Derek Chauvin pled guilty today to federal civil rights charges for violating the civil rights of George Floyd by murdering him. By pleading guilty Chauvin admitted that kneeling on someone's neck for 9 1/2 minutes is a civil rights violation. He also admitted to violating the civil rights of a 14 year old boy in separate 2017 incident. The guilty plea appears to be a self serving effort to avoid a life sentence. Federal prosecutors said that they will seek a sentence of 20-25 years due to where Chauvin will fall on the United States Sentencing Guidelines (USSG) table after receiving a point deduction for acceptance of responsibility. However, United States District Judge Paul Magnuson could still give Chauvin a life sentence because the USSG is discretionary.
According to media reports, Chauvin's recommended sentence according to the USSG is 27-33 years after reducing his offense level for acceptance of responsibility due to his guilty plea. We talked about possible sentences before (https://copblaster.com/blast/35534/what-sentences-derek-chauvin-et-al-face-in-federal-court) and it looks like upward departures were agreed upon between the parties. Chauvin pled guilty to violating 18 U.S.C. 242 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/242) for depriving George Floyd of his rights under color of law.
The statue Chauvin violated is a broad statue that covers a wide range of conduct, so usually people don't face as much time as Chauvin's facing for violating that statute and upward departures authorized by chapters 3 and 4 don't usually increase someone's guidelines sentence that much. In addition to the point adjustments in chapters 3 and 4, the USSG has policy statements recommending upward departures under certain circumstances. The USSG recommends significant upward departures in cases resulting in death (Policy Statement 5K2.1.). Policy Statement 5K2.4. encourages upward departures in cases involving unlawful restraint. Policy Statement 5K2.8. allows for upward departures in cases involving extreme conduct. Clearly the USSG has many justifications for giving Chauvin a life or death sentence should Judge Paul Magnuson choose to use his discretion. In our opinion he should fry the pig, turn him into bacon, and serve George Floyd's family BLTs.
To learn more watch the video below.