Sunday, 24 October, 2021

Judge: 'Aggravating Factors' Proven in Chauvin Trial

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is placed in handcuffs watched by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill after a jury found him guilty on all counts in his trial for second-degree murder third-degree murder and second-degree mansla Chauvin Faces Tougher Sentence After Judge Finds Aggravating Circumstances in Floyd's Death REUTERS JANE ROSENBERG
Cecil Davis | 13 May, 2021, 22:01

Chauvin, as reported earlier this month, has asked for a new trial. With no criminal record, state guidelines recommend about 12 and a half years for each of the murder charges and up to four for the manslaughter charge.

Even with the aggravating factors, legal experts have said, Chauvin, 45, is unlikely to get more than 30 years when he is sentenced June 25.

Another aggravating factor, the judge said, was that children were present and "observed Mr. Floyd being asphyxiated as he begged for his life". Second, Chauvin treated Floyd with particular cruelty.

In this case, the addition three individuals were other police officers, who will face trial for aiding and abetting murder this August.

But Cahill said one of the other officers twice checked Floyd's pulse and told Chauvin he detected none, while another officer suggested rolling Floyd to his side and said he was passing out.

"The application of justice in this case offers hope that we will see real change in the relationship between police and people of color by holding officers properly accountable for egregious behavior and for failing to honor the sanctity of all lives", the attorneys said in a statement.

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White ex-officer Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted in April of murdering African American Floyd previous year in a case that prompted a national reckoning on racial injustice and police brutality. He has waived his right to have a jury determine his sentence, which means Judge Peter Cahill - who presided over the trial - will set the punishment. "The State therefore respectfully requests that the Court find the facts necessary to support the existence of these five aggravating factors, and that the Court impose an aggravated sentence on that basis", prosecutors said in the filing.

Prosecutors had called for an upward departure, meaning a sentence longer than what's found within the guideline range.

It has not been proven that Floyd was particularly vulnerable, according to the ruling.

The state trial of Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao will be pushed back to March of 2022, a judge ruled Thursday. Nelson, Chauvin's lawyer, argued that his client was deprived of a fair trial because of prosecutorial and jury misconduct and errors of law at the trial.

Nelson also argued Floyd was not treated with particular cruelty, saying that there is no evidence that the assault perpetrated by Chauvin involved gratuitous pain that's not usually associated with second-degree murder. A few of the witnesses who testified during the trial were under 18 at the time of Floyd's death.