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Protest in Minneapolis during the George Floyd murder trial

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

The Derek Chauvin murder trial took an interesting twist this morning when Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill reinstated the third-degree murder charge that he had previously dismissed back in October.

Judge Cahill dropped the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, ruling the charge can “be sustained only in situations in which the defendant’s actions were ’eminently dangerous to other persons’ and were not specifically directed at the particular person whose death occurred.”

According to CNN, the state appealed that ruling and the Minnesota Court of Appeals subsequently told Cahill to go to his room and study. When he came out, he decided that he would reinstate the charge.

“The charge of 3rd-degree murder, in addition to manslaughter and felony murder, reflects the gravity of the allegations against Mr. Chauvin,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison shared in a statement. “We look forward to presenting all three charges to the jury.”

So, what exactly does third-degree murder mean? Well, it is often called “depraved mind” murder where a person puts multiple people at risk. Here is how it is defined as understood by the Minneapolis newspaper Twin Cities Pioneer Press and how it compares to first and second-degree charges:

Third-degree murder would require a lower standard of proof than second-degree. To win a conviction, prosecutors would have to show only that Floyd’s death was caused by an act that was obviously dangerous, though not necessarily a felony. That would result in a maximum sentence of 25 years.

We sincerely hope he serves every single millisecond of that prison time in pain and agony…or worse.

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