Senate Counsel, Research
and Fiscal Analysis
Minnesota Senate Bldg.
95 University Avenue W. Suite 3300
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-4791
Tom Bottern
State of Minnesota
S.F. No. 3649 - Adding Minimum Term of Imprisonment for First-Degree Murder of an Unborn Child
Author: Senator Justin D. Eichorn
Prepared By: Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
Date: March 13, 2020



Under current law, first-degree murder of an unborn child (UBC) carries a life sentence. However, there is no minimum term of imprisonment specified that the offender must serve before being eligible for release and the offense is not included in the offenses for which life without release terms are provided. This gap has existed in law since 1989 when it was presumably inadvertently omitted from legislation addressing this issue. The 2020 Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission’s report to the Legislature recommends that the Legislature specify a minimum term for this crime.

S.F. No. 3649 adds minimum terms of imprisonment for first-degree murder of a UBC that are the same as what currently applies for similar crimes under first-degree murder. Provides that first-degree murder of a UBC under the felony murder provision carries a 30-year minimum term of imprisonment before release could be granted (see sections 1 and 2). First-degree murder of a UBC committed with premeditation or while committing a violent rape of the mother carries a life without release sentence (section 3). As does first-degree felony murder of a UBC if the offender has a prior conviction for a heinous crime (section 3).

Check on the status of this bill
Back to Senate Counsel and Research Bill Summaries page

This page is maintained by the Office of Senate Counsel, Research, and Fiscal Analysis for the Minnesota Senate.
Last review or update: 03/13/2020
If you see any errors on this page, please e-mail us at