Professor Susanna Blumenthal
Susanna Blumenthal
William Prosser Professor of Law and Professor of History
Co-Director of the Program in Law and History
Richard Frase
Professor of Law Emeritus
Former Co-Director, Robina Institute of Criminal Law & Criminal Justice

Profs. Blumenthal and Frase Quoted in NBC News on Upgraded Charges for Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the Killing of George Floyd

Professors Susanna Blumenthal and Richard Frase were quoted in an NBC News article about the upgraded charges—increased from third-degree murder to second-degree felony murder—brought against former Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin in the tragic killing of George Floyd.

“Second-degree felony murder does not require proof of intent to kill,” said Blumenthal. “What the prosecutor would need to establish is that the officer caused death while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense, which has been charged in this case as assault in the third degree.”

Frase said that while the second-degree felony murder upgrade comes with a longer statutory maximum sentence, it is easier to prove than third-degree, extreme-recklessness murder. For felony murder “the only intent you have to show is an intent to cause bodily harm. They don’t have to show extreme recklessness as to death,” added Frase.