Here is the Fayetteville Observer article on the ruling today permitting the government proposed instruction on simple murder, i.e. not premeditated. The judge apparently did not find the defense arguments regarding statute of limitations persuasive. Below is the FayObs’s summary, which I don’t quite get because the 1986 change affected Articles 119 (manslaughter) to 132, not Art. 118, which has always had an unlimited SOL. And the 1986 change amended it from 3 to 5. Are they instructing on manslaughter, not Art. 118 without premed? What am I missing?
Defense lawyers in the current trial wanted it excluded from the jury instructions, citing a change in the law in 1986 that imposes a three-year statute of limitations on that charge. They wanted premeditated murder or not guilty as the jury’s only choices in the killings.
But after researching the law, Parrish ruled the statute applied only to crimes committed after the law change took effect.
The case goes to the jury after the TC’s redirect (which starts at 2 pm). We’ll let you know if deliberations start later today–unlikely. Update: Deliberations have begun according to the Fayetteville Observer, here.