Crowds were gathered outside of the Minneapolis courthouse; where the George Floyd murder trial was occurring on Monday, awaiting a ruling. There was concern that Derek Chauvin would be found innocent; because of the defense lawyer Eric Nelson’s excellent closing argument in the case.
However, the jury ruled that Derek Chauvin was guilty on all three charges in the trial. As soon as the news was announced; the crowd in Minneapolis erupted with cries of joy because they believed justice had finally been served.
Even though Derek Chauvin has been found guilty, this case is not over. Derek Chauvin and his defense team will likely appeal the decision. Outside factors give Derek Chauvin a chance to win an appeal trial; but this is not likely, considering the jury charged him for both counts of murder and manslaughter.
The case was one of the most closely watched trials of all time. People were drawn to the news since last year when the killing occurred. There have also been countless rallies, protests, and riots that have resulted from Floyd’s killing.
People are calling for police reform; and bills are being pushed through Congress to make a change to the criminal justice system in the United States.
Derek Chauvin, who is 45 years old, was charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The jury did not take a long time to determine Chauvin’s fate.
Unintentional second-degree murder is when a person causes death without intent while committing a felony. Third-degree murder is causing death to a depraved mind without regard for their life. There is no intent to cause death with this charge as well.
Chauvin’s final charge, second-degree manslaughter, is causing death by culpable negligence. The defendant consciously takes a risk to cause death without intent.
Chauvin’s face was hidden behind a surgical mask when Judge Peter Cahill announced the jury’s decision. The jury has been through a lot since the trial started; and Cahill thanked them for their service to the nation.
When the jury was dismissed, Derek Chauvin was taken into custody. One of Cahill’s final words was regarding sentencing, which will take place in eight weeks.
The Potential Punishment for Derek Chauvin
Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines for unintentional second-degree murder is 12.5 years if a person does not have a criminal record. Although, there is a chance that Chauvin could face the maximum punishment; which is 40 years if Cahill feels that he deserves this sentence.
The jury was not shown on television for safety purposes, but a reporter in the courtroom revealed that they did not show emotion when the verdict was announced. The group only took ten hours to decide on Chauvin’s charges.
Floyd’s family was visibly happy when Derek Chauvin was charged on all three counts. Philonise Floyd spoke to reporters immediately after the trial. She was seen praying in the courtroom during the final moments of the case/
She was asked why she was praying, and she responded by saying; “I was just praying they would find him guilty. As an African American, we usually never get justice.”