Crime EXPLAINER: How will judge's ruling affect Chauvin sentence?
14-Year-Old Boy in Derek Chauvin’s Second Civil Rights Case Also Said He Couldn’t Breathe, Court Records Show
Like George Floyd, the still-unknown 14-year-old in Officer Derek Chauvin’s second federal indictment told officers that he could not breathe, court documents show. The post 14-Year-Old Boy in Derek Chauvin’s Second Civil Rights Case Also Said He Couldn’t Breathe, Court Records Show first appeared on Law & Crime.Like Floyd, the still-unknown 14-year-old in Chauvin’s second federal indictment told officers that he could not breathe, according to court filings. The boy’s mother also is said by Minnesota state prosecutors to have pleaded for Chauvin to take his knee off her son.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Derek Chauvin could face a much harsher prison sentence after a judge found several aggravating factors in George Floyd's death.
of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd's neck for about 9 1/2 minutes as the Black man said he couldn't breathe.
Legal Debate Rages Over Derek Chauvin Juror’s ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’ T-Shirt, Attendance at BLM Rally Prior to Trial
The image shows juror Brandon Mitchell "active[ly] representing" in Washington, D.C. around the time of the so-called "Get Your Knee Off Our Necks" march on Aug. 28. The march was described elsewhere as "a day of action [to] demonstrate our commitment to fighting for policing and criminal justice" and an attempt to harness the movement that "has risen up since the police killing of George Floyd." The post Legal Debate Rages Over Derek Chauvin Juror’s ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’ T-Shirt, Attendance at BLM Rally Prior to Trial first appeared on Law & Crime.
Breaking down Chauvin's potential sentence is complicated, but it starts with Minnesota statutes that call for him to be sentenced on only the most serious charge — second-degree murder, which has a maximum penalty of 40 years.
Legal experts said the practical maximum Chauvin would face is 30 years. And that's an upper limit that Judge Peter Cahill put within reach in a ruling announced Wednesday. He sided with prosecutors' arguments that Chauvin committed particular cruelty in Floyd's death and abused his authority as a police officer.
Cahill is scheduled to sentence Chauvin on June 25.
Here's a breakdown on the nuances in Minnesota sentencing and how they affect Chauvin's case:
WHY WON'T WE SEE MULTIPLE SENTENCES FOR CHAUVIN?
Judge Says George Floyd Knew ‘He Was Likely to Die,’ Clears the Way for Tougher Sentence Against ‘Indifferent’ Derek Chauvin
Peter Cahill, the Minnesota judge who presided over the trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, on Tuesday evening agreed that several aggravating factors support a tougher sentence for the defendant convicted of murdering George Floyd, Jr. Cahill said Floyd was "terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die" but that Chauvin remained "indifferent" — and thus deserves a more strict punishment than that generally contemplated by Minnesota sentencing guidelines. A jury on April 20th convicted Chauvin of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Because all the charges stem from one act, carried out against one person. Multiple sentences are typically handed down in cases when there are convictions for multiple victims, or multiple crimes against one victim.
For example, if a defendant is convicted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman — two crimes against one victim — a judge would issue a sentence on each count, and could rule that they be served at the same time or consecutively, said former Hennepin County chief public defender Mary Moriarty.
That's not the case here, Moriarty said. “This case involved three different theories of the same behavior toward the same person.”
IS THERE ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THIS?
In another high-profile murder case involving a Minneapolis officer, Mohamed Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.on the third-degree murder conviction, but no penalty was issued for manslaughter.
Federal trial set for August for 3 ex-cops in Floyd's death
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Three former Minneapolis police officers who are charged with violating George Floyd’ s civil rights are scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in July, with a trial date set for August. Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao will be arraigned on civil rights violations on July 14 in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, according to a scheduling order issued Friday. Their trial date has been set for Aug. 2 at the federal courthouse in St. Paul.Last week, a federal grand jury indicted the former officers, along with their colleague Derek Chauvin, for allegedly willfully violating Floyd’s rights.
If Noor's murder charge is tossed out on appeal, which is pending, he would then be sentenced on that lesser count. Likewise, if Chauvin's second-degree murder count is ultimately dismissed, he would be brought back to court for resentencing on the top remaining charge.
WHY IS IT UNLIKELY CHAUVIN WILL GET THE 40-YEAR MAX?
Minnesota has sentencing guidelines that were created to establish rational, consistent sentences and ensure sentences are neutral without considering factors such as race or gender. The guidelines say that even though they are advisory, presumptive sentences “are deemed appropriate” and judges should only depart from them when “substantial and compelling circumstances can be identified and articulated.”
For second-degree unintentional murder, guidelines say the presumptive sentence for someone with no criminal record like Chauvin would be 12 1/2 years. Judges can sentence someone to as little as 10 years and eight months or as much as 15 years and still be within the advisory guideline range.
Floyd's brother, nephew react to ex-cops' federal indictment
HOUSTON (AP) — George Floyd’s brother and nephew expressed gratitude Saturday after a federal grand jury indicted the four former Minneapolis police officers involved in his death. The three-count indictment unsealed Friday “put a smile on our faces” and “holds these guys to accountability,” said Rodney Floyd, George Floyd’s brother. Brandon Williams, George Floyd's nephew, said the indictment “gives us hope.” “No family should have to goThe three-count indictment unsealed Friday “put a smile on our faces” and “holds these guys to accountability,” said Rodney Floyd, George Floyd’s brother.
Prosecutors sought an upward departure for Chauvin, citing several aggravating factors including that Chauvin was a uniformed officer acting in a position of authority, and that his crime was witnessed by multiple children — including a 9-year-old girl who testified that watching the restraint made her “sad and kind of mad.”
WHAT HAPPENED WITH AGGRAVATING FACTORS?
Cahill's decision was nearly a clean sweep for prosecutors. He agreed that Chauvin had abused his authority as a police officer and that he treated Floyd with particular cruelty. He also cited the presence of children when the crime was committed and the fact that Chauvin was part of a group with at least three other people.
The only point prosecutors failed to prove, Cahill wrote, was that Floyd was any more vulnerable than any other murder victim.
SO WHAT'S REALISTIC?
Because Cahill found aggravating factors, he's now allowed to sentence Chauvin above what the guidelines recommend for a person with no criminal record convicted of second-degree murder.
Still, experts have said the max will be 30 years — double the high end of the guideline range. If Cahill were to sentence Chauvin to anything above that, he risks having his decision reversed on appeal.
Mark Osler, a professor at University of St. Thomas School of Law, said the Minnesota Supreme Court set a standard maximum for upward departures in the 1981 State v. Evans case, finding that generally, when an upward departure is justified, “the upper limit will be double the presumptive sentence length."
Derek Chauvin: Judge's ruling allows for longer sentence for ex-officer who killed George Floyd
The judge who oversaw Derek Chauvin's murder trial ruled Wednesday that there were four aggravating factors in the killing of George Floyd, a decision that allows the judge to give Chauvin a lengthier prison sentence. © From Darnella Frazier Chauvin, the 45-year-old former Minneapolis Police officer, was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter last month for kneeling on the neck and back of Floyd, handcuffed and lying prone on the street, for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.
The court stressed that doubling the guideline range is only an upper limit and shouldn't be automatic. The justices also left room for the rare case in which a judge would be justified in going even higher. Mitchell Hamline law professor Ted Sampsell-Jones said last year's State v. Barthman opinion reaffirmed the Evans rule and “sent a signal” that sentences exceeding a doubling of guidelines “should be in fact extremely rare” and almost never happen.
DOES ANYTHING ELSE GO INTO SENTENCING?
Osler said attorneys for both sides will now present arguments on whether an upward departure is appropriate and how long they believe the sentence should be. Cahill will also pore over a pre-sentence investigation report, which is usually nonpublic. It's typically prepared by a probation officer and includes highly personal information such as family history and mental health issues. It also includes details of the offense and the harm it caused others and the community.
TIME ACTUALLY SERVED?
No matter what sentence Chauvin gets, in Minnesota it's presumed that a defendant with good behavior will serve two-thirds of the penalty in prison and the rest on supervised release, commonly known as parole.
That means if Chauvin is sentenced to 30 years, he would likely serve 20 behind bars, as long as he causes no problems in prison. Once on supervised release, he could be sent back to prison if he violates conditions of his parole.
WILL WE HEAR FROM CHAUVIN?
That's hard to say. He has the right to make a statement during his sentencing hearing, but Moriarty said that can be tricky. While judges want people to take responsibility and be remorseful — and can take that into consideration in sentencing — a defendant also wouldn't want to say anything that could jeopardize a possible appeal. Chauvin also faces new federal charges, alleging he violated Floyd's civil rights.
“That’s the hard part because I think everybody, including family, wants to hear him say something about how he is sorry,” she said.
Find AP’s full coverage of the death of George Floyd at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd
4 ex-cops indicted on US civil rights charges in Floyd death .
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted the four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest and death, accusing them of violating the Black man’s constitutional rights as he was restrained face-down on the pavement and gasping for air, according to indictments unsealed Friday. The three-count indictment names Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao. Specifically, Chauvin, Thao and Kueng are charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and excessive force. All four officers are charged for their failure to provide Floyd with medical care.