2nd Degree Murder Requires “Depraved Mind”

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?