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Judge: 'Aggravating Factors' Proven in Chauvin Trial

Ruling clears the way for longer sentence
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2021 11:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Derek Chauvin is due to be sentenced June 25 for the murder of George Floyd—and the judge who presided over his trial has signaled that he is likely to go beyond the 12.5 years sentencing guidelines call for. Judge Peter Cahill ruled Wednesday that prosecutors had proven four out of five aggravating factors in the case "beyond a reasonable doubt," WCCO reports. Cahill said the factors he will consider when sentencing the former Minneapolis police officer include his abuse of authority, the fact that he "treated George Floyd with particular cruelty," the presence of children, and that Chauvin committed the crime with the "active participation" of at least three other people.

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Cahill said the "slow death of George Floyd" was particularly cruel because the man "was begging for his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die," but Chauvin "objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd's pleas." Ted Sampsell-Jones, a professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, says the maximum sentence Chauvin could now receive is 30 years, with the first 20 in prison and the remainder possibly on supervised release, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Chauvin and three other officers involved in Floyd's death have also been indicted on federal charges. (Read more Derek Chauvin stories.)

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