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What is the Law on murder in Minnesota and What are the Punishments for it?

Murder is the oldest form of crime and definitely the most heinous. Nothing beats the act of intentionally putting another human’s life. It gets even worse when we come to know about the reasons or evens with which people carry out this act. It is wise and necessary to be aware of the laws that are at the core of maintaining peace in our society.

Minnesota law classifies murder into first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and third-degree murder.

First Degree Murder in Minnesota

Multiple types of killing can come under first-degree murder. However, there are factors that add to the increasing accountability of the alleged. The nature and degree of punishment get harsher if the victim was being abused for long even before the crime, and/ or if the victim is a child or spouse, or if another felony such a burglary, sexual crime or robbery.  

  • The code Minnesota Statutes Section 609.185 deals with first-degree murders. The Minnesota law criminalizes all intentional killings, however, some murders are a lot more gruesome and hence come under the murder of first degree. Here is a list of cases that make the first-degree murder.

  • The murder should be premeditated i.e. it should have been planned, well thought of with a clear intention of killing the victim.

    Minnesota Murder Law

Killing someone while or after a serious first or second-degree sexual assault

  • Intentionally killing someone while committing other felonies such as robbery, kidnapping, burglary, shooting, or even tampering evidence. This includes killing a witness to save themselves from being testified at court. (felony murder rule)

  • They consider it to be a first-degree murder when the victim is a cop, judge, correctional officer while they are engaged in the business of their profession, and the killing is intentional.

  • When the victim is a child, and the alleged had a pattern of abuse with the child, with an event of death that showed the alleged individual’s indifference to human life. (felony murder rule)

  • Killing someone with an intention to terrorize i.e. to put the public in fear or while interfering with the government laws. (felony murder rule)

  • Since Minnesota has abolished death punishment, the penalty for first-degree murder is imprisonment for life.

    Murder Law Minnesota

Second Degree Murder in Minnesota

Second-degree murder is also for killing intentionally but is considered to be less serious than a first degree due to the absence of certain factors.

  • The code Minnesota Statutes Sections 609.19 deals with second-degree murders. The scenarios under which a murder is labeled as second degree are listed below.

  • There has been a murder, but it is not premeditated i.e. it is an unplanned murder.

  • The event of death takes place while committing or attempting a drive-by shooting.

  • When the death was unintentional but while intentionally committing another felony (except the sexual assault and drive-by shooting)

  • In a case where the murderer has a restraining order and the victim was the protected party; the alleged unintentionally kills the victim while intentionally causing great physical harm to the victim.

  • Under the Minnesota law, a convicted individual can receive the punishment of imprisonment up to 40 years in case of second-degree murder.

    Murder Law

Third Degree Murder in Minnesota

The Minnesota law draws the line between manslaughter and murder at the third-degree murder.

  • The code Minnesota Statutes Sections 609.195 deals with third-degree murder scenarios as listed below.

  • The event of death is unintentional.

  • A depraved heart (an immoral reason) was at the center of the crime. This can include a murder involving the use of a gun in a public with no intention to kill someone.

  • Selling, giving, or administering the use of adulterated consummates or controlled substances such as heroine that lead to the death of the consumer.

  • The punishment for third-degree murder is imprisonment up to 25 years. If the murder involved using or selling of controlled substances than the punishment can also include a fine up to $40,000. 


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