In April, Chauvin was found guilty on all charges – second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin, 45, could be paroled, with good behavior, after serving about 15 years of his sentence, according to the Associated Press.
Before Friday’s sentencing, Chauvin’s requested a new trial, which was rejected. Judge Peter Cahill determined Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, failed to show that Chauvin lacked the right to a fair trial.
Forty-six year old Floyd, a Black man, died in Minneapolis after Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Police had been called to the area after Floyd allegedly used a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a convenience store. Following Floyd’s death, protests and civil unrest broke out in Minneapolis and across the nation, over police brutality.
In spring 2021, a jury listened to three weeks of evidence, including emotional testimony, numerous angles of surveillance videos, and statements from medical experts. Then, after spending less than two days deliberating, the jury brought forward the guilty verdicts.
While Chauvin was convicted of multiple charges, he is only be sentenced for the most serious one — second-degree murder, under Minnesota statutes.
Minnesota has sentencing guidelines that were created to establish rational, consistent sentences and ensure sentences are neutral without considering factors such as race or gender. The guidelines say that even though they are advisory, presumptive sentences “are deemed appropriate” and judges should only depart from them when “substantial and compelling circumstances can be identified and articulated.”
For second-degree unintentional murder, guidelines say the presumptive sentence for someone with no criminal record like Chauvin would be 12 1/2 years. Judges can sentence someone to as little as 10 years and eight months or as much as 15 years and still be within the advisory guideline range.
But in this case, prosecutors sought a sentence that goes above the guideline range, called an “upward departure.” They cited several aggravating factors, including that Floyd was particularly vulnerable, that Chauvin was a uniformed officer acting in a position of authority, and that his crime was witnessed by multiple children — including a 9-year-old girl who testified that watching the restraint made her “sad and kind of mad.”