After being convicted on all three counts, what next for Derek Chauvin?
After only ten hours of deliberation, a Minnesota jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts.
On Tuesday, 20 April, the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin found him guilty on all charges relating to the killing of George Floyd. The charges included second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, or second-degree manslaughter, which carry a maximum sentence of forty, twenty-five, or ten years in prison, respectively.
George Floyd killer Derek Chavin: what happens next?
After the verdict was read, Mr. Chauvin, who had been out on bail, was taken into police custody. In the coming weeks, the judge in the case, Peter A. Cahill, will review the decision made by the jury and determine a sentence.
The maximum sentence for the most severe crime Mr. Chauvin was convicted of, unintentional murder in the second degree, is forty years, but it is unlikely that he receive that sentence. Based on Minnesota sentencing guidelines, a person like Mr. Chauvin, who has no past criminal record, should receive around 12.5 years for the crime.
However, these guidelines are not written in stone and judges have leeway when determining sentences. A factor that could inform the Judge Cahill’s decision are documents filed by the prosecution in August 2020, wherein they informed the judge that State would seek “upward-sentencing departure.” In the letter to Judge Cahill, signed by Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison, Mr. Ellison stated that “There are at least five bases for an upward departure” including the “particular cruelty” Mr. Floyd was subjected to and that the crime was committed in the presence of children.
Based on this additional information and the circumstances around the case, Judge Cahill could increase the sentence beyond 12.5 years.
Why aren’t the sentences cumulative?
Although Mr. Chauvin was found guilty of violating three criminal statutes in Minnesota, each count is related to one crime, the murder of George Floyd. According to Vox News, since prosecutors only brought forward charges on one criminal act, Mr. Chauvin “is likely to serve his sentences for all three crimes concurrently, meaning that those sentences will all run at the same time.”
When can we expect a decision?
According to the New York Times, the sentencing hearings for Derek Chauvin are expected to begin in eight weeks, a little over a year since the murder took place.