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Wed Jun 3, 2020, 07:59 PM

Ellison News Conference

And I'm wondering if they could not charge him with 1st degree murder and give the jury an option to convict on 2nd degree?

I'm not a lawyer, I don't live in MN but anyone with any kind of expertise in this area if you have an answer, thank you.



to my mind it's a first degree murder and i feel unsatisfied with a 2nd degree charge.

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ellison News Conference (Original post)
barbtries Jun 2020 OP
hlthe2b Jun 2020 #1
barbtries Jun 2020 #4
hlthe2b Jun 2020 #6
barbtries Jun 2020 #9
hlthe2b Jun 2020 #11
Ms. Toad Jun 2020 #23
barbtries Jun 2020 #24
LizBeth Jun 2020 #7
hlthe2b Jun 2020 #10
leftieNanner Jun 2020 #2
SoCalNative Jun 2020 #3
barbtries Jun 2020 #5
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 2020 #8
barbtries Jun 2020 #12
Goodheart Jun 2020 #13
barbtries Jun 2020 #15
Ms. Toad Jun 2020 #22
RockRaven Jun 2020 #14
barbtries Jun 2020 #16
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 2020 #17
scarletwoman Jun 2020 #18
Goodheart Jun 2020 #19
barbtries Jun 2020 #21
barbtries Jun 2020 #20
judeling Jun 2020 #25

Response to barbtries (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:00 PM

1. If they find evidence of pre-meditation, Ellison has already said he'd consider doing so.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:04 PM

4. in this conference he seems confident that this is the correct charge.

did i miss him say that at this conference?

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Response to barbtries (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:08 PM

6. When asked earlier in the day. But of course he thinks this is the correct charge (murder2) now.

Prosecutors that overcharge put themselves at risk of angering the judge and destroying credibility with the jury, ending in acquittal. Elison knows that and further he knows he doesn't (yet) have evidence of premeditation which would have to be incredibly strong, twitter posts suggesting that cop & Floyd worked together, aside. But, when asked why not First Degree, he relayed what I just did and said charges could be upgraded if additional evidence surfaced that justified.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:11 PM

9. okay.

i still wonder if they can charge 1st degree and give the jury the option to convict on 2nd degree if not convinced by the evidence presented. I recall that many people thought Casey Anthony got away with murder because they decided to go for the death penalty. they overshot the charge and lost the case completely.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:12 PM

11. They are a long way away from trial. Charges can easily be upgraded before then.

Ellison charged based on a review of what evidence they have to date.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 09:12 PM

23. The death penalty is not a crime/charge; it is a punishment.

So you have to look at the elements of the crime to decide the charge - not the punishment you want.

As to whether the jury is permitted to convict of 2nd degree - that is a very complicated question with not insignificant constitutional componets, and the answer will vary from state to state.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 09:33 PM

24. yes, i know that.

i'm talking not as a lawyer, just an average citizen.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:08 PM

7. I think the premeditation can come in the form of reasonable people making clear of the consequence

of officers continued action, and the officer did nothing to rectify. People in the crowd would be considered reasonable people and they were telling the officer he was killing him, to check on him and that could be argued as the reasonable thing to do, the officer refused to check on Floyd hence, pre meditation.

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Response to LizBeth (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:11 PM

10. No. That would still fall under second degree--- an overt action that got out of control

First degree murder would require intent to kill formed well before the action began.

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Response to barbtries (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:01 PM

2. Have they arrested the other three guys? nt

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Response to leftieNanner (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:03 PM

3. Yes they are all in custody

now

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Response to SoCalNative (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:04 PM

5. thank you

i think i heard him say one was outstanding at the time of the press conference.

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Response to barbtries (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:09 PM

8. First-degree murder has to be charged by grand jury indictment.

(I am a retired lawyer and I do live in Minnesota.) If they get more evidence that they think might support an indictment (which is a probable cause finding), they could convene a grand jury and present that evidence, and hope the grand jury issues a bill of indictment. All other, lesser murder charges can be charged by criminal complaint, but not first-degree murder. If they do get an indictment, hypothetically they could go to a jury with first-degree murder plus lesser included offenses. But first-degree murder is a very difficult charge to support because it requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted with both intent to kill and with premeditation. The way Ellison has charged the case is probably the best way to go and less likely to cause complications that could confuse a jury and result in an acquittal. Ellison is a very good lawyer and I trust his judgment.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:14 PM

12. thank you!

My legal savvy is largely predicated on true crime shows and Law and Order episodes. I always kind of wondered why they almost always charged the perps on L&O with second degree instead of first. That was NY but perhaps it's the same way with regard to the grand jury indictment part of it.

edited to add that when my daughter was killed I read the CA penal code sections 187 thoroughly. I even gave the DA some printouts of my research including precedents etc. I get the need for justice.

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Response to barbtries (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:15 PM

13. Why is it first degree murder in your mind?

To me it's clearly not.

And, you see, this is why the prosecutor has to be very careful about the charges. If first degree were the only option as a juror I'd be inclined to acquit. Second degree I'd go with.

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Response to Goodheart (Reply #13)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:21 PM

15. My understanding of 1st degree murder

is that premeditation can occur within a second of the crime. After Floyd stopped moving, speaking, breathing, and living, Chauvin still kept his knee on his neck. Floyd begged for his life. Bystanders begged for his life. He just stayed there killing him until he was dead. I don't assert that he got up that morning with a plan to murder George Floyd that day, but if that's required then my understanding is incomplete, which is very possible.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 09:03 PM

22. Premeditation is not the standard in all states.

In Ohio it the equivalent of 1st degree murder requires purposeful killing wiht prior calculation and design (OR a substitute for prior calculation like the commission of one of an enumerated list of felonies).

Crimes are state-specific, so you would need to check the statutes in MinnesotaFWIW, in Ohio, mere seconds is insufficient.

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Response to barbtries (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:17 PM

14. Not a lawyer either, but a law podcast I listen to broke down the specific statutes

in Minnesota and their conclusion was that the original charge (3rd degree murder) was the one that was most consistent with the publicly available evidence, based on the language of the laws.

But that was a couple of days ago, maybe there's more relevant info available now.

Also, what the law says and what is right are two different things. First degree, second degree, third degree are just semi-arbitrary definitions established by the state legislature at a certain point in time. If they don't match the priorities or values of the people, they can/should be changed.

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Response to RockRaven (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:25 PM

16. it's not the arbitrary nature of the elements of the crime

that gives me pause, it's the punishment. Again I don't know MN law. In CA murder 1 gets you life w/o parole or at least 25 to life (I think there must be special circumstances for no parole); Murder 2 gets you up to 15 to life. That's to the best of my recollection from 2001, when my daughter was killed.

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Response to barbtries (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:26 PM

17. One other thing: By charging Chauvin with second-degree murder,

they can charge the other three with aiding and abetting, which carries the same penalty as the main crime. Second-degree murder includes: Killing a human intentionally, but without premeditation, and importantly, causing someone’s death without intending the death of anyone, while committing a felony. The felony Chauvin was committing was assault (kneeling on Floyd's neck after he was unconscious and couldn't be accused of resisting arrest). So the prosecutor won't even have to prove intent to kill, plus they can charge the other three for aiding and abetting the assault.

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Response to barbtries (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:30 PM

18. Ellison is being careful. Remember what happened when George Zimmerman was charged with Murder One?

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:41 PM

19. And the cops in the Rodney King case.

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Response to Goodheart (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:53 PM

21. that had nothing to do with overcharging

and everything to do with racism. All white jury. I was still living in LA during Rodney King and they made their case and the jury refused to convict.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 08:51 PM

20. i thought of Casey Anthony,

but kind of the same story. I thought perhaps MN had different laws that would allow for a conviction for the lesser offense of Murder 2. I'm sure some states do.

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Response to barbtries (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2020, 09:35 PM

25. There is a lot of nuance

They are actually charging assault the murder charge derives from the death while committing an underlying felony. This allowed charges to be brought against the other three with aiding and abetting.

This was the charge Freeman was most likely to come to also.

It is really hard to get a conviction against police.

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