Derek Chauvin is being sentenced for the murder of George Floyd. Here's what to know.

Friday - 25/06/2021 08:08
Derek Chauvin: What happens next after his guilty conviction

Derek Chauvin: What happens next after his guilty conviction
Here's what happens now that Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all counts in the murder of George Floyd. Staff Video, USA TODAY

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison Friday after being found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
Chauvin has been in a maximum-security prison since a jury convicted him in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, nearly a year after Floyd died in police custody.

Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes last May as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death, which was captured on a widely seen video, sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

Minneapolis has been on edge since Floyd's death and the fatal police shootings of Daunte Wright during Chauvin's trial and Winston Smith Jr., a 32-year-old Black father of three, on June 3.

More:Chauvin faces up to 30 years in prison in Friday sentencing

Here's what you need to know about the sentencing of Derek Chauvin:

How to watch the sentencing of Derek Chauvin

The hearing at the Hennepin County Government Center, which is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. CT, will be broadcast by Court TV and USA TODAY will be livestreaming the proceedings.

The court is expected to hear statements from Floyd's family and loved ones, who will provide victim impact statements to the judge. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has also asked the public to submit community impact statements online. Chauvin will have the opportunity to speak. 

Longer sentence now possible in Floyd's death
A Minnesota judge has found aggravating factors in the death of George Floyd. The ruling paves the way for the possibility of a longer sentence for former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin. (May 12) / AP

How long will Derek Chauvin be in prison?

Although Chauvin was found guilty of three charges, he’ll only be sentenced on the most serious count because all the charges stem from one act, carried out against one person.

For first time-offenders who have committed second-degree murder, sentencing guidelines recommend 150 months or 12½ years in prison. Prosecutors asked that Chauvin be given a more severe prison sentence because of the aggravating factors in Floyd's death, including that Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer and the crime was committed in the presence of children.

Minnesota Judge Peter Cahill ruled last month there were four aggravating factors, which means Chauvin may face up to 30 years in prison. But Cahill could still sentence him to less. 

Defense attorney Eric Nelson opposed a tougher sentence, saying the state failed to prove the aggravating factors, among others, existed when Chauvin arrested Floyd on May 25, 2020. Nelson requested a new trial and a hearing to have the verdict impeached because of what he called jury misconduct.

Most legal observers think Chauvin will get substantial prison time that's near or at 30 years. If Cahill were to sentence Chauvin to anything above that, he risks having his decision reversed on appeal, experts told the Associated Press.

In another high-profile case in Minnesota, former officer Mohamed Noor was sentenced in 2019 to 12 1/2 years in prison after he was convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

No matter the sentence, a defendant on good behavior will likely serve two-thirds of the penalty in prison and the rest on supervised release called parole. Chauvin will also get credit for time served since he went to prison in April.

What are the charges against Derek Chauvin:Here's what the jury convicted the officer of

When will the other officers face trial?

Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao, the three former Minneapolis police officers accused of aiding and abetting in Floyd's death, will face trial in March

Documentary: Black community in Minneapolis, activists find peace after George Floyd
The Black community in Minneapolis, connected through trauma, is activated by the Derek Chauvin verdict in the ongoing battle for justice. Jarrad Henderson and Harrison Hill, USA TODAY

Federal indictment could add prison time

Meanwhile, a federal grand jury indicted Chauvin, Lane, Keung and Thao for violating Floyd's civil rights, which could add time to the sentences the former officers may face. Those charges accuse them of violating a federal law forbidding government officials from abusing their authority.

Chauvin faces another federal indictment stemming from a confrontation with a 14-year-old in 2017. 

Violating someone's civil rights is punishable "by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty," depending on the circumstances and injuries resulting from the crime, according to the Department of Justice. 

From April:These are some of the key moments leading up to the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict in George Floyd's death

Contributing: Tami Abdollah, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

Follow N'dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg


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