It’s possible to watch in the player above. Court is set to begin at two p.m. EST / 1 p.m. CST.
The count of third-degree murder had been dismissed last October, and the trial court fell on February 11 to reinstate it. Jury selection in Chauvin’s trial has been set for next Monday, March 8, so it is unclear if the current matter will result in a postponement.
As a matter of case law, this phase of the instance is wrapped up with a third-degree murder case involving a former Minneapolis police officerconvicted in the passing of a woman. As discussed in case documents, the Court of Appeals upheld the conviction on February 1, 2021. The question was if a third-degree murder charge could hold if the defendant’s homicidal act jeopardized a person, not multiple people. The court ruled yes, though the dissent stated this conclusion flipped over a century of case law.
The Chauvin prosecution pushed to find the third-degree murder fee reinstated in light of their Noor decision. From the state’s February 4 movement [citation removed]:
To be sure, there are differences between the facts of Noor and also this instance. As this Court previously clarified, Noor’s actions arguably put others at risk in addition to the victim, whereas Chauvin’s behavior only directly endangered Floyd. … However, this differentiation made no difference to the Court of Appeals. That court has now clarified that it is immaterial if the death-causing conduct in Noor might happen to be led at, or might have endangeredothers.
Chauvin Judge Peter Cahill noted that, generally, he would be”duty-bound” to stick to the judgment and grant the State’s request to reinstate third-degree murder, but Noor ruling lacked precedential effect until at least the deadline for awarding inspection by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Thomas Plunkett, a lawyer for Kueng, also represents Noor, and announced plans to appeal the Noor court choice. (He did on Thursday.) As far as Cahill was worried, that means the Noor situation is a pending matter, therefore the new case law stipulates precedence.
“In a nutshell, this Court agrees with the analysis from the Noor dissent,” he wrote at a February 11 judgment. “For this reason, the Court declines to adopt the Noor majority opinion’s holding a Murder in the Third Degree fee might be submitted to a jury under a fact pattern in which the death-causing act was only directed at a single individual and was not eminently dangerous to other people, as would be the case , as persuasive and also a basis upon which to grant the State’s motion to reinstate the Murder at the Third Degree bill in Chauvin and also to overthrow the complaints to add Aiding and Abetting Murder at the Third Grade rates in Thao, Lane, and Kueng.”
In a February 16 filing, Chauvin attorney Eric J. Nelson claimed the state was stalling for time, and that the February 1 Noor decision may never take precedential weight.
Video of Floyd’s fatal encounter with authorities showed Chauvin kneeling on his throat as the victim increasingly became unresponsive. Thao stood between his fellow officers and angry bystanders, who were disgusted by what they were seeing. Kueng and Lane restrained Floyd’s back. Authorities pulled the guy’s limp body on a stretcher. The incident fueled an ongoing national debate over the law enforcement treats people of colour, particularly Black men like Floyd.
Law&Crime host and analyst Bob Bianchi, a former prosecutor out of Morris County, New Jersey and Law&Crime Network sponsor, contended last year the dismissal of third-degree murder was a”stunning blow” to prosecutors. He suggested that under the definition of the law it may be a tall order for prosecutors to win a certainty for the second-degree murder which stayed. If the state fails that at trial, then they wouldn’t have the third-degree murder fee to fall back on, but only manslaughter. Third-degree murder in Minnesota is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Second-degree manslaughter is punishable by up to 10.