Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.
In a sentencing hearing at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, today, June 25, Judge Peter Cahill ruled that the former police officer would serve 22 and a half years for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.
Chauvin will serve the sentences for each of his three convictions concurrently, meaning he will spend up to 22.5 years in jail for all three charges.
Minnesota sentencing guidelines recommend a prison sentence of between 10 and 15 years for second-degree murder for someone with no prior criminal record. However, in a ruling last month Judge Cahill agreed that several aggravating factors applied to Chauvin’s case, paving the way for him to be sentenced to a legal maximum of 40 years.
The judge ruled four of five factors put forward by the prosecution could be proven beyond reasonable doubt: that Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority; treated Floyd with particular cruelty; committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least three other people; and that children were present during the offense, as CNN reports.
State prosecutors had requested a 30-year sentence, arguing that it ‘would properly account for the profound impact of Defendant’s conduct on the victim, the victim’s family, and the community.’
Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson had argued for his client to be given probation, having previously asked for a new trial due to heightened media coverage of the case.
Ahead of sentencing, members of George Floyd’s family were given the chance to make victim impact statements, with Chauvin also offered the opportunity to speak, after having refused to testify at his trial.
In a statement before the hearing, Jacari Harris, executive director of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, told The Guardian, ‘George Floyd could be here today. He should be, but he’s not. He could not go home on the day that knee was on his neck, so just as George Floyd couldn’t go home, Derek Chauvin can’t go home.’
Chauvin is currently awaiting trial on federal civil rights charges related to Floyd’s murder and the alleged use of unreasonable force on a 14-year old boy in 2017.
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