Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter.
How can someone be convicted for two murder charges and manslaughter for the same killing?
Mr Chauvin kneeled on George Floyds neck for 9 minutes. The three charges brought against Mr Chauvin for these offences, relied on different elements
In relation to the second-degree murder charge, the Jury needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Chauvin intended to inflict substantial bodily harm, or knew that his actions would inflict substantial bodily harm. Intention to cause death, is not an element of second-degree murder.
In relation to the third-degree murder charge, the Jury needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Chauvin acted in an eminently dangerous way, while exhibiting a depraved mind, with reckless disregard towards a human life. Intention to cause death, is not an element of third-degree murder.
In relation to the second-degree manslaughter charge, the Jury needed to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Chauvin was culpably negligent in causing Mr Floyd’s death.
The Jury were directed by the Trial Judge, that each charge was to be considered as separate and distinct offences. The Jury was also directed by the Trial Judge, that it was open to them to find Mr Chauvin guilty of any, all, or none of the charges.
Queensland’s criminal legislation sets our very difference elements of Murder and Manslaughter than Minnesota. If you have any questions about this article or any other topic of law, please call our team of experts on 1300 066 669.