Welcome to our LIVE coverage of the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, over the in-custody death of George Floyd. I’ll be live blogging the court’s proceedings all day in real-time!
For those who may not know, I’m Attorney Andrew F. Branca, an internationally-recognized expert in use-of-force law, providing daily real-time legal analysis of the Chauvin trial’s proceedings as a guest commentator for Legal Insurrection, as well as over at my own blog, Law of Self Defense.
As a reminder of the actual criminal charges against Chauvin, and therefore what the prosecution has to actually prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and what we’d expect them to focus on in their opening statement, I’ve shared the relevant portions of the criminal statutes below. It’s worth noting that although two of the charges against Chauvin are labelled “murder” under Minnesota law, these are not murder charges in the traditional sense, in that they do not allege an intentional killing. (The second-degree murder charge specifically is what most states would call felony murder, predicted on assault in the third-degree.) All the charges against Chauvin allege only an unintentional killing, so not even the state prosecutors are arguing that Chauvin intentionally killed Floyd–that this was literally a “racist police murder of a black suspect.”
Subdivision 2. Whoever does either of the following is guilty of unintentional murder in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 40 years: (1) causes the death of a human being, without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense other than criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree with force or violence or a drive-by shooting;
Subdivision 1. Substantial bodily harm. — Whoever assaults another and inflicts substantial bodily harm may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $ 10,000, or both.
A person who causes the death of another by any of the following means is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $ 20,000, or both:
(1) by the person’s culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another;
(a) Whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 25 years.
Here’s live video of the court’s proceedings:
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Here’s our live blogging, updated in real time throughout the day:
Enjoy the show!
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
Attorney Andrew F. Branca’s legal practice has specialized exclusively in use-of-force law for thirty years. Andrew provides use-of-force legal consultancy services to attorneys across the country, as well as near-daily use-of-force law insight, expertise, and education to lawyers and non-lawyers alike in the form of blog posts, video, and podcasts, through the Law of Self Defense Membership service. If this kind of content is of interest to you, try out our two-week Membership trial for a mere 99 cents, with a 200% no-question- asked money-back guarantee, here: Law of Self Defense Membership Trial.
[Featured image is a screen capture from the live video of this trial, Minnesota v. Chauvin.]
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