This is the fourth article of a five-part series on animal cruelty laws in Minnesota. This article will discuss the State v. Gerard decision and examine the impact the decision may have on the “unjustifiable” standard.
While the court of appeals has rendered several decisions giving the lower courts insight on how “unjustifiable” standard in Minnesota Statutes section 343.20, subd. 3 should be applied, State v. Gerard is important because it is the first published opinion on the issue of what constitutes an “unjustifiable” act under Minnesota’s animal cruelty statute. Given this, Gerard provides a starting point for creating a useable test for determining whether a defendant’s actions were unjustified.