Breaking News: Guilty on All Charges

Breaking News: Guilty on All Charges

Mia Paulson, Staff Writer/Editor

Derek Chauvin, former police officer, has been charged on all accounts regarding the death of George Floyd, which sparked riots throughout the nation. He was charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Let’s define these so that we understand what everything means. Unintentional second-degree murder, or “felony murder”, is charged when the accused commits an underlying felony and someone unintentionally dies. Third-degree murder is charged when there was an unintentional killing of another through an eminently dangerous act committed with a depraved mind and without regard for human life. The last charge of Derek Chauvin, second-degree manslaughter, or “culpable negligence”, is defined as the perpetrator knowingly risking causing the death or serious harm of another individual.

Verdict in Derek Chauvin case: WATCH LIVE | INFORUM

The prosecution took the stance that Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, and that he did it on purpose. They also claimed that George Floyd died as a direct result from Chauvin kneeling on him, leading to  low oxygen levels that caused a brain injury and arrhythmia. The defense of Chauvin claimed that Floyd’s death was actually caused by medical issues not induced by Chauvin, such as Floyd’s enlarged heart, fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system and possibly carbon monoxide from squad car exhaust. Ultimately, they tried to portray Chauvin as a “reasonable police officer” just acting in a stressful situation.

Judge Peter Cahill, who has been in law for over 40 years in multiple different positions, oversaw the trial. He ended the trial claiming that sentencing will be in eight weeks. Based on the state guidelines, because of Chauvin’s lack of criminal history, it is a recommended 12.5 years in jail for unintentional second-degree murder. However, the prosecution is pushing for up to 40 years because of the aggravating factors that occurred.