In Chauvin Sentencing, 2 Vastly Different Requests

State asks for double the recommended maximum
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2021 10:20 AM CDT
In Chauvin Sentencing, 2 Vastly Different Requests
Chauvin listens to verdicts at his trial for the death of George Floyd.   (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Derek Chauvin will be sentenced June 25 on murder and manslaughter charges in the death of George Floyd, but prosecutors and defense attorneys are still a long way apart—a full 30 years, according to a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday. Prosecutors have requested a 30-year sentence for the former Minneapolis police officer, double the maximum recommended under state sentencing guidelines, the Wall Street Journal reports. For someone with no criminal history, guidelines recommend a 12.5-year sentence on the most serious charge, second-degree unintentional murder. But while the state attorney general's office called for an "upward departure" from the guidelines, defense attorney Eric Nelson filed a memorandum calling for a downward departure—either release on probation or a sentence below state guidelines.

The attorney general's office argued that a longer sentence would reflect the "profound impact of Defendant's conduct on the victim, the victim's family, and the community." Prosecutors cited aggravating factors such as abuse of authority and the "particular cruelty" of the crime, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Judge Peter Cahill ruled last month that four aggravating factors had been proven at Chauvin's trial. Nelson—who also filed a request for a new trial Wednesday—argued that Chauvin led a "hardworking, law-abiding life" and "still has the ability to positively impact his family and his community." He added that Chauvin, 45, has been diagnosed with heart disease that could end his life early, "like many ex-law enforcement officers." Chauvin had his first hearing on federal charges Tuesday and is now officially in federal custody, but he'll stay in the state prison, per the AP. (Read more Derek Chauvin stories.)

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