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Prosecutors request 30 years in prison for Derek Chauvin

Chauvin's attorney, meanwhile, asked for a much lighter penalty.

Derek Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced later this month, and prosecutors are requesting a 30-year prison sentence for the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd.

In a court filing Wednesday, the state requested a sentence of 360 months for Chauvin, asking Judge Peter Cahill to consider the "aggravated sentencing factors" present in the case. This would be an upward sentencing departure that is "double the upper limit of the presumptive range," prosecutors said. But prosecutors argues this is warranted.

"Such a sentence would properly account for the profound impact of Defendant’s conduct on the victim, the victim’s family, and the community," prosecutors wrote. "Defendant brutally murdered Mr. Floyd, abusing the authority conferred by his badge. His actions traumatized Mr. Floyd’s family, the bystanders who watched Mr. Floyd die, and the community. And his conduct shocked the Nation’s conscience. No sentence can undo the damage Defendant’s actions have inflicted. But the sentence the Court imposes must hold Defendant fully accountable for his reprehensible conduct."

Cahill has previously signaled he will consider a longer sentence for Chauvin, noting the presence of these "aggravating factors." Chauvin was convicted of  second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, in his own court filing made the opposite case. He argued Chauvin deserves a lesser sentence, and asked Cahill for a downward dispositional departure. 

Nelson laid out a few key reasons, including:

  • Chauvin's amenability to probation
  • His age (noting police officers often have a shorter life expectancy and higher probability of death from certain diseases compared to the rest of the male population)
  • The "likelihood of him becoming a target in prison"
  • His lack of criminal history
  • His continued cooperation and behavior in court
  • The support he has received from community members, friends and family, including his former wife

In total, Nelson requested solely a probationary sentence for his client, along with a sentence equal to the time he has already served.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 25.

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