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April 21, 2021

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James

All of the above.

anon

Ediberto
I too agree with almost every point.
The one I would quibble with is 4.
We simply need to stop viewing everything thru the efforts of some to divide us to gain political advantage.
The fact is that the prosecutors realized this basic truth. The trial NEVER, not ONE TIME, made race the issue.
The issue was HUMAN RIGHTS. HUMAN.
People of all descriptions, not just those you and others seem to focus on and care about exclusively, bleed and choke and suffer injustice, Ediberto.

Adam Lamparello

There are some viable issues on appeal. The first concerns whether Chauvin got a fair trial. During jury selection, the city settled for $27 million. The jurors were surely exposed to the relentless media coverage. Maxine Waters essentially encouraged violence if it was a not guilty verdict. Even Biden mouthed off. The jury should have been sequestered and the venue changed.

Second, I don't see how they convict on third degree murder because Chauvin was not a danger to "others." And it strikes me as odd that he can be convicted for 2nd degree felony murder, which requires a purposeful intent to harm, and second degree manslaughter, which requires negligence. It's obvious that by returning a verdict so quickly, the jurors did not consider any of these issues. The verdict may get overturned on appeal.

CF

Legislatures shouldn't pass laws they don't want enforced at the end of a gun. What the hell did they think would happen? The police don't make the laws. They are just there to enforce it. If you don't want people arrested for passing fake money or resisting arrest, then overturn the da#n law!

anon

According to National Geographic, annually about 2,000 people are killed worldwide by lightning; according to the Washington Post, there were 18 unarmed black persons killed by the police in 2020. Again, according to the Washington Post, 243 black persons, in total, were killed by the police in 2020, 241 of whom were male and the vast majority of whom were armed.

If you are unarmed, resisting or not, the odds of being killed by the police can, it seems fairly and objectively, be characterized as a circumstance that occurs at an exceeding rare rate. The FBI estimates that law enforcement agencies nationwide made 10.1 million arrests, (excluding those for traffic violations) in 2019. Adding traffic violations would increase that number of arrests significantly. 18 out of what, 15 million? That qualifies, it would seem to me, as rare.

But, the media and the "woke" universe are busy creating the impression that there is a wave of police killing unarmed black men by focusing SOLELY EXCLUSIVELY AND RELENTLESSLY ON EVERY INSTANCE OF violence involving a white cop/black offender. And the fact that municipalities so often pay tens of millions of dollars to the family of a black offender killed by a white police officer reinforces the notion that the offender did nothing wrong to contribute to the rare instance of police homicide in connection with the arrest of an unarmed black male.

All this is the recipe for race hatred, hysteria, riots, and ever escalating demands. The Rev. Sharpton and Lawyer Ben Crump fly in.

Neighborhoods burn, people are injured and money is extracted. One seldom hears the ever so compassionate "woke" thought leaders bemoaning those injured by the riots and by race hatred.

Every injustice needs to be addressed. Mental illness, criminality, domestic violence and all the other maladies that haunt us. There is racism in this country (lately, the most openly expressed to denigrate "white people"). And, there are police injustices inflicted on persons on the street. It is a fact that the death sentence in principle should never be imposed by a cop and we should be doing everything we can to improve the conditions of crime and policing to reduce the relatively small numbers to even smaller numbers. Ideally, the police would never kill anyone, ever, including white people who are killed by cops, sometimes unjustly (do you believe that?).

All in all, the "woke" movement is using a relatively rare event (white cop killing an unarmed black male, which occurred in fewer than 18 instances in 2020) to whip up a perception that all white people are racists and that the police are running a lynching campaign against black people.

If I've misread the stats, then I'll stand corrected. But, I don't think so.

Jon Lee

Adam: Regarding the issues you raise. The third-degree murder statute does say "others," but there's also a general provision in the criminal section that says that the use of the singular in MN criminal statutes includes the plural and the plural includes the singular. Other decisions have upheld third-degree murder convictions when the threat was to a single person as well. The rule of lenity might be applied in this case because of the ambiguity, but I don't think it's likely.

Regarding your last point, I don't understand the concern you raise about the conviction for second-degree manslaughter (which is culpable negligence plus consciousness that his actions risked death or great bodily harm) and second-degree unintentional murder based on felony assault. The mens rea requirement for the latter is intentional infliction of harm, which can be demonstrated by purpose or knowledge to a substantial certainty that his actions produced bodily harm. It doesn't strike me as logically inconsistent that Chauvin knew to a substantial certainty that he was inflicting bodily harm on Floyd and that his actions also demonstrated culpable negligence while being consciously aware that the actions could cause death. There are plenty of instances in which a defendant could meet the mens rea for manslaughter but not second-degree murder based on the commission of felony assault, such as when a person was driving exceedingly fast through a crowded street. His actions happened to satisfy both standards. Ultimately his sentence will not be extended by virtue of the conviction on the lesser charge; it's just there as a backstop in case his murder convictions were vacated. Likewise the conviction for third degree murder is inconsequential if his conviction for second degree murder is affirmed.

Ediberto Roman

Good people,

Thanks for all the comments. I never know what is going to provoke conversation and/or debate. Glad this one did. One additional observation: when I noted I felt some sympathy for the defendant upon looking at this eyes when he heard the verdicts, I did not know of the twelve plus claims of violence/inappropriate conduct while in uniform. While one can never know one's reaction upon seeing another's emotional response, and I am getting softer with age, I am far less concerned about him knowing of this pattern of behavior. Thanks again for the comments. Forgive me if I do not respond to each. They are each noteworthy, and I would have to ponder them a great deal to address each. Instead I will merely stand by my initial comments and this addendum. Peace, E

Adam Lamparello

John: thanks for the response. My concerns are as follows:

First, I believe that Minnesota's interpretation of felony murder is unconstitutional. In fact, in nearly every state, for felony murder to apply, the underlying felony must be independent of the resulting death. For example, if someone robs a bank and accidentally shoots a clerk in the process, the underlying felony would be armed robbery, which is independent of the murder. I don't understand how criminal assault can be an independent felony and thus be eligible for a felony murder charge. After all, a murder by definition is also an assault. I think it’s called the merger doctrine.

Second, like you said, second degree manslaughter requires culpable negligence and second degree unintentional murder based on felony assault requires the intentional infliction of harm. I don't see how you can convict someone of being both negligent and purposeful (or knowing) in causing harm. If you are negligent, it means that you didn't intend to cause the harm. If you are purposeful or knowing, you intended to cause the harm or knew with a substantial certainty that it would occur. So how can you be guilty of both mental states? It's like saying that I accidently killed someone by striking them with my car (showing I intended no harm) yet simultaneously intended to cause harm (or knew to a substantial certainty that it would occur). I don't understand how a person can have both mental states.

Regarding third-degree murder, to me the definition of harm to "others" is very straightforward -- it requires a threat of harm to multiple individuals. The provision in the criminal section stating that the singular includes the plural and vice versa makes no sense to me. However, I am not very surprised because in my experience, the Minnesota courts have issued decisions in the past that strain credulity and common sense.


Finally, I seriously question whether Chauvin got a fair trial. With the $27 million settlement being publicized during jury selection, the many months of media attention, and the rather irresponsible statements by Maxine Waters, I think the judge should have changed the venue or sequestered the jurors from the start.

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