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What is second-degree manslaughter?

SECOND-degree manslaughter is a charge brought against a person who has committed a crime.

The punishment for manslaughter carries less weight than that of murder, with penalties varying by state.

What is second-degree manslaughter?

Second-degree manslaughter can be legally defined as the reckless, or unintentional killing of a person without lawful justification.

There are two forms of manslaughter such as involuntary and voluntary.

Each charge can carry a different punishment depending on if the person is found guilty or not of the crime.

However, manslaughter charges are all considered felonies in the eyes of the law.

What is the difference between involuntary and voluntary manslaughter?

Voluntary manslaughter is often referred to as “heat of passion.”

It occurs when a person is either strongly provoked or when they kill in the “heat of passion aroused by that provocation” according to legal site Nolo.

In order to get accused of voluntary manslaughter, the person involved must not have had enough time to cool off from the provocation to commit the crime.

Similarly, involuntary manslaughter refers to unintentional homicide through extreme recklessness.

The defenses plausible for manslaughter charges range from self-defense, insanity, acting with lawful justification, or accidental death with the defendant exercising reasonable care.

What was the officer who allegedly shot Daunte Wright charged with?

Kimberly Potter, 48, was charged with second-degree manslaughter for allegedly shooting 20 year old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in Minnesota.

Potter was arrested on Wednesday, April 14 and is being held at the Hennepin County Jail.

She allegedly intended to use a taser but instead fired her gun.

Imran Ali, Washington County assistant criminal division chief and director of the Major Crime Unit released a statement about her arrest, saying: “Certain occupations carry an immense responsibility and none more so than a sworn police officer.

“With that responsibility comes a great deal of discretion and accountability.

“We will vigorously prosecute this case and intend to prove that Officer Potter abrogated her responsibility to protect the public when she used her firearm rather than her taser.

"Her action caused the unlawful killing of Mr. Wright and she must be held accountable. 

Adding: “County Attorney Peter Orput and I met with the family, expressed our deepest sympathies and assured them we would spare no resources in seeking justice for Mr. Wright.”

According to the Minnesota statue of second-degree manslaughter, someone found guilty may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 10 years or required to pay a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.

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