Thank you. I think it's important to cite the whole thing (something journalists are seemingly unable to do) since it's not as simple as saying that "it wasn't third degree murder because it was directed at a single person". Other case law I cited above (particularly, a kid ran over by a drunk driver) there was a single person affected and yet it was considered to be third degree murder based on the state of mind of the perpetrator.
So, here's the relevant text:
2. The defendant argues that the trial court's refusal to submit the charge of third-degree murder to the jury was reversible error because the evidence supported a finding that defendant had a "depraved mind" and did not intend to cause the death of any person. First- and second-degree murder instructions were given. In State v. Leinweber, 303 Minn. 414, 228 N.W.2d 120 (1975), we held that the trial court should submit instruction on a lesser degree of homicide to the jury if the evidence reasonably supports a conviction of the lesser degree and at the same time supports a finding of not guilty of the greater offense. Accord, LaMere v. State, 278 N.W.2d 552, 557-58 (Minn.1979).
Minn.Stat. § 609.195 (1978) defines murder in the third degree as follows:
Whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by either of the following means, is guilty of murder in the third degree * * *:
(1) Perpetrates an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, regardless of human life; * * *.
This statute was intended to cover cases where the reckless or wanton acts of the accused were committed without special regard to their effect on any particular person or persons; the act must be committed without a special design upon the particular person or persons with whose murder the accused is charged. State v. Hanson, 286 Minn. 317, 328-29, 176 N.W.2d 607, 614-15 (1970); See State v. Lowe, 66 Minn. 296, 68 N.W. 1094 (1896).
This court, in State v. Mytych, 292 Minn. 248, 194 N.W.2d 276 (1972), sustained a conviction of third-degree murder where the defendant's shots were aimed at the decedent alone. We stated that "[a] mind which has become inflamed by emotions, disappointments, and hurt to such degree that it ceases to care for human life and safety is a depraved mind." Id. at 259, 194 N.W.2d at 283. However, in Leinweber, we noted that Mytych is not a typical application of Minn.Stat. § 609.195(1). 303 Minn. at 417 n. 3, 228 N.W.2d at 123 n. 3.
Recently, in State v. Stewart, 276 N.W.2d 51 (Minn.1979), we held that the trial court properly refused to submit to the jury the lesser included offense of third-degree murder where the victim was shot twice, there were no bullets fired at anything or anyone else, and no other person in the vicinity of the shooting was concerned for his safety.
In the instant case, the decedent suffered many brutal blows. While this fact certainly indicates a mind without regard for human life, the evidence suggests that all the blows were directed toward the victim. The inside of the car was not slashed, nor was evidence presented that any of defendant's companions in the car were concerned for their own safety. Furthermore, there was ample evidence to support *418 a finding of an intentional killing, whereas third-degree murder is an unintentional killing. As we mentioned in State v. Merrill, 274 N.W.2d 99, 105 (Minn.1978), the fact that the jury was given first- and second-degree murder instructions and came back with a first-degree murder conviction indicated that the jury believed the killing was intentional, and that failure to submit instructions on lesser offenses could not have prejudiced the defendant.
While in this case all the blows were directed at the same person, this was actually used to establish that the murderer had intent to kill and indeed the jury at the first trial had found it did exist. It's also important to consider the facts of this case to understand why would the first instance court find the killing was intentional: There was evidence that he tried to hide the body afterwards, which suggests premeditation, and also bought just enough fuel for the trip that would end the victim's life (enough to just leave the car where he wanted it to be, even though the victim would have needed more fuel in his car's tank to do everything he'd have done normally).
Third degree murder requires that the perpetrator had no intent to kill, but acted without regard for human life. It is thus an extreme form of negligence and incompatible with premeditated murder, which is why the appellate court said the charge didn't apply and shouldn't have been considered. Also, note in the paragraph above and other cases I mentioned that killing a single person is not incompatible with third degree murder.
Pants-of-dog wrote:Exactly, and since there is a precedent for using third degree murder to charge people who endangered random people and not specific individuals, the DA could use this precedent to get the cop acquitted.
Do Derek Chauvin's actions look like what happened in the above case? Does it seem to you he acted in a premeditated manner as to be able to show he acted with intent to kill as would be required in a first degree murder charge? To me, if doesn't or else he wouldn't have killed him in broad daylight, with people filming.
Minnesota's AG also decided to update the charges to second-degree murder which maybe will make this point moot. I don't know if this means they will also consider the charges for third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. I suspect they will.
Pants-of-Dog wrote:Regardless, the government will not punish the cop for using this choke hold.
Regardless of the outcome of the trial, he's been fired for using it and should have been even if George Floyd was alive and well. I ignore whether there would be a criminal charge arising from it, I suspect there may not be but I don't really know for sure.
Pants-of-dog wrote:The prosecutor can simply refuse to call the examiner as a witness, can refuse to show videos, and can refuse to introduce the independent investigation as evidence.
So what you are saying then is that the prosecutor can literally refuse to do his job, with no consequences, and get his check. I don't think so, in Minnesota DAs can face recall elections in case of nonfeasance.
Pants-of-dog wrote:As I said it is a non-zero number.
Now, why were these killings never brought to trial?
It would be necessary to check each case to know for sure (once they are identified). My bet would be that a grand jury thought there were not enough grounds to indict, but it's hard to know for sure.
Pants-of-dog wrote:I have not seen anything addressing the systemic racism.
Really? Don't you think that the Black Lives Matter movement has done quite a bit by putting the issue right in front of the public sphere and that legal changes mandating the use of bodycams don't help to make abuses transparent?
Because one great way to fight racism is to expose it in broad daylight. Am I right?
Pants-of-dog wrote:Unjustified use of force has been pervasive in the police response to the protests.
Then there will be many lawsuits in America, the land of freedom and lawyers. Once things calm down of course.
Pants-of-dog wrote:Are you arguing that cops have the latitude to use violence against children, innocents, and the press simply because looters exist?
They have the latitude to use it against looters, but they usually take advantage of the said innocents to do so. This includes, for instance, looters doing their thing while a crowd of protesters is passing by and physically blocking the police from doing its job. The only viable for police to stop the looters, is to disperse the crowd (possibly looters included).
Pants-of-dog wrote:Can you show me an example of justified police brutality against anyone in the last few days?
Pick any video in which policemen have been attacked by protesters.
Pants-of-dog wrote:The evidence clearly states that the majority of killings were at the hands of cops, or people defending themsleves against cops.
How would you reach that conclusion from the text? Please quote directly from it. This is keeping in mind that soldiers are not cops and indeed cops exist precisely so soldiers will not be engaging in policing duties, which they will approach in terms of a military duty rather than a peace time one.
Pants-of-dog wrote:At this point, you are no longer being clear as to what argument you are making.
It's simple: The person who initially called the police did what most people in that situation would have done, regardless of the races of those involved, and it was the policemen who acted in an unreasonable manner.
Pants-of-dog wrote:This says nothing about systemic racism.
How does this deal with systemic racism?
On the contrary, how doesn't transparency in the cops' behavior help to address racism and most forms of misconduct including an excessive or otherwise unjustified use of force?
If we know what happened it's precisely because it was filmed, society can see what happened and address the problem. It also introduced the topic into the American national debate, and helps to pressure DAs and the general court system to prosecute perpetrators. We also know this works because making policemen carry bodycams has led to improved behavior, including a decrease in the use of force and complaints in police misbehavior.
It is certainly more useful and productive than burning everything down or being a keyboard warrior posting over the internet that the system needs to be torn apart
Donna wrote:lol, those body cams that cops repeatedly turn off and the only ones who get caught doing anything are the ones unaware of the 30 second delay.
The ones that cops are forbidden from turning off in many jurisdictions. Because if that's the problem, just make it an offense such as obstruction to justice for them to turn it off