Before a person can be convicted of second-degree murder in Florida, the prosecution must prove the following three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The victim is dead.
- The victim’s death was caused by the criminal act of the accused.
- There was an unlawful killing of the victim by an act imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind without regard for human life.
An act is "imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind" if it is an act or series of acts that:
- A person of ordinary judgment would know is reasonably certain to kill or do serious bodily injury to another, and
- Is done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent, and
- Is of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life.
In order to convict someone of second-degree murder, it is not necessary for the prosecutor to prove that the accused person had an intent to cause the victim’s death.