Chauvin Sentencing and Lesser-Includeds
No, he can't get up to 75 years.
I am seeing a lot of reports along the lines suggested in the idiotic graphic from CNN that sits atop this post. But it’s important that, while Derek Chauvin was convicted of Second-Degree and Third-Degree Murder and Second-Degree Manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, they’re stacked versions of the same crime. He’ll be sentenced for each of them as though they were separate offenses, mostly in case an appeal overturns, say, the Murder Two conviction. But he’ll serve them concurrently.
One has to read deep into the CNN story to get that understanding:
Chauvin will be sentenced in about eight weeks — so, around the second week of June — Judge Peter Cahill said Tuesday, with a precise date to be announced.
Although Chauvin had been out on bail since October, Cahill revoked Chauvin’s bail after the verdict. Chauvin will now await sentencing while behind bars.
Chauvin’s sentence will depend on several factors, including the state’s sentencing guidelines, and whether the judge decides to go beyond the guidelines because of certain circumstances.Technically, Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to 10 years for manslaughter.
However, Chauvin has no prior criminal record. The state’s guidelines say that for such a person, the presumptive sentence for both second-degree and third-degree murder is 12 1/2 years. The judge is given discretion to hand down a sentence between 10 years and eight months and 15 years for each.
Second-degree manslaughter carries a presumptive sentence of four years for someone with no record, according to the guidelines. The judge’s discretion ranges from three years and five months to four years and eight months.
However, prosecutors are asking for a tougher sentence than the recommendations provide.
In two filings last year, prosecutors said five aggravating factors warrant an increased sentence. Those factors include that Floyd was particularly vulnerable, that he was treated with particular cruelty, and that children were present when the crimes were committed. If the judge applies aggravating factors, it would shift Chauvin’s sentence to a higher part of the legal range. The sentences for all three crimes would likely be served at the same time, not consecutively. “Generally, when an offender is convicted of multiple current offenses… concurrent sentencing is presumptive,” according to the guidelines.
Even that understates the matter. Chauvin committed a single crime. Prosecutors charged him with every version of the crime consistent with the facts but they’re lesser-included offenses, not current offenses.