Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams found Goodson, who is also black, not guilty of all criminal counts including second-degree depraved heart murder
, the most serious accusation against any of the six officers charged in connection with Gray's death.
Baltimore police officer Caesar Goodson Jr was found not guilty on Thursday of second-degree depraved heart murder
in the death of black detainee Freddie Gray, the most serious criminal charge he faced.
19) In its early development, depraved heart murder, like much of the common law, was based on morality, aiming to punish those offenders who committed acts so reckless that they violated all social and political norms.
39) Professor Nourse strongly disapproves of this approach, arguing that although "focusing on 'risk' for depraved heart murder seems like a neutral, more precise, calculus .
63) Thus, these four common law jurisdictions evaluate depraved heart murder by an objective standard, according to whether the reasonable person would view the defendant's actions as displaying indifference to others.
Despite the relatively equal distribution between Model Penal Code and common law language in these statutes, reliance on a multiple victim approach demonstrates a preference to adhere to the common law notion that "[o]ne who committed what we would today call the classic idea of a depraved heart murder .
Alaska, Kentucky, and Utah use MPC language, while Pennsylvania and Vermont rely on the common law description of depraved heart murder.
Instead, the prosecution could bring a charge of: (1) manslaughter, for which proof of recklessness would suffice; (2) depraved heart murder (if the jurisdiction recognizes that offense, as does Maryland), for which proof of depraved indifference to human life is sufficient; or (3) in the context of rape accompanied by the death of the victim from AIDS, felony-murder, for which proof of intent to commit the underlying felony of rape would suffice.
Attempted depraved heart murder is another charge unavailable to prosecutors in HIV-knowing-exposure cases because it is considered to be a logically impossible offense.
Tarlton noted that under the new rules, there are two types of casesso-called depraved heart murders
and deaths due to illegal drugswhere second-degree murder is still a B2 felony.