The jury in George Zimmerman's murder trial began a second day of deliberations today in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. Jurors reconvened in the courtroom at 9am. A few smiled as the judge addressed them before they left to continue their discussions. The jury began deliberations after contentious closing arguments yesterday afternoon, even as police and civic leaders went on national television to plead for calm, no matter what the verdict. "There is no party in this case who wants to see any violence," Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said. "We have an expectation upon this announcement that our community will continue to act peacefully."
Jurors deliberated for three and a half hours when they decided to stop last night. About two hours into their discussions, they asked for a list of the evidence. Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder, but the jury will also be allowed to consider manslaughter. Under Florida's laws involving gun crimes, manslaughter could end up carrying a penalty as heavy as the one for second-degree murder: life in prison. To win a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors must show only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification.