He “respectfully requests that this Court grant his motion for a mitigated dispositional departure or, in the alternative, a downward durational departure.”
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin filed a motion asking him to sentence him to time served plus probation or less time than what the state requests.
A jury convicted Chauvin of second-degree murder, along with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, in the death of George Floyd.
A presentencing investigation (PSI) was completed, and the officer who conducted the PSI concluded that Mr. Chauvin’s criminal history score is zero. Because all three crimes of conviction arose from the same behavioral incident, they merge, and the Court must pronounce a sentence only on the highest-level offense, which, in this case, is second-degree, unintentional felony murder. The sentencing range for this offense is 128 months to 180 months, with a presumptive duration of 150 months. (See, e.g., Sentencing Worksheet). Any sentence outside the guidelines range would be considered a departure.
Mr. Chauvin asks the Court to look beyond its findings, to his background, his lack of criminal history, his amenability to probation, to the unusual facts of this case, and to his being a product of a “broken” system. Mr. Chauvin respectfully requests that this Court grant his motion for a mitigated dispositional departure or, in the alternative, a downward durational departure.
Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, claims the judge should consider Chauvin’s age since officers have a “generally shorter” lifespan. They also “have a significantly higher probability of death from specific diseases than did males in the general population.”
“Mr. Chauvin is now forty-four years old and is nearing the healthier years of his life,” wrote Nelson. “He has been preliminarily diagnosed with heart damage and may likely die at a younger age like many ex-law enforcement officers.”
Nelson also pointed out that the conviction increases “the likelihood of him becoming a target in prison.”
Cahill found Chauvin eligible due to these factors:
- Abused a position of trust and authority
- Treated George Floyd with particular cruelty
- Children were present
- Committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least other persons
Chauvin can get up to 40 years on the second-degree murder charge. However, Minnesota’s “state sentencing grid recommends 150 months (12.5 years) for a man with Chauvin’s past.”
The prosecutors want Chauvin sentenced to 30 years:
The Minnesota Supreme Court has made clear that where one or more aggravating factors are present, the district court can impose a sentence up to “double the upper limit of the presumptive range.” Id. at 275. Here, the existence of four separate aggravating factors reflects the seriousness of Defendant’s conduct. The severity of several of these aggravating factors—this Court found that Defendant’s abuse of his position of trust and authority was “egregious,” and that multiple aspects of Defendant’s conduct were “particularly cruel,” Sentencing Findings of Fact 3-4—reflects the extreme nature of Defendant’s conduct. And each of these aggravating factors reinforce and exacerbate the severity of the others: It is especially serious, for example, when a defendant’s abuse of authority or particular cruelty is witnessed by children, as it was in this case. The four separate aggravating factors therefore strongly support a sentence “double the upper limit of the presumptive range.” Barthman, 938 N.W.2d at 275.
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