The claim: Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 40 years in prison
On April 20, former Minneapolis police OfficerDerek Chauvin was found guilty of George Floyd’s murder, convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
This verdict comes almost a year after Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. The death of Floyd, who was unarmed, inspired nationwide protests and calls for racial justice and changes to policing.
As the world reacts to the verdict, some are getting ahead of themselves and promoting inaccurate claims about a sentence that has not yet been handed down.
“This Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, 45, who was charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd has been sentenced to 40 years behind bars,” claims an April 20 Facebook post.
Fact check: Minnesota police association covering Chauvin’s defense, not Trump
The poster did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
Judge to set sentence in 8 weeks
Minnesota Felony Sentencing Guidelines recommend a first-time offender, like Chauvin, spend 12½ years behind bars. But the prosecution is seeking a sentence as high as 30 years due to “aggravating factors.”
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill can either grant Chauvin a concurrent or consecutive sentence on the three charges. Concurrent sentences are served at the same time while consecutive sentences are served one charge after the other. A consecutive sentence, with the maximum imposed on each count, could run as long as 75 years.
According to the Associated Press, Minnesota defendants usually serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison before getting parole.
Fact check:Arrest video, autopsy contradict claim that George Floyd’s death was staged
Chauvin is being held without bail until he is sentenced in about eight weeks. When Cahill ended the proceeding, he said exact dates would come in an upcoming scheduling order. The scheduling order had not been uploaded to Minnesota Judicial Branch’s website.
Our rating: False
We rate the claim that Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd FALSE, based on our research. A jury did find Chauvin guilty on all counts, but the judge is not scheduled to decide sentencing until June.
Our fact-check sources:
- USA TODAY, April 20, “Derek Chauvin found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd: Updates”
- USA TODAY, April 20, “‘More work to be done’: Derek Chauvin murder conviction brings relief, resolve to keep fighting for justice in George Floyd’s name”
- Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission, Aug. 1, 2019, “MINNESOTA SENTENCING GUIDELINES AND COMMENTARY”
- USA TODAY, April 20, “Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder in George Floyd’s death. How much time in prison could he face?”
- BBC, April 21, “George Floyd: When will Derek Chauvin be sentenced?”
- Associated Press, April 21, “EXPLAINER: What next after Chauvin’s conviction on 3 counts?”
- YouTube, MPR News, April 20, “Chauvin guilty of murder, manslaughter in George Floyd’s killing”
- Minnesota Judicial Branch, accessed April 21, 27-CR-20-12646: State vs. Derek Chauvin
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