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Jury Begins Sifting Evidence as It Weighs Trump’s Fate in Criminal Case

William K. Rashbaum, Jonah E. Bromwich and Ben Protess
New York Times
May 29, 2024

Marc Frazier Scholl, commenting in the New York Times, discussed the complex instructions given to jurors in Donald Trump's criminal trial.

Marc F. Scholl, who served nearly 40 years in the district attorney’s office, noted that jury instructions are often difficult to follow, particularly given that, in New York, jurors are barred from keeping a copy of the guidance as they deliberate. And he said that defendants are often charged with several different crimes, requiring even more elaborate instructions.

Still, Mr. Scholl said, one point of complexity stood out in the Trump case: “Usually you don’t have this layering of these other crimes.”

Justice Merchan encouraged jurors, if they find themselves confused by legal arcana, to send him a note seeking clarification, and in addition to their request for testimony, they asked the judge to repeat his instructions. “He recognizes it’s a lot to take in,” Mr. Scholl said.

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