Jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts

by Peter Heck · Apr 20th, 2021 5:09 pm
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Last Updated Apr 21st, 2021 at 9:17 pm

Jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

The verdict came after less than a month of courtroom drama that included Chauvin pleading the fifth, choosing not to testify. The jury deliberated for nearly 10 hours over the course of two days.

For each of the three charges, the burden on the prosecution was to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Chauvin caused Floyd's death and that he used unreasonable force. It was not necessary that the state proved Chauvin's knee restraint of Floyd was the sole cause of death, but only that the officer's conduct presented a "substantial causal factor."

Each charge carries a different maximum sentence. For second-degree unintentional murder, Chauvin faces 40 years in prison, for third-degree murder he faces up to 25 years, and an additional 10 years could be added for second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin's sentencing will follow, but the guidelines in Minnesota say that for a person with no criminal history, each murder charge would bring a presumptive sentence of 12.5 years in prison, with an additional four years for manslaughter.

In recent days, several high-profile Democratic politicians have weighed in on the case. Despite Judge Peter Cahill requesting that authorities, politicians, and high-profile individuals avoid commenting publicly, President Joe Biden, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, all Democrats, expressed their desire for a guilty verdict.


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