Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer, convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, has been sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison. (By law, allowing for good behavior while in prison, he will have 1/3rd of the sentence deducted). The ruling was well within the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines.
Although the judge announced that a 22-page memorandum would address legal analysis for arriving at the sentence, he noted that Chauvin’s actions were unusually cruel, an aggravating factor.
A Guideline sentence would have been 150 months. Accordingly, the sentence was a departure.
The case is ripe with appellate issues. One of the counts Chauvin was convicted of included a jury finding that he acted with a depraved mind (third-degree murder). That issue is already before the Minnesota Supreme Court. Since today’s sentence appears to be controlled by the second-degree murder conviction, it is doubtful that the length of Chauvin’s sentence would be altered if his conviction of that count is reversed. However, the impact of a reversal could impact other appellate issues.
Another issue for appeal is that the court should have granted the defense motion for a venue change. Our opinion is that the case should have been removed from Hennepin County. The defense has raised other issues for appeal.