George Floyd’s Killer Asks Court for Probation As He Faces 30 Year Sentence

Do the crime, do the time.

Prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted in the murder of George Floyd, to 30 years in prison.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 21: In this photo provided by the Minnesota Department of Corrections, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin poses for a booking photo after his conviction April 21, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges in the murder of George Floyd. (Photo by Minnesota Department of Corrections via Getty Images)

Judge Peter Cahill said in a six-page opinion last month that prosecutors had proven that Chauvin had abused his position of trust and authority, treated Floyd with particular cruelty, acted in concert with at least three other people and committed his crime in the presence of children. In a sentencing brief filed Wednesday, prosecutors cited the trial judge’s ruling, which paved the way for Cahill to sentence Chauvin to more than 15 years in prison, the longest punishment for second-degree murder under state sentencing guidelines.

[People gather at the unveiling of artist Kenny Altidor’s memorial portrait of George Floyd – who died 25 May in Minneapolis with police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes – painted on a storefront sidewall of CTown Supermarket on July 13, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images]
Cahill agreed with all but one of the aggravating factors prosecutors cited when they asked for what is known as an upward departure. Prosecutors wrote in the brief that at Chauvin’s sentencing June 25th, “the Court should take the next step and hold that each of these aggravating factors” is grounds for imposing a sentence two times the upper end of the presumptive sentencing range.

But Chauvin’s defense team is seeking probation instead of incarceration. His attorney, Eric Nelson, asked in a separate brief filed Wednesday for a downward departure from sentencing guidelines or a sentence of probation with time served. “Mr. Chauvin asks the Court to look beyond its findings, to his background, his lack of criminal history, his amenability to probation, to the unusual facts of this case, and to his being a product of a ‘broken’ system,” Nelson wrote.

Nelson argued in the sentencing brief that, among other things, Chauvin obeyed all court orders after he posted bond and was released from jail before trial. Nelson also claimed that Chauvin “has been preliminarily diagnosed with heart damage” and that he might die at a younger age, like many ex-law enforcement officers.

Legal experts have said Chauvin is unlikely to get more than 30 years. The other officers charged in connection with George Floyd’s murder, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, were indicted on federal charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights and will stand trial next March.


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