Minnesota prosecutors have a requested a 30-year prison sentence for Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis officer who was convicted of murdering George Floyd.
Under Minnesota sentencing guidelines, Chauvin faces 12 ½ years in prison for his second-degree murder conviction as a first-time offender. The state, however, has asked Judge Peter Cahill to consider a lengthier sentence based on aggravating factors on the day of Floyd’s death. According to legal documents obtained by Insider, the judge agreed that a heavier sentence was warranted due to a number of circumstances, including the presence of children during Floyd’s murder, Chauvin treating Floyd with “particular cruelty,” and Chauvin’s abuse of authority during the deadly incident.
Prosecutors said Chauvin’s actions “shocked the nation’s conscience” and that a 30-year sentence “would properly account for the profound impact of defendant’s conduct on the victim, the victim’s family, and the community.”
“No sentence can undo Mr. Floyd’s death, and no sentence can undo the trauma Defendant’s actions have inflicted,” the state wrote. “But the sentence the Court imposes must show that no one is above the law, and no one is below it. Defendant’s sentence must hold him fully accountable for his reprehensible conduct.”
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, filed his own motion requesting his client be sentenced to probation and time served. The lawyer pointed to Chauvin’s lack of criminal history, his cooperation with the court, the likelihood of him being targeted behind bars, as well as his age (45).
“Chauvin’s age weighs in his favor when determining a sentence. The life expectancy of police officers is generally shorter, and police officers have a significantly higher average probability of death from specific diseases than did males in the general population. He has been preliminary diagnosed with heart damage and may likely die at a younger age like many ex-law enforcement officers.”
Chauvin’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 25, exactly 13 months after Floyd was killed while in police custody.
According to Insider, Nelson will also be appointed to defend Chauvin in his civil case stemming from the Floyd murder and the arrest of a 14-year-old boy in 2017. The decision was made after a federal judge determined Chauvin was “financially unable” to hire his defense.