Judge will consider longer sentence for Derek Chauvin due to ‘particular cruelty’ and other aggravating factors

Washington Post / YouTube Derek Chauvin being handcuffed and led out of the courtroom following the guilty verdict on April 20.

Judge Peter Cahill ruled in favor of four out of five aggravating factors presented by the prosecution for the sentencing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd.

Judge Cahill ruled that the prosecution “proved beyond a reasonable doubt” that:

  • Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority as a licensed peace officer of the Minneapolis Police Department.
  • Chauvin treated Floyd with particular cruelty due to the length of time and manner of Floyd’s death by “positional asphyxia,” and the indifference he showed towards Floyd’s pleas for help.
  • Children were present during the commission of the offense.
  • Chauvin committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least
    three other persons.

Cahill ruled that the prosecution did not prove that Floyd was particularly vulnerable because, “although George Floyd was handcuffed, he had still been able to resist arrest and to prevent three police officers from seating him in a squad car before he was placed in the prone position, so that, by itself, did not create a particular vulnerability.”

Related Story: Chauvin conviction: the charges and sentencing considerations

He also stated that “Mr. Floyd’s drug intoxication did not render him particularly vulnerable compared to other victims of murder” and that “restraining George Floyd in the prone position with the weight of three police officers on him for a prolonged period did not create a vulnerability that was exploited to cause death; it was the actual mechanism causing death.”

On April 20, a 12-person jury found Chauvin guilty of second-and third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s May 25, 2020 killing. As a former police officer without a criminal history, per state guidelines, Chauvin would’ve likely served between 128 months to 180 months if no aggravating factors were considered.

Now that Judge Cahill ruled in favor of four aggravating factors, the door is open for him to give Chauvin a longer sentence beyond state guidelines. Chauvin’s sentencing is scheduled for June 25.

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