George Zimmerman Trial: State Rests, Court Denies Motion to Aquit
The state has finished its case. The defense argued its Motion for Judgment of Acquittal. The state responded. The judge denied the motion, saying only that the state had provided sufficient evidence for the charge to go to the jury. See, for example, the 2012 Florida Supreme Court opinion in Patrick v. State.
The defense argues that because the state's evidence as to ill will, hatred, or spite is entirely circumstantial, the state's evidence must disprove any reasonable hypothesis of innocence.
If, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, a rational trier of fact could find the existence of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, sufficient evidence exists to sustain a conviction.
However, if the State's evidence is wholly circumstantial, not only must there be sufficient evidence establishing each element of the offense, but the evidence must also exclude the defendant's reasonable hypothesis of innocence.
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