Prosecutors Urge 30-Year Prison Sentence For Derek Chauvin, Defense Asks For Probation
According to new documents that were filed in court on Wednesday, prosecutors are urging Judge Peter Cahill to impose a 30-year prison sentence for Derek Chauvin, the ex-cop who has been convicted in the murder of George Floyd last May.
After more than two days of intense deliberation, the jury found Chauvin guilty on all counts in April. The decision was met with applause across the country and higher hopes for an improved justice system.
Assistant State Attorney General Matthew Frank led the prosecution team along with three other members. Their main evidence was the viral video that showed Chauvin pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds while Floyd begged to be released, saying that he can’t breathe. Paramedics later ruled that Floyd died of asphyxiation as a result of Chauvin’s restraint.
He was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. For now, he is only being sentenced for second-degree murder, which under Minnesota guidelines entails around 12 years in prison.
Given the notoriety and nature of this case, Cahill could sentence Chauvin to more years than the guidelines designate.
Chauvin’s defense, however, has asked that he be released on probation. His Defense Attorney Eric Nelson has called on the court to consider Chauvin’s previous “lack of criminal history” and that he has merely been a “byproduct of a ‘broken’ system.”
But the prosecutors argue that a 30-year sentence will show the world that no one is above the law. While they acknowledge that no prison sentence will ever bring Floyd back or even ease his family’s grief, they wrote in their briefs to Cahill that the “Defendant’s sentence must hold him fully accountable for his reprehensible act.”
The sentencing is scheduled for June 25.