[Ed. – There was more than one factor in this, I suspect. But the former prosecutor’s point rings valid. It may very well have had a significant impact on the jury.]
[Y]esterday, the Armstrong and Getty Show, broadcast in most major cities in the West, interviewed an experienced former Bay Area prosecutor and current Defense attorney, Michael Cardoza, who sat through much (though not all) of the trial. He was reluctant to harshly criticize his former colleagues in the San Francisco DA’s office, but he did indicate that the prosecution seems to have made a major mistake during the course of the trial.
The initial charges filed, including manslaughter, peaked with second degree murder. But part way through the trial, the prosecutors added first degree murder, which requires intent to kill. …
In the experience of Mr. Cardoza, juries sometimes stop believing prosecutors who change their charges in the course of a trial.