Prosecutors seek higher sentence for Chauvin in Floyd death

Prosecutors seek higher sentence for Chauvin in Floyd death
Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell speaks as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill discusses motions before the court in the trial of Derek Chauvin. Source: AP (file)
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Daily US Times: Prosecutors are asking a judge to give the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin a more severe sentence than state guidelines call for when he is sentenced in June for African American George Floyd’s death, arguing in court documents filed Friday that Floyd was particularly vulnerable and that Mr Chauvin, who is white, abused his authority as a police officer.

Eric Nelson, defense attorney, is opposing a tougher sentence, saying the state has failed to prove that those aggravating factors, among others, existed when officer Chauvin arrested Floyd on May 25 last year.

Last week, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder for pressing his knee against George Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes as the Black man said he couldn’t breathe and went motionless.

Even though he was found guilty of three counts, under Minnesota statutes the former police officer will only be sentenced on the most serious one — second-degree murder. While that count carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, experts say Mr Chauvin won’t get that much.

Prosecutors didn’t specify how much time they would seek for Chauvin.

The presumptive sentence for second-degree unintentional murder for someone with no criminal record like Chauvin would be 12 1/2 year, according to Under Minnesota sentencing guidelines.

Judges can sentence someone to as little as 10 years and eight months or as much as 15 years and still be within the advisory guideline range.

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