Derek Chauvin Should Serve 30 Years For George Floyd Murder, Prosecutors Say
Prosecutors have said they are seeking 30 years in prison for Derek Chauvin ahead of his sentencing for the murder of George Floyd.
The former Minneapolis police officer is set to be sentenced on June 25 after being found guilty in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the May 2020 killing of Floyd, who died after Chauvin knelt on his neck during an arrest until he fell unconscious.
Prosecutors for the State of Minnesota made the request this week in a sentencing brief, in which they claimed a 30-year sentence is justified considering the circumstances of the case.
The prosecution notes that the maximum sentence is 40 years, and that they are requesting a sentence on the higher end of the scale because of four specific aggravating factors that were proven at trial, TMZ reports.
Firstly, they argue Chauvin abused his position of trust and authority as a police officer, and that in abusing his position he created an unfair power balance that left Floyd helpless.
Another aggravating factor cited by the prosecutors is that Chauvin is said to have treated Floyd with particular cruelty by ignoring his cries for help and refusing to release his hold on him for almost 10 minutes.
The document also points out that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death in front of children, effectively making them victims as well, and that Chauvin was part of a team of officers who responded to the scene and therefore part of a group that ganged up on Floyd.
As a result of these factors, the prosecutors believe Chauvin should face a harsher punishment.
The prosecutors wrote that ‘the court should take the next step and hold that each of these aggravating factors’ is grounds for a sentence two times the upper end of the presumptive sentencing range, NBC News reports.
Meanwhile, Chauvin’s Defense Attorney Eric Nelson has suggested the former officer be sentenced to time served and probation for his convictions.
In a separate brief filed on Wednesday, June 2, he wrote:
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.
He is reportedly asking for less than the 15-year maximum in state sentencing guidelines or probation, and argued Chauvin should be granted a retrial because, he claims, the trial involved prosecutorial and juror misconduct and errors by the judge, for example by not granting a change of venue.
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