CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, September 20, 2021

Indifference to a Human's Life vs. Human Life Generally

Here's a recent example of this odd (though not unique) and difficult-to-justify approach to homicide grading. Jurist reports on a recent Minnesota Supreme Court decision:

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the third-degree murder conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor who fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk in 2017.

. . . .

In their opinion, the Supreme Court justices stated that, “because conduct that is directed with particularity at the person who is killed cannot evince a depraved mind, without regard for human life, Minn. Stat. § 609.195(a), and because the only reasonable inference that can be drawn from the circumstanced proved is that Noor directed his single shot with particularity at Ruszczyk,” the court concluded that Noor’s actions did not fit the definition of third-degree murder per the statute.

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