George Floyd: When will Derek Chauvin be sentenced?

The eyes of America - and the world - were on the Minnesota courthouse following the May 2020 murder trial of Derek Chauvin .

Posted  152 Views updated 5 months ago

The former police officer knelt for more than nine minutes with an African-American man during his arrest in the city of Minneapolis, ignoring pleas that he could not breathe. Mr. Floyd was pronounced dead an hour later.

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

Now the question is, what happens next?

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

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

However, three charges - all of which require Mr. Floyd's actions to lead to his death, but interpret his intent differently - have different maximum sentences.

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

Third-degree murder - defined as showing reckless disregard for human life in a "depraved state of mind" by committing something considered "extremely dangerous" to another person, resulting in death - carries a maximum penalty of 25 years.

Second-degree manslaughter - defined as a negligent act that creates an unreasonable risk and knowingly risks killing or harming another person - carries a maximum penalty of 10 years or a $20,000 fine.

Prosecutors are seeking a sentence higher than the minimum, arguing that there were aggravating circumstances, including an arrest committed in front of a nine-year-old child.

It is unclear whether the judge will impose concurrent sentences (to be served concurrently) or consecutive sentences (to be served one after the other) for each count. Concurrent sentences would be at least 12.5 years, while consecutive sentences could mean up to 75 years behind bars, although parole is usually granted for two-thirds of the sentence, according to the AP news agency.

Where is Chauvin now?
Chauvin was released on bail, but bail was revoked upon his conviction. He is currently being held at the Minnesota State Penitentiary in Oak Park Heights, according to authorities.

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

Some experts say the high level of media coverage, as well as the $27 million settlement between the city of Minneapolis and Mr. Floyd's family just before the trial began, could give him grounds to appeal. Defense attorney Mark Geragos described the outcome as a "pre-settlement opinion" on U.S. broadcaster Fox.

Comments made Saturday by Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters urging people to "stay in the street" if Chauvin is acquitted were also sharply criticized by Judge Cahill. He went so far as to say that they might have given the defense "something on appeal that could lead to this trial being reversed."

And the other officers?
Three other officers were involved in Mr. Floyd's arrest. Tu Tao, Jay Alexander Kuehn and Thomas Lane were tried, charged with accessory to second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

All of those dismissed are currently out on bail. Their trial is set for August 23 of this year.

If convicted, they could face up to 40 years behind bars.


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