Monday, July 4

Prosecutors seek 30-year sentence for Derek Chauvin

(CNN) — Minnesota state prosecutors requested a 30-year prison sentence for Derek Chauvin, the former police officer convicted of George Floyd’s murder, according to a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday.Thirty years is “twice the maximum presumed sentence range,” according to the memorandum filed Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court. The State argued that it “would take into account the profound impact of the defendant’s conduct on the victim, his family, and the community.”

Within weeks of the former Minneapolis cop’s sentencing, Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, argued in a petition Wednesday that Chauvin should instead receive a sentence of probation and time served, or at least a lesser sentence than he intended. mark the law.

“Mr. Chauvin asks the Court to look beyond his findings, to his background, to his lack of criminal history, to his facility for parole, to the unusual facts of this case, as it is a product of a ‘broken’ system, ”Nelson wrote. “Mr. Chauvin’s offense is best described as a mistake made in good faith relying on his own experience as a policeman and the training he had received, not as the intentional commission of an illegal act.”

Nelson also wrote: “A strict sentence of probation with imprisonment limited to time served would achieve the purposes of the sentence in this case.”

Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin put his knee on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds while Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”

Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of accidental manslaughter, unintentional manslaughter with contempt for life, and unintentional manslaughter in the commission of a felony. You will have 90 days to appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals after the lower court renders final judgment and imposes a conviction.

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The defense again requests a new trial

Also Wednesday, Nelson filed a memorandum supplementing a motion filed last month calling for a new trial.

In the 54-page memo, Nelson highlighted multiple examples of alleged prosecutorial misconduct, misconduct by jurors, intimidation of witnesses, and a “bombardment” of “biased news” that he claimed prevented the former police officer from Minneapolis had a fair trial.

“The media coverage of this case is like a bomb explosion: Hennepin and Ramsey counties are ground zero, and although they are felt far and wide, the effects of the explosion diminish as they spread outside the cities. Twin Cities, “says Nelson in the note.

“Since the incident, potential Twin Cities juries have faced daily one-sided reminders of the events of May 25, 2020. Banners demanding ‘Justice for George’ are common in Twin Cities neighborhoods.” Nelson added.

The presentation also cites the publicity of the agreement $ 27 million from the City of Minneapolis with the Floyd family, announced during jury selection, the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during trial at nearby Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and included comments made by the US Congressman Maxine Waters, who called on protesters to “stay on the street” and “become more confrontational” if Chauvin was acquitted.

Nelson even pointed out that the defense case and the possible outcome of the trial were mocked at the opening of the NBC show “Saturday Night Live” during the trial.

Chauvin’s attorney repeatedly argues in the petition that many of these problems could have been corrected if Judge Peter Cahill had granted a change of venue.

“The failure of the court to do so was a damaging abuse of discretion that violated Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights, and a new trial must be granted,” Nelson said.

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison declined to comment on Nelson’s new filing on Wednesday. The office has until June 9 to file a response to the written memorandum with the court.

Prosecutors cite aggravating factors

The prosecutors’ sentencing memorandum presented this Wednesday mentioned that “this court has already concluded that the facts proven beyond all reasonable doubt in the trial support the existence of four aggravating factors for the sentence”, and specifically that Chauvin, “(i ) abused a position of trust and authority; (ii) acted with particular cruelty; (iii) committed the crime in a group with the active participation of at least three other people, and (iv) committed the offenses in the presence of minors ”.

Cahill ruled in favor of these four factors in May.

“The number and severity of aggravating factors applicable to the defendant’s conduct reflect both the defendant’s guilt and the extraordinary nature of this case,” prosecutors wrote.

Nelson, in his statement in favor of Chauvin, listed a number of factors including his age.

“Regardless of the long-term damage that a prison sentence could have on Mr. Chauvin’s life prospects, given his age, sentences for police officers involved in offenses significantly increase the likelihood that he will become a target in prison. These security concerns are evident given his previous sentence in solitary confinement in a high security prison, ”Nelson wrote.

Nelson also pointed out that the court must take into account factors such as that Chauvin does not have a prior criminal history, shows respect for the judicial process, and his service provided to the community, although this has been “reduced to this incident”, to ” pronounce a strict sentence of probation, together with a period of imprisonment equal to the time he has already served.

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Cahill has yet to comment on any of the arguments presented Wednesday.

Duration of possible sentences

Under Minnesota sentencing regulations, offenders can be sentenced to between 10 years and eight months and 15 years for unintentional manslaughter in the commission of a felony, and unintentional manslaughter with disregard for life for a offender with no criminal record. The conviction for accidental homicide ranges from three years and five months to four years and eight months.

Due to Cahill’s ruling, Chauvin can be sentenced to longer than the established recommendations, but no longer than the legal maximum.

The maximum penalty allowed by Minnesota law for unintentional manslaughter in the commission of a felony is 40 years. The maximum penalty for unintentional manslaughter with disregard for life is 25 years, and the maximum penalty for accidental manslaughter is 10 years and / or $ 20,000.

The sentences for all three offenses are likely to be served at the same time, not consecutively. “In general, when an offender is convicted of multiple current crimes … the sentences are presumed to be concurrent,” according to the guidelines.

Minnesota law allows offenders convicted of these crimes to serve two-thirds of their prison sentence, and then be released under supervision for the remaining third, provided they display good conduct while confined.

Chauvin also faces federal charges for the violation of civil rights related to Floyd’s murder.

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