The former Minneapolis police officer who murdered George Floyd will face sentence on Friday two months after he was found guilty in a trial watched by millions of people around the world.
Derek Chauvin faces a maximum of 40 years in prison after he placed Floyd on a fatal knee-to-neck restraint for nine minutes and 29 seconds and was found guilty of all three counts of murder in the second and third degree, as well as murder. involuntary.
Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, sparked a wave of racial justice protests in the United States and internationally, and Chauvin’s subsequent trial was seen as a litmus test for police accountability.
Legal observers say the maximum sentence is unlikely and prosecutors have argued in presentations for a prison sentence of 30 years. Meanwhile, Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, has argued that his client should only receive probation, an outcome that is also highly unlikely.
Chauvin will be sentenced only to the most serious conviction, murder in the second degree, and could under Minnesota law He is only serving two-thirds of his prison sentence for “good behavior” and the rest of his time is on supervised release.
Chauvin, who chose not to testify in his own defense at trial, you will have the opportunity to speak on your own behalf prior to sentencing. The Floyd family’s victim impact statements are also expected to be read in court.
“It is our hope that we receive a fair sentence and nothing that is mediocre,” Jacari Harris, executive director of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation and a close friend of the Floyd family, told The Guardian. George Floyd could be here today. It should be, but it isn’t. He couldn’t go home the day he had his knee in his neck, so just like George Floyd couldn’t go home, Derek Chauvin can’t go home. “
He added: “It is about the sentence but also about the work we are doing. [at the foundation] to bring true responsibility, to continue George Floyd’s legacy. The sentence is one day, but we have thousands and thousands after which we have to continue to hold police officers accountable and bring about the necessary rapid changes within our communities. “
The state guidance on sentencing for an offender convicted of second degree murder but no criminal record is 12.5 years. But the final decision rests with Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over Chauvin’s trial earlier this year, and he has spent 14 years on the court.
Cahill has sided with prosecutors in motions filed after the guilty verdict, which argue that there are four aggravating factors that must be considered in Chauvin’s sentencing. This means that the former officer is likely to face a sentence in excess of the recommended length.
These aggravating factors are that Chauvin “abused a position of trust and authority”; “he acted with special cruelty”; committed the murder “in concert with three other persons”, namely the three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest who have been charged but have not yet been tried; and, finally, he carried out the act “in the presence of children.”
As commentators rush to predict the long-awaited sentence, NBC News published an analysis of Cahill’s sentencing in second degree murder cases, for which he has sentenced six people to prison. The analysis found that the sentences received ranged from 12.5 to 40 years.
The judge, who has served as a county attorney and public defender, as well as a private practice attorney, was chosen to preside over Chauvin’s trial by Hennepin Chief District Judge Toddrick Barnette.
Commenting on your selection prior to the start of the procedure, Barnette told the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “This moment is not too big for him. It will make reasonable legal decisions based on the law, even if the decisions are unpopular. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism