The sequestered jurors in the George Zimmerman trial have returned to court in Sanford, Florida, this morning and will continue their deliberations.
The judge wrapped up her instructions at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday and the jury was sent to deliberate. They deliberated until about 6:00 p.m. on Friday before being discharged for the day.
The jurors will continue to deliberate through the weekend. With a full day of deliberations today (Saturday, July 13, 2013), it is very likely that the jury could reach a verdict sometime today.
The jury has four options:
Guilty of second-degree murder (guilty as charged). Zimmerman would face a mandatory 25-year sentence with a maximum of life in prison.
Guilty of the lesser-included offense of manslaughter. Zimmerman would face a maximum of 30 years in state prison.
Not guilty. Zimmerman would be forever discharged from the prosecution and precluded from further state-level prosecution on these charges due to double jeopardy. However, the federal government, should they decide to do so, could bring civil rights charges against him.
Hung jury. Since a jury verdict in Florida must be unanimous, if the jury could not agree on a verdict, the judge would declare a mistrial and the state would have the option of a retrial.
Last night, the jury sent a written request to the judge asking for an inventory of the evidence. A jury is permitted to send written requests and questions to the court. Many times, jurors may need points of clarification.
I believe that the jurors have shown that they are taking their job seriously and understand the grave responsibility that is in their hands.
As I have predicted for several weeks now, I believe that the jury will not find Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder but that the facts are just a bit too egregious for them to acquit altogether.
I believe that the jury will compromise on manslaughter.