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The post below was published on Monday, February 7th, 2011 at 6:43 AM.

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Certified Question: Manslaughter By Act Instruction

The flawed manslaughter by act standard instruction continues to work mischief. It did so again in this case, where the Second District certified the following to the state supreme court as a question of great public importance:

IF A JURY RETURNS A VERDICT FINDING A DEFENDANT GUILTY OF SECOND-DEGREE MURDER IN A CASE WHERE THE EVIDENCE DOES NOT SUPPORT A THEORY OF CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE, DOES A TRIAL COURT COMMIT FUNDAMENTAL ERROR BY GIVING A FLAWED MANSLAUGHTER BY ACT INSTRUCTION WHEN IT ALSO GIVES AN INSTRUCTION ON MANSLAUGHTER BY CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE?

Relying on its own precedent, the district court answered the question in the negative, but the court expressed concern with whether the result comports with last year’s decision in State v. Montgomery.

















































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