3rd Degree Murder Charge Reinstated in Derek Chauvin Trial

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home.

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5 Responses

  1. Jaybird

    If you are not familiar with the shooting of Justine Damond, you should read about it here.

    Short version: Ms. Damond called the police late at night (like, 11:30PM) saying that she heard something that might be an assault in the alley near her home. The cops showed up, didn’t see anything, and were preparing to leave when Ms. Damond came up to the car and the cops, claiming to be “spooked”, pulled their guns. Officer Mohamed Noor shot her.

    She died 20 minutes later.

    Third Degree Murder is a charge that only happens in a handful of states. From Wikipedia:

    Third-degree murder is a category of murder defined in the laws of three states in the United States: Florida, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. It was formerly defined in New Mexico (which once had five degrees of murder) and Wisconsin.

    Depending on the state, third-degree murder may include felony murder regardless of the underlying felony, felony murder only where the underlying felony is non-violent, or depraved-heart murder, meaning that intent to kill is not an element of the offense of third-degree murder in any state which defines it. It is punishable by a maximum of 40 years of imprisonment in Florida (in the case of a violent career criminal) and Pennsylvania, and 25 years’ imprisonment in Minnesota.

    If I were being cynical, I’d say that third degree murder is for when cops shoot someone indefensibly but it apparently also gets used for stuff like causing a miscarriage.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird

      For Damond, we’re in “which heinous/incompetent thing did they do” territory. We’d need bodycams to clean this up because their testimony doesn’t make sense.

      They reported everything was safe, then there was a loud noise (there’s no evidence Damond banged on the car) and one drew a gun and the other fired?

      Clearly something really stupid happened, and if that’s the best spin they can put on it then you have to wonder how deep that rabbit hole is.

      Also: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-first-second-and-third-degree-murderReport

      • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter

        Their bodycams were not on. Not particularly scandalous, as they were not yet mandatory in all situations.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird

          This was an event which showcased how we can instantly go from “not in a situation” to “they killed someone”. And yes, that wasn’t especially clear at the time.

          From a 10,000 foot evaluation, the problem with Damond is the basic facts aren’t clear. What was she doing when they shot her, what were they doing, what did they think was happening, how reasonable was that, etc.

          We have no evidence and the police testimony is confused enough that we need to wonder if it’s self serving.

          With the police testimony it’s hard to envision a situation where her shooting was justified, but it’s easy to envision a situation where it was more murder one than murder three.Report

  2. Jaybird

    Jury has been chosen, I guess?


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