Derek Chauvin was found guilty on the three charges he faced — second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter — all 3 for the same crime: pinning George Floyd to the concrete with his knee on Floyd’s neck before Floyd died.
Unintentional second-degree murder is defined as causing death without intent to do so, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense. The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is 40 years. [Defined by NPR]
Third-degree murder is causing death to an individual by “perpetrating an act imminently dangerous to others and evidencing a depraved mind without regard for human life,” but without the intent to cause death. It carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. [Defined by NPR]
Second-degree manslaughter is causing the death of another by “culpable negligence, creating an unreasonable risk” in which the defendant “consciously takes the risk of causing death or great bodily harm to another individual.” It carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. [Defined by NPR]
When juries are given the option of choosing from multiple counts, it begs the issue of how one act may satisfy the criteria for three distinct offenses. In convicting Chauvin of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter… The jury was not required to determine that Chauvin wanted to kill Floyd. The legal term for your culpable mindset within a criminal act is “mens rea”.
“The intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime, as opposed to the action or conduct of the accused.” -Oxford Dictionary
The sentencing for Chauvin is expected to take place 8 weeks from now.