The Associated Press
Updated: June 24, 2021 12:19 PM
Created: June 24, 2021 12:11 PM
The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd will be sentenced Friday by a Minnesota judge.
Forty-five-year-old Derek Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Under Minnesota statutes, he'll be sentenced on the most serious charge.
The maximum is 40 years, but legal experts say the more practical maximum is 30 because more time risks being overturned on appeal.
"I think the probability is that he will get the 30 years," said Mary Moriarty, former Hennepin County chief public defender. "And I say that based on what the judge wrote in his order when he found aggravating factors about the abuse of trust and about the particular cruelty here."
WATCH: Friday's sentencing hearing, scheduled for 1:30 p.m., will be carried live on WDIO-TV and WDIO's online platforms.
Prosecutors are asking for 30, while defense attorney Eric Nelson asked for probation. Floyd's family members can speak but haven't said if they will. Chauvin can speak, too, but doing so may be tricky since he still faces a federal trial.
Residents of Minneapolis are anxiously awaiting Chauvin's sentencing.
"There's this part of me that always – that just really thinks that maybe he might not get that harsh of a sentence, you know," said Tayo Daniel, a Minneapolis activist. "What should he get, you know? I think he should receive the same punishment many of my brothers and sisters have received."
Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for about 9 1/2 minutes as he pleaded for air.
For those who believe the verdict was the key moment in the Chauvin case, P.J. Hill, vice president of the Minneapolis NAACP, says to think again.
"I think a lot of people say, 'Oh, OK, he's guilty.' But the sentencing means something, like, because that's what they use to set precedence for a lot of other trials. So, you know, this sentence is important," Hill told The Associated Press.
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