Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. — 13 months after George Floyd was murdered on the streets of southern Minneapolis, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee to Flo Floyd was convicted of second-degree murder for 9 and a half minutes on his neck. He was convicted on April 20.
Although Xiao Wen was found guilty on all three charges-second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter-Minnesota law stipulates that he will only be sentenced to the most serious of the three. Because they all come from the same crime. behavior.
Minnesota has developed a statewide sentencing guide to determine what is called a “presumptive sentence”-basically a recommended sentence for a felony. The presumptive judgment provides guidance for two decisions, namely whether to send someone to prison and how long. Brad Colbert, a law professor at Hamlin University in St. Paul, who works as a part-time public defender in the Minnesota Public Defender’s Office, told Al Jazeera that these guidelines were derived by combining felony convictions with personal criminal history.
In Xiao Wan’s case, since he had no criminal record, the presumed sentence was 10 and a half years to 15 years in prison.
However, four factors aggravating the sentence were discovered in this case-Xiao Wan was particularly cruel to Freud, abused police power, killed him with the active participation of three or more other people, and did so in front of him. minor.
“George Floyd died slowly in about six minutes of positional suffocation, which is especially cruel, because Mr. Floyd begged for his life, obviously he was afraid that he might die,” Kashi Er wrote when talking about the cruel factor. His verdict. “Objectively, the defendant was indifferent to Mr. Freud’s request.”
Although Judge Peter Cahill is technically allowed to deviate from the sentencing guidelines in either direction, if he does, he must prove that he is above or below the recommended sentencing. The aggravating factor largely eliminated Cahill’s need to prove a longer sentence.The maximum sentence for second-degree murder in Minnesota is 40 years, but because Xiao Wan has no criminal record, “we have some case law in Minnesota that says [Cahill] Colbert said that double deviations can be safely carried out without much worry that it will be reversed.
The defense and prosecution have submitted a memorandum about what they think should be sentenced. On June 2, the defense asked Cahill to sentence Xiao Wan to probation and limit his sentence. On the same day, the prosecutor led by Minnesota’s Attorney General Keith Ellison made the opposite request-sentenced to 30 years in prison.
“This is for [Chauvin] Given the heinous nature of the crime and the fact that it occurs in front of children and traumatizes the entire community, we will take responsibility to the fullest extent of the law,” local activist and community leader Nekima Levi Armstrong told The Peninsula TV station.
“I think of all African Americans who have served 25 years in prison [years] I compared the life of non-violent drug crimes with what Derek Chauvin did. This definitely shows that we have two judicial systems in this country. Well, three—one for whites, one for people of color, and one for the police. “
“I think it is safe to say that no one knows how this will happen,” Colbert said, “but one thing I am confident about is that he will go to jail.”
“Probation will not happen,” Mary Moriarty, the former chief public defender of Hennepin County in Minneapolis, told Al Jazeera. “When [Cahill] He wrote about aggravating factors, and what he wrote most was how Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer.He wrote about the special cruelty imposed on George Floyd…I think his report makes it very clear that he feels very strong about it and that he will leave [from the sentencing guidelines]. “
Moriarty found the defense’s memo particularly interesting. “In my opinion, Cahill is not an audience for this incident,” she said. “They said that Chauvin is a product of a broken system, but they didn’t describe what they meant. When you see something like a public defender client, you are usually talking about that person’s traumatic history, and that sort of thing.”
She believes that Chauvin believes that he did nothing wrong and that he did what he was trained to do throughout the trial, which means that Cahill may lack remorse when sentencing Chauvin.
Friday will be the first time the public has heard of Cahill’s views on all this, because he may speak to Xiao Wan and tell him the reason for the long sentence. Moriarty, Levy Armstrong, and Colbert described Cahill as an experienced and impartial judge who had a background in prosecution and public defense before his 14-year career as a judge.
Friday will also be the day to share the victim’s impact statement. Moriarty said: “George Freud’s friends, family and relatives will have the opportunity to tell the judge about George Freud’s death and the impact of his death on them.”
Once the sentence is pronounced, Xiao Wan has the right to appeal, and Moriarty hopes that he will do so. Shavin’s lawyers filed a motion in May for a retrial, accusing judges, jurors and prosecutors of misconduct, but the threshold for dismissing the verdict is high.
However, in addition to this state-level case, Chauvin was also prosecuted by the federal government for civil rights allegations in this case and a 2017 incident in which he was accused of multiple beatings on the head of a 14-year-old child. Use a flashlight.
“I’m sure the dialogue is happening,” Moriarty said. “Xiao Wan certainly has some motivation to try to negotiate so that the time he gets in the Federation is similar to the time he gets from Cahill, and it will happen at the same time, and he can spend his time in the federal prison. Because the budget of federal prisons is much better than that of state governments, people would rather stay in federal prisons.”
Moriarty noted that, unlike at the state level, federal requests can include a condition that Chauvin does not appeal the decision to prevent the witness and the community from being placed in another legal process.
Regardless of the outcome, Levi Armstrong expects that people will take to the streets, but the mood will be different. “I think that if Chauvin gets a lighter sentence, our community will be deeply disappointed and angry. I think people will take to the streets,” she said.
“I also think that if the judge gives Chauvin an appropriate sentence-meaning the higher end of the maximum penalty-people will take to the streets, but they will feel relieved that they have some responsibilities.
“I have been looking for the content requested by Freud’s family, but I can’t find anything on Crump’s website etc. I just point out the missing content.”