After eleven hours of deliberation, twelve jurors reached a verdict finding Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts:
- Second-degree “unintentional” murder,
- Third-degree murder,
- Second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin’s bail was revoked, and he was led away in handcuffs.
Each of the three charges Chauvin was convicted of had a different maximum sentence, but the punishment will be based on the most serious conviction which is second-degree murder with a maximum 40-year sentence.
It is highly unlikely that Chauvin will be sentenced to 40 years. Minnesota law stipulates that because he has “no prior criminal record,” the sentence could be reduced to twelve and a half years. There is an exception. The prosecution requested adding “aggravating circumstances” to the charges, so the sentence could be increased based on that. One such aggravating circumstance is that Chauvin committed this murder in front of children, including a nine-year-old girl who testified. Chauvin acted in cruelty and abused his authority. He could be held accountable for both.
On Monday, after closing arguments were wrapped up and the jury was excused to begin their deliberations, the judge offered Chauvin a choice of having either the jury or the judge choose his punishment for the aggravating circumstances. Chauvin chose the judge. That was a wise choice considering the judge’s bursts of temper directed at both Congresswoman Maxine Waters for making a public comment on the case, and toward a female firefighter who he publicly scolded during cross-examination. She was there to testify as a witness, but the judge didn’t like her attitude toward the defense attorney. I’m going to guess he’s a Republican who has misogynistic and racist tendencies— This is my opinion- he’s team, Chauvin.
Chauvin will be sentenced in eight weeks. His attorney will without a doubt file an appeal as soon as the law allows it, based on the judge’s decision not to sequester the jury, and also because he felt the prosecution “ridiculed” his closing statement.
The charges explained:
- Second-degree murder, unintentional is defined as causing death without intent to do so while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense. The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is 40 years.
- Third-degree murder is causing death to an individual by “perpetrating an act imminently dangerous to others and evidencing a depraved mind without regard for human life,” but without the intent to cause death. It carries a maximum sentence of 25 years.
- Second-degree manslaughter is causing the death of another by “culpable negligence, creating an unreasonable risk” in which the defendant “consciously takes the risk of causing death or great bodily harm to another individual.” It carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
I imagine the world is breathing the same (masked) sigh of relief that I am, but I’m sick that this happened in the first place. Dereck Chauvin had a history of excessive force that was ignored by the Minneapolis police department. George Floyd’s murder was preventable.
As I said in my post yesterday, over 1000 people die in police altercations every year, and the black male population is at most at risk. This number has steadily increased in the last decade. We have to find a way to stop this. How many of those people had a teenager present to tape the entire altercation? Darnella Frazier should be commended.
“Life tables were calculated using model simulations from 2013 to 2018 Fatal Encounters data and 2017 National Vital Statistics System data.”
You will notice there is no Karen category listed.
The three other officers who played a part in George Floyd’s murder face their trials at the end of August. They are accused of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
Today was a great day, but we have a lot of work to do. Nothing is more effective than voting in every election no matter how small.