The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday (September 15) overturned the third-degree murder conviction of a Black former Minneapolis officer who fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman in 2017.
Mohamed Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who had called 911 to report a potential sexual assault taking place behind her home. With the third-degree murder conviction overturned, Noor could have as many as eight years taken off his sentence, The Washington Post reported.
By some estimates, Noor’s conviction was the first in decades involving a Minnesota police officer for an on-duty killing.
Noor was sentenced to 12 and half years in prison for third-degree murder in 2019. Jurors acquitted the former cop on the second-degree murder charge, which carries a more serious punishment in the court of law. He was not sentenced for manslaughter.
Third-degree murder in Minnesota constitutes someone taking action with “a depraved mind, without regard for human life.”
The state supreme court ruled to overturn the conviction since they believe Noor’s actions don’t fit the law’s definition. The justices said Noor was targeting a single person when he fired his gun.
The case is being sent to the district court where Noor will be sentenced on the second-degree manslaughter conviction, per court documents obtained by The Post.
Noor has already served more than 28 months of his sentence. If he’s handed the state’s recommended four-year sentence for the manslaughter charge, he may be eligible for supervised release as early as three and a half months, according to legal experts.
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