legal language. He tells them, “It is an actual doubt, not an imaginary doubt. It is a doubt that a reasonable person, acting in a matter of this importance, would be likely to entertain because of the evidence that was presented or because of the lack of convincing evidence.”

Conversely, he explains, “proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you so firmly convinced of the defendant’s guilt that you have no reasonable doubt of the existence of any element of the crime, or of the defendant’s identity as the person who committed the crime.”

Justice Merchan explains the concept of “falsus in uno,” an important concept for the defense, which tried to convince the jury that Michael Cohen’s testimony was not credible. The concept says that jurors can disregard a witness’s entire testimony if they find he has intentionally testified falsely to any material fact. Or, they can disregard the parts they find to be untruthful, and accept those they find truthful and accurate.

The language on credibility is also worth paying close attention to. Justice Merchan says that there’s no formula for evaluating someone’s truthfulness, and that a person brings to the process all their varied experiences. “In life,” he says, “you frequently decide the truthfulness and accuracy of statements made to you by other people.” He tells the jurors to use the same factors they draw on outside of court when evaluating testimony in the case.


Justice Merchan explains that the law considers Michael Cohen an accomplice “because there is evidence that he participated in a crime based upon conduct involved in the allegations here against the defendant.”

He tells the jurors that “even if you find the testimony of Michael Cohen to be believable, you may not convict the defendant solely upon that testimony, unless you also find that it was corroborated by other evidence” connecting Trump with the crime.

This helps to explain much of what we saw in closing arguments yesterday: The defense’s focus on Cohen’s credibility and the prosecution’s insistence that his testimony is just one central strand in the broader tapestry of evidence against Trump.
 
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Thank you for that. Those are really long instructions.
Both sides had demands/requests for the Judge's then coming instructions. I see balance and fairness. Regardless of the outcome, the interests that I believe matter most, have been satisfied.

 
This is one of my many issues with the US legal system. In my humble opinion: The jurors should get a simple jury charge first on what constitutes the potential charges, and what facts are required to meet those tests. Telling them AFTER THE TRIAL is not the way to go.
 
Justice Merchan is saying that jurors can draw inferences while evaluating the evidence during deliberations. To explain the concept of an inference, he uses the example of a wet, rainy sidewalk in the morning. While one may not have seen it rain, Merchan says, one can infer that there was a storm or shower at some point overnight.
This is exactly the tactic many MAGAts apply here when they say things like "show us where tRump said racist things".
 
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This is one of my many issues with the US legal system. In my humble opinion: The jurors should get a simple jury charge first on what constitutes the potential charges, and what facts are required to meet those tests. Telling them AFTER THE TRIAL is not the way to go.
Things are not that simple -- in law.

And the "after the trial" thing is difficult, because facts and evidence have not yet been presented. The Judge gets to address what has been argued.
 
Interesting

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Justice Merchan just reminded us that the prosecution won a major argument last week, when they argued that the jurors did not have to agree unanimously on the “unlawful means” they might determine that Trump used in the election conspiracy that prosecutors allege took place.

Had the judge required them to be unanimous on the unlawful means, it may have become far harder to reach a verdict.

At the same time, we hear that the defense won an argument: adding the word “willfully” twice to a paragraph of these jury instructions. The paragraph describes for jurors one of the potential crimes from the menu of “unlawful means.” With those two small tweaks the judge appeared to eliminate the possibility that jurors could have found one of the unlawful means to be a civil violation of that federal law, rather than a criminal one.
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again, both sides had demands/requests for the Judge's then coming instructions. I see balance and fairness. Regardless of the outcome, the interests that I believe matter most, have been satisfied.

 
Two great observations in the NYT by reporters writing from within the courtroom:

"The jurors’ heads have shifted down, and many appear to be taking careful notes, as they hear the instructions related to the secondary crimes — known in the law as “predicate” or “object” crimes --"

and...

"The defense lawyers made clear during the conference on charging instructions how concerned they were that there would be a broad explanation for what the jurors could consider. Both the defense and the prosecution had some victories in that conference.

But state law is different than federal law, and most of the commentary on television and in op-ed pages stems from an understanding of federal lawnot the state laws applicable here."
 
Things are not that simple -- in law.

And the "after the trial" thing is difficult, because facts and evidence have not yet been presented. The Judge gets to address what has been argued.
They can start off with a synopsis of the legal definition of the charges (assuming criminal) and what the tests are to meet them. They can get the full charge at the end (that one was long, a lot of that is just said to the jury).

If you don't know what the actual definition and test of the charge is you can't adjudge if someone is guilty or innocent.
Again, just my opinion.
 
Intent & Motive:

"Justice Merchan has been speaking for just over an hour now. He has moved on to motive — and the difference between motive and intent. He explains that while intent means “conscious objective or purpose,” motive is “the reason why a person chooses to engage in criminal conduct.” He reminds jurors that they must consider Trump’s intent, but that the prosecution did not have to prove his motive."

"Trump leans into the defense table to rifle through the papers in front of him as Justice Merchan tells the jurors that their verdict must be unanimous."

"Justice Merchan is emphasizing, as judges do in criminal trials, that jurors have to both hold fast to their own opinions of the case, and listen to — and consider — other jurors’ opinions."

"Justice Merchan appears to be wrapping up. He is explaining the details of the verdict sheet and the way that deliberations work, including that jurors will be kept in the jury room while they deliberate and they cannot leave while they are discussing the case. They are asked to give their cell phones and other devices to court officers while they deliberate."

"“That concludes my instructions on the law,” the judge says. That took him about an hour and 10 minutes. He asks the lawyers to approach the bench."
 
Intent & Motive:

"Justice Merchan has been speaking for just over an hour now. He has moved on to motive — and the difference between motive and intent. He explains that while intent means “conscious objective or purpose,” motive is “the reason why a person chooses to engage in criminal conduct.” He reminds jurors that they must consider Trump’s intent, but that the prosecution did not have to prove his motive."

"Trump leans into the defense table to rifle through the papers in front of him as Justice Merchan tells the jurors that their verdict must be unanimous."

"Justice Merchan is emphasizing, as judges do in criminal trials, that jurors have to both hold fast to their own opinions of the case, and listen to — and consider — other jurors’ opinions."

"Justice Merchan appears to be wrapping up. He is explaining the details of the verdict sheet and the way that deliberations work, including that jurors will be kept in the jury room while they deliberate and they cannot leave while they are discussing the case. They are asked to give their cell phones and other devices to court officers while they deliberate."

"“That concludes my instructions on the law,” the judge says. That took him about an hour and 10 minutes. He asks the lawyers to approach the bench."


"He explains that while intent means “conscious objective or purpose,” motive is “the reason why a person chooses to engage in criminal conduct.”

He reminds jurors that they must consider Trump’s intent, but that the prosecution did not have to prove his motive."
 
"He explains that while intent means “conscious objective or purpose,” motive is “the reason why a person chooses to engage in criminal conduct.”

He reminds jurors that they must consider Trump’s intent, but that the prosecution did not have to prove his motive."
Correct. People here need those explanations too. :blues:
 

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