2nd Degree Murder Requires "Depraved Mind"
April 12, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Special Prosecutor Angela B. Corey has accused of George Zimmerman of 2nd degree murder, which in the state of Florida requires evidence of a "depraved mind." While researching this legal concept on Google News, I stumbled upon this March 16th article from the Southwest Florida News-Press about another recent case in Florida where prosecutors also brought 2nd degree murder charges for killing while "evincing a depraved mind." I think this case provides some helpful context and perspective for understanding the Florida law: 
Details released today in documents by the State Attorney’s Office reveal a catalogue of hundreds of bloody items examined by investigators in the home of a Naples man accused of beheading his girlfriend last July. 
Christopher Serna, 35, is charged with second-degree murder while evincing a depraved mind. ... Bishop's head was stuck on a pole in the living room. Her nude body was found on the floor in a pool of blood in a bedroom.

I'm leaving out a number of other details from the article even more grotesque. (You'll notice that I'm too squeamish to review movies of the Saw / Hostel ilk.)

On the other hand, Zimmerman was accused by NBC News of racially profiling Trayvon Martin, so I guess that's about equal evidence of a depraved mind.  These days, if you suspect that a black youth with a what appears to be a track record of being a burglar might be a burglar is pretty much the same as sticking your girlfriend's head on a pole in the living room. By the standards of 2012, it's kind of a toss-up which is more depraved, isn't it?