Crime

Appeals court upholds Derek Chauvin's sentencing

The appeals court found Chauvin's original case was handled correctly despite significant media attention.

Appeals court upholds Derek Chauvin's sentencing
Derek Chauvin in court.
Court TV / AP
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The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld Derek Chauvin's conviction for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd in 2020.

The former Minneapolis police officer will serve the 22 1/2-year sentence he was originally given.

In 2021 Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin to more than the recommended 12.5 years because Chauvin occupied a position of authority as a police officer, and because he demonstrated particular cruelty in the killing.

Chauvin's attorney appealed the verdict and asked for the charges to be removed because of the publicity surrounding the case, and because of procedural errors that affected the possibility of a fair trial. One juror in the case had participated in a civil rights gathering commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr., and did not disclose that participation until after Chauvin's trial had concluded.

But the appeals court found the lower court was appropriately cautious and thorough in hearing the case and handling the jury, despite the media attention.

Chauvin Gets 21 Years For Violating Floyd’s Civil Rights
Chauvin Gets 21 Years For Violating Floyd’s Civil Rights

Chauvin Gets 21 Years For Violating Floyd’s Civil Rights

The judge's sentence was at the low end of the 20 to 25 years called for in a plea agreement.

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Chauvin still may serve only a portion of the sentence, depending on whether he shows good behavior during incarceration.

Separately, Chauvin was sentenced in federal court in 2022 to 252 months plus time served for violating the civil rights of Floyd and a then-14-year-old victim. The Justice Department held that Chauvin used unreasonable force against Floyd and against the other victim.