Ruling paves way for longer sentence for Derek Chauvin

Statutes in Minnesota, per the Associated Press, require that Chauvin be sentenced on only the most serious of the charges, with state guidelines showing he could have been sentenced to up to 15 years.

Along with Lane, the former officers also face charges that they showed "deliberate indifference" to Floyd's suffering, by failing to provide medical care.

Chauvin's attorney last week asked for a new trial, arguing that the conviction was tainted by prosecutorial and jury misconduct and errors of law at trial.

It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that Chauvin used unreasonable force in restraining Floyd on the ground outside Cup Foods, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill ruled in a May 11 order made public on Wednesday, citing how jurors convicted Chauvin of three counts, including second-degree murder.

Chauvin is scheduled to be sentence on 25 June.

Chauvin, who is white, was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd's neck for about 9 1/2 minutes as the Black man said he couldn't breathe and went motionless.

A jury found Chauvin, 45, guilty of second and third-degree murder and manslaughter after hearing three weeks of testimony in a highly publicized trial.

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"The slow death of George Floyd occurring over approximately six minutes of his positional asphyxia was particularly cruel in that Mr. Floyd was begging for his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die but during which the defendant objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd's pleas", the judge wrote.

Another aggravating factor, the judge said, was that children were present and "observed Mr. Floyd being asphyxiated as he begged for his life".

It was unknown when Cahill would rule on that motion.

With Tuesday's ruling, Cahill has given himself permission to sentence Chauvin above the guideline range, though he doesn't have to, said Mark Osler, professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. In this case, state prosecutors recommended a harsher sentence due to the nature of the case.

Prosecutors on April 30 asked Cahill to consider several aggravating circumstances in Floyd's death so that he could make "an upward sentencing departure" in the case.

Mr Cahill disagreed with prosecutor's fifth point, which was that Mr Floyd was a "particularly vulnerable victim".

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