Former US policeman could face longer sentence for Floyd murder

Chauvin Faces Tougher Sentence After Judge Finds Aggravating Circumstances in Floyd's Death

Minnesota Judge Opens Door to Longer Sentence for Chauvin in Floyd’s Death

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over Chauvin's high-profile trial, ruled that several "aggravating" factors would allow him to depart from Minnesota state sentencing guidelines.

"It was particularly cruel to kill George Floyd slowly by preventing his ability to breathe when Mr. Floyd had already made it clear he was having trouble breathing", Cahill said.

Chauvin is scheduled to be sentence on 25 June.

The other former officers who were at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death and are set to go on trial on August 23.

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The service is meant to honor the memory of Floyd as an individual, but also as one of many people of color who have been killed by police in the United States, and also to honor the national movement to end police brutality and systemic racism. The former officer faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for the third-degree murder charge, and up to 10 for manslaughter. However, prosecutors asked for what is called "upward departure", and argued Chauvin abused his authority as an officer and should receive a longer sentence that what would normally be recommended. They noted that Chauvin held his position even after Floyd became unresponsive and officers knew he had no pulse.

With Tuesday's ruling, Cahill has given himself permission to sentence Chauvin above the guideline range, though he doesn't have to, said Mark Osler, professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

A pre-sentence investigation report will also be conducted. And fourth, the judge ruled Chauvin committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least three other people.

Mr Cahill agreed with the prosecutors on four of the five points.

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Attorneys for Floyd's family applauded Cahill's ruling.

Defendant abused a position of trust and authority.

In the federal charges, Kueng and Thao are accused of failing to intervene to stop Chauvin from pressing his knee onto Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes on the asphalt a year ago.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin's attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.

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Chauvin's defence argued that the aggravating factors were unproved and that the defendant was legally authorised to use reasonable force. He also said Floyd was not particularly vulnerable, saying he was a large man who was struggling with officers. Minnesota convicts serve two-thirds of their sentence in jail and the other one-third outside of jail.

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