Derek Chauvin George Floyd When will be sentenced?

derek chauvin sentence, george floyd death, Darnella Frazier

Derek Chauvin Derek Chauvin When sentenced? will be Floyd: George

Wed, 21 Apr 2021 14:00:00 +0100

The former officer was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday – so what will happen now?

The eyes of the US – and the wider world – have been fixed on a courthouse in Minnesota, following the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

The former police officer kneeled on the neck of the African-American man for more than nine minutes during an arrest in the city of Minneapolis, ignoring pleas that he couldn't breathe. Mr Floyd was declared dead an hour later.

On Tuesday, a jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter following a three-week trial.

Now the question is: what happens next?

It will be another eight weeks before Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill will sentence Chauvin, allowing time to consider the options.

Under Minnesota guidelines, the minimum sentence is 12.5 years for the most serious charge, according to news agency Reuters.

However, the three counts – which all require Chauvin's actions to have led to Mr Floyd's death but interpret his intentions differently – have varying maximum sentences.

The most serious charge, second-degree murder – which applies if you commit a serious assault which played a substantial role in causing an unintentional death – carries a maximum penalty of 40 years.

Third-degree murder – defined as showing a reckless disregard for human life while in “depraved mind” by doing something considered “eminently dangerous” to another person resulting in their death – carries a maximum penalty of 25 years.

Manslaughter in the second degree – defined as acting negligently, creating unreasonable risk, and consciously taking chances of killing or harming another person – carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, or a fine of $20,000.

Prosecutors are asking for higher than the minimum sentence, arguing there were aggravating circumstances – including the arrest taking place in front of a nine-year-old child.

It is unclear whether the judge is likely to impose concurrent (served at the same time) or consecutive (served one after the other) sentences for each count. Concurrent sentences would amount to 12.5 years at least, while consecutive sentences could mean as long as 75 years behind bars, although parole is usually granted two-thirds of the way through a sentence, according to news agency AP.

Chauvin had been on bail, but this was revoked when he was found guilty. He is currently being held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, officials told the media.

Chauvin's defence team has not yet commented on the verdict, but is expected to appeal.

Some experts have argued the high level of media coverage, as well as a $27m (£19m) settlement reached by the city of Minneapolis with Mr Floyd's family just before the trial began, may give him grounds for an appeal. Defence lawyer Mark Geragos described the outcome as a “preordained conclusion” on US network Fox.

Comments made by Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters on Saturday – urging people to “stay on the streets” if Chauvin was acquitted – were also strongly criticised by Judge Cahill. He went as far as to say they may have given the defence “something on appeal that may result in this trial being overturned”.

Three other officers were involved with Mr Floyd's arrest. Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are all facing trial, charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The men, who were all fired, are currently free on bail. Their trial is scheduled for 23 August this year.

If found guilty, they could be facing as long as 40 years behind bars.

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Derek Chauvin

Wed, 21 Apr 2021 14:00:00 +0100

The length of his sentence will be key for protesters, while the ex-police officer faces maximum security prison


The length of his sentence will be key for protesters, while the ex-police officer faces maximum security prison

Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd on Tuesday, in what was seen as a rebuke of law enforcement’s treatment of black Americans. 

A 12-member jury delivered guilty verdicts on each of the three charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter against the former Minneapolis police officer.

Mr Chauvin was handcuffed immediately after the verdicts were read and was taken into custody. 

Mr Chauvin, 45, could be sent to prison for decades – but we will not know exactly how long until he is sentenced in June.

Under Minnesota sentencing guidelines, Mr Chauvin faces at least 12-and-a-half years in prison for his conviction as a first-time criminal offender. 

But prosecutors could seek a longer sentence of up to 40 years if Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the trial, determines that there were aggravating factors. 

He will consider that the killing was committed in front of children and that Mr Floyd was treated with “particular cruelty” during the incident, according to court filings by the state. 

With aggravating factors taken into account Judge Cahill could hand out a maximum sentence of 40 years for second-degree murder, 25 years for third-degree murder and 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.

It will be up to Judge Hill whether the sentences are run consecutively or concurrently, meaning there is a chance Mr Chauvin could be in prison for up to 75 years.

Mr Chauvin’s defense team did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the verdict, but is considered likely to appeal the conviction.

According to legal experts, the former police officer could argue that the jury was prejudiced by media coverage and a settlement in the civil case brought by Mr Floyd’s family, though his odds of success are slim. 

Mr Chauvin’s attorneys will have to notify the trial court within 60 days if they plan to appeal. His lawyers then have months to review transcripts and court filings dating from the start of the case to build their arguments.

A financial settlement was reached with the family while jury selection in the criminal case was under way, something Mr Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson said had an “incredible propensity to taint a jury pool”.

Mr Chauvin’s lawyers may also cite Judge Cahill’s decision to hold the trial in Minneapolis as a reason to overturn the conviction. The defence had argued it was impossible to find an impartial jury in the city, which was rocked by protests over Mr Floyd’s death.

Another potential point of appeal could be comments made by US Representative Maxine Waters following the police shooting of black man Daunte Wright. 

Ms Waters urged protesters “to get more confrontational” if Mr Chauvin was found not guilty during a visit to Brooklyn Centre, Minnesota, over the weekend. 

On Monday Judge Cahill called her comments “abhorrent,” though he also denied a request by defence lawyer Mr Nelson to declare a mistrial.

“I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result on this whole trial being overturned,” Judge Cahill said.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections said Tuesday night that Mr Chauvin was at the state’s maximum security prison in Oak Park Heights, due to an arrangement with the county sheriff and the Department of Corrections. 

Oak Park Heights is Minnesota’s only Level 5 maximum security facility and is regarded as safest for high-risk offenders. 

It is highly likely Mr Chauvin will serve his entire sentence in the prison, although there is a chance he could also be transferred to another of Minnesota’s nine state prisons. 

As Mr Chauvin was convicted in a high profile case and as a police officer it is likely concerns surrounding his safety will need to be addressed. 

He will be closely monitored and is likely to be considered a suicide risk, meaning officers will conduct regular welfare checks. Mr Chauvin’s cell could also be kept lit at all times. 

According to a lawsuit in February, eight prison guards filed a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination after they were barred from working on the floor where Mr Chauvin had been held at the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center, before he was transferred to a state prison.

They claimed their supervisor believed they could not be trusted to professionally perform their duties around Mr Chauvin because of their racial identities. 

Now Mr Chauvin has been found guilty, prosecutors will switch their focus to the cases against three other police officers who played a role in Mr Floyd’s arrest. 

Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng, who were all fired and arrested following Mr Floyd’s death last May, face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The charge is punishable by up to 40 years in prison, although sentencing guidelines can reduce the maximum to 15 years. 

The three are currently free on $750,000 bail and their trial is set for August 23.

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– April 21, 2021
Derek Chauvin George Floyd When will be sentenced?
derek chauvin sentence, george floyd death, Darnella Frazier