New York’s trial of former President Donald Trump took an unexpected turn, leaving experts baffled and one CNN analyst calling the proceedings “crazy.” The spotlight was on Judge Juan Merchan’s handling of critical jury instructions as the case moved toward deliberation. The trial centers on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to the alleged hush money payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels, and the jury got the case and began deliberating it earlier Wednesday.

The trial, which has captured the nation’s attention due to its high-profile defendant, concluded its jury instructions on Wednesday morning. After a brief sidebar discussion between Merchan and the attorneys, the jury was dismissed to begin deliberations in what many are calling an unprecedented legal showdown.

David Oscar Markus, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, expressed disbelief on CNN today regarding the judge’s decisions during this critical phase. “The jury must be overwhelmed,” Markus said. “To have all of these instructions just read to them without them getting a copy is going to be overwhelming for them.”

In most cases, jurors are provided with a written copy of the instructions to consult during their deliberations. However, in this instance, they will only have their notes and the ability to request that the instructions be read again, a situation that Markus strongly criticized.

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“It’s crazy that the lawyers were not able to discuss the instructions in their closings yesterday,” Markus added. “Typically, lawyers can go through the instructions and explain why they’ve met them or why the government hasn’t met them.”

The absence of the critical discussion phase means jurors are left to piece together the legal puzzle on their own, a daunting task given the complexity and significance of the case. “The jurors right now must be wondering what all this is about,” Markus explained.


During the jury instructions, Merchan spent over an hour explaining the relevant laws and reminded jurors to set aside personal biases. He emphasized that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, not the defense, which is not required to prove Trump’s innocence.

The jury must remain in the jury room during deliberations without access to their cell phones and can only deliberate when all members are present. They are to discuss the case solely among themselves and can only communicate with the judge through written notes, without any outside influence, reports noted.

Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.