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Legal question? Derek Chauvin: 3 convictions?


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Ok this ain't about the trial, Floyd, or anything political at all. So just don't go there. 

My question is just how can a person be tried for the death of one person and end up convicted on THREE separate death related charges?  Second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. I would think the jury could pick one based on the evidence. But how can a person be guilty of three different kinds of murder when only one person died? Somebody explain this to me?  🤔❓

Edited by Grayfox54
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They charge them with all counts they think they can prove.  The jury can find them guilty or not guilty on all of the charges, so it is possible he would have only been found guilty of the least charge.  It's so they don't have to have three cases, etc (which they can't do as explained below).

The prosecution has to prove things to different levels for each of them.  For example, first degree murder requires premeditation.  2nd degree doesn't, so if the jury didn't think someone premeditated the murder, they could still convict them on 2nd degree and not first.

Each has different sentencing options and guidelines in most cases.

You also don't do them each separately because you can't try someone for the same crime twice.  So if they only charged someone with first degree murder and that person wasn't convicted, they can't come back and charge you with second.

Edited by Hozzie
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That I am not sure about, but I believe that is what the sentencing guidelines would be based upon.  I am not a lawyer, just have a fair idea of why they charge them with multiple counts.

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38 minutes ago, Garufa said:

I imagine two of the three will be thrown out on appeal, thus the stacking of charges.

I was thinking maybe that will be the case too. Is sentencing in 8 weeks? That's what I heard, I think. There may be some changes by then.

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12 minutes ago, Fourtyfive said:

Remove Maxine Waters!

Well, that's an excellent idea. whether we're talking about the Floyd homicide, the price of tea in China, or the sun rising in the east.  🙂

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Just now, Whisper said:

Well, that's an excellent idea. whether we're talking about the Floyd homicide, the price of tea in China, or the sun rising in the east.  🙂

It’s the price of eggs in China that’s the real problem.....

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Just now, Grayfox54 said:

My question is just how can a person be tried for the death of one person and end up convicted on THREE separate death related charges?  Second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. I would think the jury could pick one based on the evidence. 

@Grayfox54 - I honestly don't know.  In Tennessee, if a grand jury indicts a defendant on a higher offense (like aggravated assault), the jury has the power to convict the defendant on that offense or a "lesser included offense" such as simple assault.  Likewise, in Tennessee, I believe if a defendant is indicted by a grand jury and then convicted by a jury on two charges arising from the same facts, and the lesser charge involves the same elements as the higher charge, then the lesser charge "merges" with the other - meaning that the defendant doesn't actually receive a separate sentence for both offenses, just the higher offense. 

Without knowing anything about Minnesota law, my guess is that the three convictions in this case will "merge" at sentencing and that the defendant will only be sentenced for the highest convicted offense.  (Maybe the jury convicted on all three because the judge didn't explain merger of offenses to them; hard to say.)

Hopefully we have a criminal defense lawyer on TGO who can chime in and say whether my amateur take on it is accurate, shed more light, etc.

Edited by Wheelgunner
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All about the state laws. Here if I were to charge someone, each homicide charge has different elements. It can only be one. Now they may plea to another charge but you wouldn't be charged with first degree murder then say reckless homicide for the same victim. Also if you ever wondered most people are charged initially here as criminal homicide because it encompasses all homicide charges but when indicted it is specified as say first degree murder, 2nd degree murder, or manslaughter.

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