Manslaughter In, First-Degree Murder, Out

The judge in the Johannes Mehserle murder trial decided to allow jurors to choose either voluntary or involuntary manslaughter as possible verdicts, along with second-degree murder and acquittal, the Chron and Trib report. The ruling was a blow to Mehserle’s defense team, which sought to limit the verdicts to murder or acquittal in the hopes that the jury would not find enough evidence to sustain a murder charge in the killing of Oscar Grant and thus would be forced to find the ex-BART cop not guilty.

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