Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer, faced three charges in the death of George Floyd. A jury, after deliberating for more than 10 hours, reached a verdict on April 20, 2021, convicting Chauvin of all three charges.
Chauvin was convicted on charges of 2nd-degree murder, which has a maximum sentence of 40 years; 3rd-degree murder, which has a maximum sentence of 25 years; and 2nd-degree manslaughter, which has a maximum sentence of 10 years.
The verdict means he will face a maximum penalty that matches the most serious count, which is 40 years.
The officer, who was accused in the death of George Floyd, is 44 years old. However, sentencing guidelines in Minnesota could mean that he serves much less time than the maximum penalties – as little as 12.5 years.
Prosecutors did indicate in a previous court filing that they will ask the judge for an “upward departure” from the sentencing guidelines, meaning they want Chauvin to serve more than 12.5 years. They cited several reasons for this including that the death was witnessed by children and because they say Chauvin treated Floyd with cruelty.
Ultimately, it’s going to be up to the judge.
Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines
Under Minnesota sentencing guidelines, for a person with no criminal history, each murder charge carries a presumptive sentence of 12 1/2 years in prison, while manslaughter has a presumptive sentence of four years.
Most people in Minnesota serve 2/3 of their sentence in jail while the remaining is served on parole.
According to Fox News, the prosecutors have indicated they will seek sentencing enhancements, but the final decision will be in the hands of the judge.
Who is the judge?
Judge Peter Cahill’s Bio
According to the Minnesota courts page, here is the biography for Judge Peter Cahill:
Appointed May 30, 2007. Elected in 2008, 2014 and 2020. His current term expires in January 2027.
J.D., magna cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School, 1984
B.A., University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, 1981
Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Minneapolis, Minnesota 1997-2007
Chief Deputy Hennepin County Attorney 2000-2007
Managing Attorney, Juvenile Prosecution Division 1999-2000
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, Violent Crimes Division 1997-1999
Solo practitioner, Cahill Law Office, Wayzata, Minnesota 1993-1997
Partner, Colich & Cahill Law, Minneapolis, Minnesota 1987-1993
Assistant Public Defender, Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office, Minneapolis, Minnesota 1984-1987
Criminal – Jan. 2019 – Present
Juvenile, July 2016 – Jan. 2019
Chief Judge, July 2012 – June 2016
Assistant Chief Judge, July 2010 – June 2012
Criminal, Jan. 2010 – June 2012
Drug Court, Oct. 2008 – Dec. 2009