Thursday, April 11, 2024

Good Article on Lesser Included Offense Strategy in Trump Criminal Trial in NY Court Next Week (4/11/24)

I have written on several occasions on the concept of lesser included offense, including the strategies involved for defense counsel in seeking a lesser included offense instruction. See e.g., Defense Request of Lesser Included Offense Instruction Precludes Questioning Sufficiency of Conviction (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 10/3/17), here; and Court Affirms Conviction, Rejecting Lesser Included Offense Instruction Request (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 7/17/19; 7/18/19), here; for the complete list sorted by relevance see here and sorted by date see here.

I thought readers might like the following Politico article:  Ankush Khardori, The Surprising Strategy Trump Could Use to Win His Manhattan Trial (Politico 4/11/24), here. The author, a former federal prosecutor, has a good discussion of Former President Trump’s potential use of the lesser included offense in his upcoming criminal trial in New York state court set to commence on April 15, 2024.

One key risk for the defendant is that a jury who thinks the crime(s) charged are too harsh for the conduct or might have some other reason to not convict where the binary choice is guilty or not guilty of the more serious offense charge might settle back (compromise) on a lesser included offense whereas, had the choice remained binary, the jury would acquit. 

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