Minnesota Judge Opens Door to Longer Sentence for Chauvin in Floyd’s Death

According to Minnesota sentencing guidelines, Chauvin is likely to receive 15 years behind bars, although the aggravating circumstances could prolong his jail term for more than 30 years.

Floyd's death after he was handcuffed on a Minneapolis street with Chauvin's knee on his neck for more than nine minutes prompted massive protests against racism and police brutality in many US cities and other countries.

Chauvin's attorney last week asked for a new trial, arguing that the conviction was tainted by prosecutorial and jury misconduct and errors of law at trial.

The attorneys said prosecutors leaked "damning" information to the New York Times about Chauvin's supposed plan to plead guilty and asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to sanction prosecutors, including state Attorney General Keith Ellison. Chauvin's sentencing is now set to take place in June.

White ex-officer Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted in April of murdering African American Floyd previous year in a case that prompted a national reckoning on racial injustice and police brutality.

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Thirdly, Cahill ruled there were children present during the offense and that this was an aggravating factor. With no criminal record, state guidelines recommend about 12 and a half years for each of the murder charges and up to four for the manslaughter charge. Cahill said the factors he will consider when sentencing the former Minneapolis police officer include his abuse of authority, the fact that he "treated George Floyd with particular cruelty", the presence of children, and that Chauvin committed the crime with the "active participation" of at least three other people.

In the federal charges, Kueng and Thao are accused of failing to intervene to stop Chauvin from pressing his knee onto Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes on the asphalt a year ago.

It was unknown when Cahill would rule on that motion.

Dual prosecutions at both the state and federal level are permitted in the United States but are relatively rare, highlighting the importance of this case, which sparked a massive wave of national demonstrations last summer. He faces a combined maximum 75 years in prison if the sentences run consecutively.

It has not been proven that Floyd was particularly vulnerable, according to the ruling. The three other former officers involved in Floyd's death were also charged with federal civil rights violations; they await trial in state court on aiding and abetting counts.

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