George Floyd’s killer avoids death penalty — Analysis

After a federal plea agreement, Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment. This is in addition to the possibility of being sentenced with capital punishment.

Derek Chauvin was the Minneapolis Police Officer who was convicted in the murder of George Floyd. This incident triggered riots throughout the US. He has been sentenced for federal civil rights violations to 21 years imprisonment.

US District Judge Paul Magnuson handed down the sentence on Thursday in St. Paul, Minnesota, ordering a prison term at the low end of the 20- to 25-year range in Chauvin’s plea-bargain agreement. The ex-cop will get credit for the time he’s already served in jail, meaning he will have 20 years and five months remaining on his federal sentence.

Chauvin, who was found guilty of manslaughter and murder in state court last year was sentenced for 22 years. He will serve his state and federal sentences concurrently, meaning he won’t have to start over on one after finishing the other.

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In December last year, Chauvin, a 19-year Minneapolis Police Department veteran, pleaded guilty under penalty of perjury to civil rights. Magnuson approved the plea deal in May, ensuring that Chauvin wouldn’t be at risk of receiving the death penalty, the maximum sentence possible if he had been convicted at trial.

Chauvin (46) agreed to plead guilty on the condition that his sentence would be served in a federal prison rather than in a state penitentiary. He will be held in prison for at most 17 years. However, he would have been eligible to receive parole from a state prison in no less than 15 years. Federal prisons are generally safer than state prisons and have fewer inmates.

Chauvin kneeled on the back of Floyd’s neck with the suspect pinned to the pavement for more than nine minutes during a May 2020 arrest that was caught on video. This incident led to Black Lives Matter protests that left dozens dead, and caused billions in property damage.

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Members of Floyd’s family had urged Magnuson to give Chauvin the maximum sentence of 25 years. During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Chauvin said he wished “all the best” for Floyd’s children, but he stopped short of apologizing. He only spoke for less then two minutes, and offered no explanation.



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