Jun 25, 2021 - Politics
Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22.5 years for murder of George Floyd
A journalist watches their mobile phone showing Derek Chauvin as the verdict in his trial over the death of George Floyd is announced in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 20, 2021
A journalist watches their mobile phone showing Derek Chauvin as the verdict in his trial over the death of George Floyd is announced in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 20, 2021. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced by a Minnesota judge on Friday to 22.5 years for the murder of George Floyd.

State of play: The sentence from Judge Peter Cahill is about in line with what most legal experts expected. Prosecutors had asked for 30 years.

  • Chauvin will serve 15 years behind bars and 7.5 on parole. Cahill laid out his reasoning in a 22-page sentencing order.
  • Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, had argued that his client should only receive probation as he was part of a "broken system."
  • Chauvin was granted credit for 199 days served.
  • Floyd's daughter, 7-year-old Gianna Floyd, his nephew Brandon Williams, his brothers Terrence and Philonise Floyd all read victim statements prior to the sentencing.
  • "I miss you and I love you," Gianna said, via video, when asked what she would say to her father.
  • "We don't want to see more slaps on the wrist," Terrence Floyd said, while asking for the maximum sentence.

The backdrop: A presumptive sentence for second-degree murder under Minnesota's guidelines called for 12.5 years, though the maximum for the charge is 40 years.

  • Since Cahill found four aggravating factors in Floyd's murder, he could depart from those guidelines.

Worth noting: In Minnesota, it's presumptive that prisoners with a good behavioral record will only spend two-thirds of their sentence behind bars — with the rest on parole.

No surprise: Chauvin spoke very briefly on his own behalf but did not give a full formal statement due to "some additional legal matters."

  • "I'm not able to give a full formal statement at this time...I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family," he said. "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. Thank you."
  • Legal experts said it could have hurt him in his appeal of the verdict — and some wondered how much it would sway Cahill.
  • Chauvin's mother Carolyn Pawlenty spoke in court on behalf of the family.
  • "I believe a lengthy sentence will not serve Derek well," she said. "When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me."

What's next: Chauvin's sentencing is nowhere near the end of the legal road for those involved in Floyd's murder.

  • Chauvin has 90 days to appeal the decision — a move he and his defense team are sure to make. The Minnesota Court of Appeals will then have a year to decide to affirm or overturn the conviction.
  • Chauvin and the three other former officers present for Floyd's murder, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, are also facing federal civil rights charges.
  • The criminal trial for the three other ex-cops is scheduled for March.

This is a breaking news post, check back for updates.

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