On Tuesday Derek Chauvin was convicted on all charges: second-degree murder (maximum sentence of 40 years), third-degree murder (maximum sentence of 25 years), and second-degree manslaughter (maximum sentence of 10 years). These are all associated with the same crime: pinning George Floyd’s neck to the asphalt with his knee until he stopped breathing and died.
While the charges against Chauvin collectively amount to 75 years in prison, the focus will be on the most serious charge of second-degree murder. The other two are lesser included charges so there won’t be a separate sentence on those that Chauvin will need to serve.
In Minnesota, sentencing guidelines allow defendants like Chauvin, who have no criminal history, to receive far less time—so the sentence might be more like 15 years. Prosecutors have already signaled they will seek a harsher sentence, known as an "upward departure." This can be done because there were children present or if the judge determines the murder was “particularly cruel.”
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