>>Bittersweet though MS-13 is a mean, wicked, evil thorn in the side of the US, and I do not weep a drop to see them canned, do we really need judges who order jurors what to think concerning questions of fact? That sounds like a new one on me, even given increasing concerns over judicial activism. Plus as a matter of law it opens up a hole for an appeal and an opportunity for an appeals court to further open up a can of worms.<<
Don’t kvetch too much.
Any legal line of reasoning has to have a foundation. A judge can find, as a matter of law, that a line does not have sufficient facts to support the foundation of the line of reasoning. “Hey, my client was distracted by a blue tunafish flying by him” isn’t a valid legal argument unless you can lay down a reasonable factual basis.
Otherwise, counsel (on either side) could just slap anything that comes into their imaginations onto the Jury and then say “it is a question of fact.”
Very VERY few appeals are granted. Appeals are not a “redo.” They are extremely technical arguments about points of law only.
It is highly unlikely an appellate court will overturn this decision since the Judge decided (probably accurately) there was no foundation.
Appeals might as well be a “redo” if the appellate court decides the issue at hand tainted the trial.
Why not permit the defense to propose a clearly unjustified theory if he’s guilty as sin? That would only get unsympathy from the jury. In the meantime, everyone else’s jury trial rights will not be chipped away at by example. If I were on that jury I might say that I cannot constrain my thoughts to what the judge ordered, and so that if I believed “entrapment” happened I would be conscience bound to vote not guilty.