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The Michael Dunn case has been much in the news lately since the verdicts came back from the jury on February 15th of this year. In reading about it in this New York Times article I noticed that one of the four young men in the car had a 3rd-degree felony. These were really just kids that went to the mall. CBS News said one testified they “went to pick up girls.” Nothing wrong. So a crime on anyone’s record stood out to me. Maybe they were threatening kinds of guys. But secondly, how could a felony get as low as the third degree? Isn’t that just a misdemeanor? In my state, Massachusetts, felonies are not in categories per se, but the punishment that makes the act a felony is elucidated with each crime, aggravated by circumstances, or not. Across the U.S., the question is whether the category (felony or misdemeanor) comes first in the state’s heirarchy of crimes, or whether the crime leads and the degree is tacked on. So here are some facts about third-degree felonies.

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Jennifer Harris

Jennifer Harris ended up in law school via an administrative career and paralegal certificate. A graduate of Suffolk University Law School and a Massachusetts attorney, she is intellectually curious about many aspects of law, but especially the field of energy and utility regulation. She has interned for the power company TransCanada and worked at a law firm dealing with utility regulators, but still seeks her ideal career habitat, while participating in a litigation document review at The Brattle Group.

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