Court of Appeals Reverses District Court’s Refusal To Follow Precedent on Third-Degree Murder Charge Against Derek Chauvin   

On March 5, only four days after it had heard oral argument, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill on February 11th erroneously had refused to honor binding precedent on third-degree murder and remanded the case for reconsideration of the prosecution’s motion to reinstate that charge against Derek Chauvin.[1]

The appellate court’s “Decision” stated, “ This court’s precedential decision in Noor [upholding a third-degree murder conviction of another former Minneapolis policeman] became binding authority on the date it was filed [February 1, 2021]. The district court therefore erred by concluding [on February 11th] that it was not bound by the principles of law set forth in Noor and by denying the state’s motion to reinstate the charge of third-degree murder on that basis. We reverse the order of the district court and remand for reconsideration of the state’s motion. On remand, the district court has discretion to consider any additional arguments Chauvin might raise in opposition to the state’s motion. But the district court’s decision must be consistent with this decision.”


[1] Appellate Court Opinion, State v. Chauvin, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Case   # A21-0201 (Mar. 5, 2021)(this document is available for downloading on the District Court’s website,; Xiong, Court of Appeals: Trial judge improperly refused to reinstate third degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin, StarTribune (Mar. 5, 2021); Court Denies Third-Degree Murder Charges for George Floyd Killing, (Feb. 12, 2021).


Published by


As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

Leave a Reply