[Photo Credit:By Aleksandr Zykov from Russia - CNN, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48433561]

CNN Lawyers Blast Judge Merchan for Bad Jury Instructions

On Friday, defense attorney Randy Zelin and former Trump attorney Tim Parlatore asserted that Judge Juan Merchan’s instructions to the jury in the trial of former President Donald Trump were in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Merchan informed the jury that they are not required to reach a unanimous decision regarding the “other crime” that Trump committed. Rather, they were presented with a selection of three distinct crimes from which they could choose to convict the former president.

According to the two attorneys featured on “CNN Special Report,” Merchan’s jury instructions were so defective that an appeals court could potentially reverse the conviction.

President Trump was found guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business documents by the jury on Thursday in the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case.

“I hate to do this, but I would be remiss if I didn’t. Whether you are driving in a Ford or a Ferrari, if someone gives you bad directions, you’re going to end up lost. And those jury instructions were just a complete, just take the Constitution, throw it out a window, burn it, shoot it and hang it.” Zelin remarked.

“I think that the jury instructions had a very key flaw here, which is the falsification of business records had to be in furtherance of some other crime and there wasn’t really great instructions on what that other crime was. Under New York State law, they’re not required to say which it is. But when they do, the judge has to instruct them on that specific crime. And the problem here is they don’t have to prove that they actually committed that other crime. They don’t have to prove that they actually had FEC violations, but they have to show that what they intended to do was in fact a crime. And that I think is really the shortfall in the jury instructions is the lack of an explanation to this jury as to the federal election law.” ” Parlatore said in response to a question about whether the jury instructions might lead to a later appeals victory for team Trump.

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