How Derek Chauvin's Sentencing Could Play Out

Former Minneapolis cop faces up to 40 years behind bars
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2021 1:33 AM CDT
What You Need to Know About Derek Chauvin's Sentence
People hold signs, including one with an image of George Floyd, outside the courthouse in Minneapolis on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, after the guilty verdicts were announced in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of Floyd.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Derek Chauvin will be sentenced in eight weeks after he was convicted Tuesday on all three counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. The former Minneapolis police officer faces up to 40 years behind bars, ABC News reports. That's the maximum sentence for the most serious charge, second-degree unintentional murder; third-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 25 years, while the maximum for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years. The presumptive or recommended sentence is 12.5 years for each murder charge and four for the manslaughter charge under Minnesota sentencing guidelines for someone with no prior criminal history. As KARE 11 reports, since the convictions are all for the same crime, Chauvin will be sentenced for the most serious crime, and will not have any sentences to be served consecutively on the other charges.

Prosecutors are likely to ask Judge Peter Cahill to impose a sentence longer than that recommended by the state's sentencing guidelines. WUSA 9 reports Cahill does have the authority to go beyond those guidelines, which allow for a sentence of up to 15 years on a second-degree unintentional murder charge with no aggravating factors carried out by someone without a criminal record. (Chauvin, 45, waived his right for a jury to decide his sentence, meaning it will be imposed by Cahill alone.) Prosecutors are likely to cite aggravating factors, however, in arguing for a sentence closer to the maximum; those include the fact that Floyd was handcuffed as Chauvin kneeled on his neck, and the fact that children were present, among other things. A pre-sentencing investigation focusing on Chauvin's background and the crime itself will be carried out, and the findings presented to Cahill. Experts think it's likely Cahill will in fact go above the state recommendations, with one predicting a 20-year sentence. (More Derek Chauvin stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.