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Judge Finds “Aggravated Factors” For Enhancing Derek Chauvin’s Sentence In Death of George Floyd

Judge Finds “Aggravated Factors” For Enhancing Derek Chauvin’s Sentence In Death of George Floyd

Chauvin now faces up to double the sentencing guideline of 15 years, for up to 30 years.

Derek Chauvin is facing up to 40 years in prison on the 2nd Degree Murder charge of which he was convicted (along with 3rd Degree Murder and 2nd Degree Manslaughter).

But under sentencing guidelines, and absent an enhancement, he likely would be sentenced to less than half that amount:

For second-degree unintentional murder, guidelines say the presumptive sentence for someone with no criminal record like Chauvin would be 12 1/2 years. Judges can sentence someone to as little as 10 years and eight months or as much as 15 years and still be within the advisory guideline range.

The prosecution filed a motion to enhance sentencing, something we covered in Chauvin Post-Trial Sentencing: What to Expect. Chauvin opted to have the judge, not the jury, decide the issue.

The Judge just ruled in a six-page Order (pdf.) finding 4 of the 5 possible factors raised by the prosecution (the prosecution did not seek enhancement for discriminatory intent):

“1. Defendant abused a position of trust and authority” because he was a police officer who used excessive force, ignored and failed to render medical care, and violated training standards:

“Defendant’s placement of his knee on the back of George Floyd’s neck was an egregious abuse of the authority to subdue and restrain because the prolonged use of this maneuver was employed after George Floyd had already been handcuffed and continued for more than four and a half minutes after Mr. Floyd had ceased talking and had become unresponsive.”

“2. Defendant treated George Floyd with particular cruelty” for the reasons stated as to factor No. 1, plus:

“b. 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.

c. The slow death of George Floyd occurring over approximately six minutes of his positional asphyxia was particularly cruel in that Mr. Floyd was begging for his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die but during which the Defendant objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd’s pleas.

d. Restraining an individual in the prone position against the hard street surface by kneeling on the back of Mr. Floyd’s neck with his other knee in Mr. Floyd’s back, all the while holding his handcuffed arms in the fashion Defendant did for more than nine minutes and forty seconds is by itself a particularly cruel act.

e. The prolonged nature of the asphyxiation was by itself particularly cruel.”

“3. Children were present during the commission of the offense” being bystanders on the sidewalk during the arrest and restraint.

“4. Defendant committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least
three other persons” being the other officers who have been separately charged:

“b. No finding is made as to whether the active participation of Officers Lane, Kueng and Thao was accompanied by the intent and aknowledge necessary to establish that they are “offenders” subject to criminal liability under Minn. Stat. § 609.05.”

The following factors were not found to be applicable:

“5. The victim was particularly vulnerable.”

“a. Although George Floyd was handcuffed, he had still been able to resist arrest and to prevent three police officers from seating him in a squad car before he was placed in the prone position, so that, by itself, did not create a particular vulnerability.

b. In this case, Mr. Floyd’s drug intoxication did not render him particularly vulnerable compared to other victims of murder.

c. Restraining George Floyd in the prone position with the weight of three police officers on him for a prolonged period did not create a vulnerability that was exploited to cause death; it was the actual mechanism causing death.”

Given the enhancing factors, what’s the likely maximum sentence?

Experts say the max will be 30 years — double the high end of the guideline range. If Judge Peter Cahill were to sentence Chauvin to anything above that, he risks having his decision reversed on appeal.

Mark Osler, a professor at University of St. Thomas School of Law, said the Minnesota Supreme Court set a standard maximum for upward departures in the 1981 State v. Evans case, finding that generally, when an upward departure is justified, “the upper limit will be double the presumptive sentence length.”

The court stressed that doubling the guideline range is only an upper limit and shouldn’t be automatic. The justices also left room for the rare case in which a judge would be justified in going even higher. Mitchell Hamline law professor Ted Sampsell-Jones said last year’s State v. Barthman opinion reaffirmed the Evans rule and “sent a signal” that sentences exceeding a doubling of guidelines “should be in fact extremely rare” and almost never happen.

I’m guessing 30 years also, though I won’t be shocked if the Judge finds a way to enhance it even more. With credit for good behavior, Chauvin’s facing at least 20 years served in state prison.


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    redc1c4 in reply to paralegal. | May 13, 2021 at 1:53 am

    we are no longer a nation of laws: the sooner y’all realize that, and act accordingly, the better of you’ll be.


      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to redc1c4. | May 13, 2021 at 6:11 am

      That’s been obvious for decades.

      Ben Kent in reply to redc1c4. | May 13, 2021 at 10:29 am


      BLM said the cop was racist. That his actions justified riots and arson. That his actions proved the police are racist and have to be defunded. That his actions showed “white supremacy” and so society has to be turned upside down and people reprogrammed with CRT.

      But wait. Prosecutors showed not one shred of evidence that Chauvin was a racist or that his actions were motivated by Floyd’s race. And there surely did an extensive investigation that would have found any hint of racism in his past. In fact, they needed to show a motivate to prove intent to kill (for murder charge to stick). Yet they showed no motive – certainly not any racial animus.

      So where is the media correction of the record? All the stories that alleged the cop was racist ? Where is the retraction by BLM or progressive politicians ? Where is the roll-back of the defund-police initiative ? Where is the apology for ruining a man’s life because it seems the worst he is guilty of is making a mistake ? Where is the push back on CRT indoctrination ?

      More important – where are the supposedly smart “educated” American people who are so careful to avoid “scams” and to take offense if someone tries to steal even one dollar – but are so EASY to FOOL when it comes to robbing them of their culture, their way of life, their liberty and their country. Are so many really that stupid ?

      Chauvin was touted as the poster boy for racist oppression of Black victims. But even Minn. AG Ellison finally admitted that racism was not a factor in the officer’s actions.

      How could anyone trust these liars ever again ? Why does anyone still give them credence ? When will people wake up and stop allowing themselves to be manipulated ?

        Antifundamentalist in reply to Ben Kent. | May 13, 2021 at 9:40 pm

        According to BLM, all while people are inherently racist. Therefore Changing can’t be anything other than a racist.

    Keith_ in reply to paralegal. | May 13, 2021 at 6:47 am

    Very interesting find! This Dr Roger Peterson should be charged with witness intimidation. Hopefully Eric Chauvin’s lawyer can add this to his appeal. The fact that the most important witness in the case – the medical examiner – was coerced through intimidation to change his findings should be grounds to have the convictions thrown out.

    Keith_ in reply to paralegal. | May 13, 2021 at 6:55 am

    Very interesting find! This Dr Roger Peterson should be charged with witness intimidation. Hopefully Eric Chauvin’s lawyer can add this to his appeal. The fact that the most important witness in the case – the medical examiner – was coerced through intimidation to change his findings should be grounds to have the convictions thrown out.

    kevinbrown in reply to paralegal. | May 13, 2021 at 7:56 am
    I booked marked the original autopsy report last year for reference
    The report that basically said he died of a self inflicted drug overdose
    No indication of asphyxiation
    Strange now that report has be removed from the internet
    Wonder why ?
    What are they binding

    Eggshell Skull in reply to paralegal. | May 15, 2021 at 1:19 am

    WHERE are the Mitchell/Baker transcripts from???
    State says ‘Didn’t happen’

Should we think highly of appeals chances or is this (as in most cases) it?

    drsamherman in reply to Danny. | May 13, 2021 at 12:32 am

    Given how corrupt, vacuous and what cowardice the Minnesota (In)Justice system has shown already, I honestly don’t think Chauvin has a chance at a fair appeal. The judge is a chicken and amoral political hack. His actions are being directed right out of Keith Ellison’s office.

    And the FBLie (h/t other poster on another board) is ready to grab Chauvin for specious federal charges if he walks. Democrats need to satisfy their rioting bloodlust, after all.

      Danny in reply to drsamherman. | May 14, 2021 at 6:36 pm

      The thing is appeals generally don’t work usually trial and sentencing is it with possibility of early release on good behavior being what a defendant has to look forward to if convicted. I would like to know if this case/trial is an exception and if there is reason to expect success in appeals or if this is the end of the case assuming the judges hearing appeals are fair.

      What is concerning is did he get a fair trial and if he didn’t are the ways the trial wasn’t fair good grounds for appeal.

I think I now know why the judge didn’t want the venue changed or the jury sequestered,

Political trials are meant to be political trials. Here to appease blacks.

What a fucking shock. Anybody that thought this laughably biased judge had any intention of declaring a mistrial or actually holding to the law was kidding themselves.

JusticeDelivered | May 12, 2021 at 9:27 pm

This injustice conspircy must be reigned in. Police officers need to walk out in mass. Leave thgese cities with no police. Then use border walls to stop low life from destroying surrounding communities.

Colonel Travis | May 12, 2021 at 9:56 pm

Chauvin won’t survive prison.

    This worries me greatly. He is a political prisoner and will be tortured, raped, tormented to death. It sickens me. And it makes me stronger, not weaker (as our new overlords hope), we can never stop fighting.

      George_Kaplan in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 12, 2021 at 10:20 pm

      I do wonder if that’s why his wife divorced him – to protect her and their son.

        Perhaps so, George. It does make me sad that she abandoned him precisely when he needed support, but you may be on to something here in that she was protecting their son.

        However you look at it, Chauvin is not receiving justice here. He is being railroaded, made an example, and as others have noted will likely die in prison at his own hand (who would want to live the life that awaits him there?). I am sickened by the injustice of it all.

          henrybowman in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 13, 2021 at 1:04 am

          No, look, that is precisely why they divorced. Makes her and the kids untouchable in a civil suit and provides for them financially. Chauvin was 100% down with it, probably suggested it himself. He asked the divorce judge to grant her something like 90% of the joint assets, the judge said no, it sounded too much like fraud. He gave her as much as the judge would allow.

          She didn’t abandon him, he protected her.

          JusticeDelivered in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 13, 2021 at 10:28 am

          Maybe he asked her to do this, that is what I would have done. Protecting one’s family comes first and foremost.

      He’s a sacrificial lamb. But unfortunately one lamb is not enough. How much is enough? I dunno, how many you got?

    alohahola in reply to Colonel Travis. | May 13, 2021 at 6:42 am

    I think he will.

Aggravated because he objected to being railroaded and had the temerity to put up a defense.

This judge’s actions have gone beyond asking BLM between the lines “Please don’t burn my house down. I’m doing what you want.”

    daniel_ream in reply to georgfelis. | May 13, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Yes, I had earlier thought that this judge was playing both ends against the middle – cooking the trial to get a guilty verdict while leaving open so many grounds for appeal that it was a foregone conclusion. With this bollocks, I consign the judge to the level of hell reserved for Judas Iscariot.

Funny, that judge doesn’t look kangaroo-ish.

George_Kaplan | May 12, 2021 at 10:24 pm

This is an egregious abuse of authority by the judge. Using the pretext of ‘knee on the back of George Floyd’s neck’ as the basis of aggravated factors when even the prosecution effectively admitted that was a lie pushes this case ever further into the domain of political farce and showtrial.

Here’s hoping the appeal sees this verdict thrown out of court with prejudice!

“The prolonged nature of the asphyxiation was by itself particularly cruel”

This is an odd aggravating factor. Didn’t the medical evidence presented at trial show that Floyd wasn’t asphyxiated?

“In this case, Mr. Floyd’s drug intoxication did not render him particularly vulnerable compared to other victims of murder”

Of course it didn’t. To admit that is to admit an alternative theory of Floyd’s death.

for a short while, the monster will be sated with Chauvin

but very soon, it will need another juicy meal

cops are the new white meat

    TX-rifraph in reply to REDACTED. | May 13, 2021 at 7:53 am

    There are three more cops in the queue for the evil sacrifice. This is to bully them into plea deals as they have even less than nothing for evidence on them.

    NicolasLeFloch in reply to REDACTED. | May 13, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Yes, and the rest of the population that needs “rehabilitation” goes deep and wide.

    It will never end.

Johnny Weissmuller | May 13, 2021 at 12:11 am

So many lefties here in Minnesota, resistance is futile. I’m tying to minimize my time in Minneapolis & dollars spent there.

at least Jesus died for our actual sins

must be pretty shitty for Chauvin to be crucified for our perceived transgressions

Poor poor guy and I don’t mean GF, a thug in the first degree

I wonder if Chauvin would have a winnable case against the city. After all, everything he did was done in accordance with the training he’d received from the city. It was only with 20/20 hindsight that the city determined that the policies and procedures Chauvin had been taught to follow were so wrong that anyone following them could be charged with murder. Don’t those who put those policies and procedures in place, and then taught Chauvin to follow them, have some responsibility for the harm following their training has caused him and his family?

No surprise to anyone paying attention.

Were I Chauvin I would not have gone so quietly.

His brothers in arms, his union, the citizens of Minnesota, all are worthless.

texansamurai | May 13, 2021 at 9:40 am

am wondering what a man like kuntsler would have done about all this legal legerdemain–like him or not, he was fearless and outspoken

and what a disgrace the aclu have become–having discarded their charter and their founding principles, they, too, have lost their honor

texansamurai | May 13, 2021 at 9:51 am

apologies for misspelling his name–typed his name phonetically from memory

william moses kunstler

mea culpa

Now that the attorneys for the 3 other defendants know what they are in for, they are going to fight like hell against the political witch hunt. If they get a change of venue, Chauvin’s appeal gets stronger.

How could #4 be true if we still must(and we must!) presume the other 3 officers innocent?

Cahill is a hack who should be removed from the bench.

Will this all be thrown out because the juror lied to get on jury? And if that’s the case will the juror be charged with perjury? It would only be fair.

George Floyd had already been handcuffed
Although George Floyd was handcuffed, he had still been able to resist arrest
Seems those two counter each other, don’t they? At least in a rational reading of all of this.

Cahill has postponed all future trials in this matter based on the disclosure that Dr. Baker was coerced into changing his findings by prosecutors and their agents.

    AnAdultInDiapers in reply to paralegal. | May 13, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    The deferrals have been reported as being to allow the Federal charges to be pursued first, and to allow the hubbub following Chauvin’s stitch-up to die down a little first.

    I’ve not seen any statements that the allegations of coercion were a factor, let alone a material factor in the deferral.

Prosecutor Matthew Frank’s incredulous response to these new allegations.

Lucifer Morningstar | May 13, 2021 at 1:05 pm

And Chauvin was willing to enter into a plea deal but the then Attorney General, William Barr, rejected the plead deal because he was scared he would be accused of being too lenient.

Chauvin is a human sacrifice to the God of “woke”. I pity him. He was just doing his job. George Floyd died of a drug overdose while resisting arrest. Every decent cop should just quit over this verdict. A society that let this lynching happen does not deserve police protection.

    Barry in reply to mike6972. | May 13, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    “Every decent cop should just quit over this verdict.”

    None are quitting. Got the picture now?

    “A society that let this lynching happen does not deserve police protection.”

    The police do not protect society, they protect the criminal class from the rest of us. That is coming to an end.

      NicolasLeFloch in reply to Barry. | May 14, 2021 at 8:09 am

      Yes, this is the reality.

      Remember how quickly the other three cops with Chauvin turned on him?

      Chauvin is the sacrifice to protect other cops. And the system. And those who run it, and benefit from it.

      Say her name. Ashli Babbitt.

Elizabeth Warren, who was a law professor, recently condemned solitary confinement as torture. If Derek Chauvin is in solitary confinement for his safety from the retaliation of other inmates and must be held in solitary for 20 years, that would amount to 20 years of torture. Elizabeth Warren should testify to this at Cahuvin’s sentencing. If she truly believes solitary confinement is torture, that would apply to Chauvin as well as to immigrants in ICE custody. It would be powerful for Elizabeth Warren to do so.

Judge Finds “Aggravated Factors” For Enhancing Derek Chauvin’s Sentence

Breaking: Public finds aggravated factors for Judge’s rulings ad failure to disallow coerced medical testimony….

Ready the pitchforks!

Yup. “Aggravated factors” he pulled out of his back passage. What a joke.

Midfiaudiophile | May 18, 2021 at 1:30 am

I’d be surprised that the “Children were present” aggravating factor hasn’t been killed by the courts yet if it weren’t for the fact that I still haven’t lost my amazement over assault being able to be the predicating felony for Murder 2 felony murder charges.

It’s extremely vague and probably applicable 99% of the time.