Saturday, March 25, 2023

Judge overseeing Derek Chauvin civil rights case accepts plea deal

Judge Overseeing Derek Chauvin Civil Rights Case Accepts Plea Deal

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin addresses court as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over his sentencing in Minneapolis on June 25, 2021.The Associated Press

The judge overseeing the federal civil rights cases of four former Minneapolis police officers in the murder of George Floyd said Wednesday that he has accepted the terms of Derek Chauvin’s plea agreement and sentenced him to 20 to 25 years in prison. Will go

Mr Chauvin pleaded guilty to violating Mr Floyd’s civil rights on 15 December, admitting for the first time that he had put his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck – even after he was unresponsive – resulting in a black man on May 25, 2020. The person died. The former white officer admitted that he deliberately denied Mr Floyd his right to be freed from unreasonable seizure, including undue force, by a police officer.

Under the plea agreement, which Mr Chauvin signed, both sides agreed that Mr Chauvin should face a sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years, with prosecutors saying they would seek 25. He could face life in prison on the federal count. With credit for good times in the federal system, he would serve 17 years to 21 years and three months behind bars.

US District Judge Paul Magnussen deferred accepting the settlement until a presentation inquiry was completed. He said in a one-page order on Wednesday that the report had been released, so it was appropriate to accept the deal now. He has not set a sentencing date for Mr Chauvin.

Mr Chauvin is already serving 22½ years in prison for his murder conviction in a state court last year, although he is appealing against that sentence. He will serve a state sentence as well as a federal sentence.

The federal plea deal means Mr Chauvin will probably spend more time in prison than under his state sentence. State inmates in Minnesota typically serve one-third of their sentences on parole, which would mean 15 years in prison for them.

If Justice Magnusson accepted the plea agreement, Mr Chauvin waived his right to challenge his federal conviction.

Justice Magnusson also did not set sentencing dates for the three other former officers who were indicted in February on related federal civil rights charges. The presence of Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and Jay Alexander Kueng is still under investigation. He is due to go to trial in state court next month on charges of aiding and abetting Mr. Chauvin in the murder of Mr. Floyd.

Prosecutors revealed at a pre-trial hearing last month that all three had rejected plea agreements on state charges. Terms were not disclosed. Mr Lane’s lawyer Earl Gray said it was difficult for the defense to negotiate when the three still did not know what their federal sentences would be.

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