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Thursday, April 28, 2022 – One year after he was convicted of murdering George Floyd, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has filed an appeal to ask a judge to overturn the jury’s verdict and reduce his sentence.
Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was then sentenced last June to 22 and half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.
He is now asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to take one of three actions: toss his conviction and send his case back to Hennepin County; reverse the result and order a new trial in a new venue; or order Chauvin to be sentenced to a lesser punishment.
Chauvin’s legal team filed its brief with the court on Monday, May 25.
In court documents filed this week, Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrman, laid out a number of challenges to his conviction, including a long-held insistence that Cahill should have moved the trial to another venue because of massive press coverage.
Mohrman also said witnesses weren’t properly handled and jurors were intimidated by protests and security measures. He also alleges that prosecutorial misconduct and other factors prevented Chauvin from getting a fair trial in the closely watched case.
Chauvin’s punishment exceeded the state’s minimum guidelines but fell short of the 30-year sentence prosecutors had been seeking. Chauvin’s attorneys say Cahill didn’t apply the sentencing guidelines correctly. They argue, for instance, that the judge shouldn’t have included abuse of a position of authority as an aggravating factor in Floyd’s murder.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office has 45 days to respond to Chauvin’s brief.