The prosecution in the Derek Chauvin case is playing NO games when it comes to sentencing George Floyd’s killer and they want the book thrown at the life snuffing out aggressor.
After Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, the prosecution team is imploring Judge Peter Cahill to issue a more severe penalty than state guidelines call for. Chavin will be sentenced in June for George Floyd’s death and prosecutors are arguing in court documents that George Floyd was” particularly vulnerable and that Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer.”
NBC News reports that even though Chauvin found guilty of three counts, under Minnesota statutes he’ll only be sentenced on the count of second-degree murder, the most serious of all the counts. And while that count carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, he is expected to receive FAR less than that, presumably 12 to 12 1/2 years.
In the court docs filed Friday, prosecutors said that Chauvin should be sentenced above the guideline range because he acted cruelly when he killed George Floyd and caused psychological distress to the man who was “particularly vulnerable with his hands cuffed behind his back as he was face-down on the ground” and who was “intoxicated.”
They also blasted the former cop for remaining on top of George Floyd while he continuously said he couldn’t breathe.
“Defendant continued to maintain his position atop Mr. Floyd even as Mr. Floyd cried out that he was in pain, even as Mr. Floyd exclaimed 27 times that he could not breathe, and even as Mr. Floyd said that Defendant’s actions were killing him,” prosecutors wrote. They added that he stayed in position as Floyd cried out for his mother, stopped speaking and lost consciousness.
“Defendant thus did not just inflict physical pain. He caused Mr. Floyd psychological distress during the final moments of his life, leaving Mr. Floyd helpless as he squeezed the last vestiges of life out of Mr. Floyd’s body,” prosecutors wrote.
Naturally, Derek Chauvin’s defense team is crying foul and claiming that he used “reasonable force” to assist in “effecting the lawful arrest of an actively resisting criminal suspect.”
NBC News reports that in the court documents that Defense attorney Eric Nelson vehemently opposed a tougher sentence and detailed it this way;
“Nelson said Floyd was not particularly vulnerable, saying he was a large man who was struggling with officers. He wrote that courts have typically found particular vulnerability if the victims are young, or perhaps sleeping, when a crime occurs.”
Nelson also said Floyd was not treated with particular cruelty, saying that there is no evidence that the assault perpetrated by Chauvin involved gratuitous pain that’s not usually associated with second-degree murder.
“The assault of Mr. Floyd occurred in the course of a very short time, involved no threats or taunting, such as putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger … and ended when EMS finally responded to officers’ calls,” Nelson wrote.
The defense attorney also argued that the state didn’t prove that Chauvin’s role as a police officer was an “aggravating factor” since Gorge Floyd “struggled with officers” proving that the officer’s authority was “irrelevant” to him.
SMFH, it’ll be interesting to see how this turns out. Let’s hope the prosecution’s arguments pull through.