Why Derek Chauvin now faces up to 40 years in prison - the maximum sentence - even though he had no record

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Haven Orecchio-Egresitz
·2 min read
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Derek Chauvin
Derek Chauvin watches as his attorney gives his closing argument. CourtTV/Pool camera
  • Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison on his second-degree murder conviction.

  • Defendants with no prior record typically serve 12.5 years in prison on such a conviction.

  • Prosecutors will argue aggravating factors warrant a departure from sentencing guidelines here.

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Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis officer who killed George Floyd, could spend up to 40 years in prison after he's sentenced.

A jury on Tuesday found the 45-year-old guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.

He will be sentenced on the most serious charge, which is second-degree murder. The average prison sentence on this charge for a defendant like Chauvin, who had no prior criminal record, is 12.5 years.

Minnesota prosecutors will argue during an upcoming Blakely hearing that aggravating factors at the scene of George Floyd's death warrant a sentence that goes beyond terms laid out by state sentencing guidelines, however.

Going above and beyond guidelines, called an "upward sentencing departure," can be granted when a judge or jury finds there were special circumstances that justify a lengthier prison term.

In court filings, the prosecution noted that there were five aggregating factors at play:

  • Floyd's murder happened in the presence of children as young as nine

  • Floyd was "particularly vulnerable" because he was handcuffed

  • Chauvin treated Floyd with "particular cruelty"

  • Chauvin abused his position of authority

  • Chauvin and the other officers on scene acted as a group

Chauvin could have chosen to have a jury decide on the Blakely hearing, but on the day of closing arguments he waived his right to do so, requesting Judge Peter Cahill do it instead.

Chauvin is expected to be sentenced on June 16.

Read the original article on Insider