The much-awaited jury verdict in the criminal trial of former police officer Derek Michael Chauvin is now – guilty of two counts of murder and one count of the manslaughter of George Floyd.
On the 25th May 2020 Minneapolis Police arrested Mr Floyd outside a convenience store. Police were called following a complaint by an employee that Mr Floyd had tendered a counterfeit $20 note to buy cigarettes.
The Arrest and Murder of George Floyd
The subsequent arrest and detainment of Mr Floyd were captured on video. In the course arresting Mr Floyd, Derek Chauvin can be seen pinning Mr Floyd to the ground by placing his knee on his neck – a practice forbidden by most police forces around the World including the Minneapolis Police.
Derek Chauvin to be Sentenced
Derek Chauvin will be sentenced to four to six weeks. The maximum sentences on each count are Second-degree unintentional murder – 40 years; Third-degree murder – 25 years; Second-degree manslaughter – 10 years. These sentences are however not the endpoint.
Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines and Commentary
The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines and Commentary as of the 1 st August 2020 provides the legal framework for sentencing.
Firstly, there is what is known as a totality in sentencing. For example, in this case, there are three offences committed in the one-act. The head sentence will invariable apply to the most serious offence – Second-degree unintentional murder – whatever terms are handed down for the other two sentences those terms may in part or whole be served concurrently with the head sentence.
Secondly, there are Presumptive Sentences – “they are presumed to be appropriate for all typical cases.”
And thirdly, prisoners in Minnesota typically serve two-thirds of their sentence with the balance in the community on parole. Technically, Derek Chauvin could serve a prison sentence of 12 years and six months and in effect be released on parole after serving just over 8 years.
No doubt the Prosecution will ask for a harsher penalty so only time will tell.