A release or thirty years in prison? The white police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted of the murder of the African-American George Floyd, and the prosecutors in charge of the file asked, Wednesday, June 2, to the justice of the sentences to the antipodes.
In documents sent ahead of the hearing on June 25, during which the sentence will be set, the 45-year-old agent suggests a prison sentence reduced to the time already served, pleading to have committed “A good faith error”.
“Alternatively, Mr. Chauvin respectfully requests that the court grant him mitigating circumstances”, and retains a sentence below the scale in effect in Minnesota (approximately twelve years in prison), writes his lawyer Me Eric Nelson. Ex-policeman, he risks “To become a target in prison”, argues in particular the lawyer, who also invokes the absence of his client’s record and his “Respect for the legal process despite the stigma”.
“Particularly cruel” conduct
As for the crime itself, he assures us that Derek Chauvin “Was not aware of committing one: in his mind, he was fulfilling his mission and helping other police officers to arrest George Floyd” on the neck of which he remained kneeling for nearly ten minutes, on May 25, 2020, indifferent to his groans and his inertia. “Mr. Chauvin’s crime is more a mistake made in good faith on the basis of his experience as a police officer and his training than an intentional illegal act”, argues again Me Nelson.
Shortly thereafter, the prosecution forwarded its own arguments, requesting thirty years in prison for what it called instead“Heinous abuse” and driving “Particularly cruel”.
In their indictment, prosecutors recall that Judge Peter Cahill last month retained four aggravating circumstances against the police officer, paving the way for the imposition of a heavy sentence in this resounding case.
The death of George Floyd, filmed and broadcast on the Internet, has sparked massive protests around the world against racism and police violence. After several weeks of a protracted trial, the police officer was convicted of murder on April 20 and immediately jailed.
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