Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced Friday to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd, who died last year.
In April, almost a year after Floyd’s death sparked nationwide outrage, Chauvin was found guilty of all three counts against him following a jury deliberation of about 10 hours. Cahill provided only brief remarks before announcing his decision, saying that he chose to issue a 22-page memorandum instead. The judge said the goal of the memorandum was to highlight that sentencing is based on a legal analysis that involves applying the rule of law to an individual case and not emotion.
“I’m not going to attempt to be profound or clever because it’s not the appropriate time,” Cahill said. “I’m not basing my sentence also on public opinion, I am not basing it on any attempt to send any messages.” Ahead of sentencing, the defense shared several victim impact statements and the court heard from Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter, Gianna.
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. In court documents, his attorney, Eric Nelson, asked Cahill to sentence his client to probation. He argued that his client was the model defendant for probation and raised concerns about how he would be treated in prison. Nelson also credited Chauvin for the respect he showed the judicial process and Cahill in the face of “unparalleled public scorn” [Newsweek].
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Derek Chauvin offered his condolences to George Floyd’s family — ahead of learning his sentence in the man’s murder. “I’m not able to give a full formal statement at this time,” the ex-Minneapolis cop said after taking off his face mask. “Very briefly, though, I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family.” He then hinted that more information about the case will soon emerge. “There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope things will give you some peace of mind,” he added [NY Post].