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Derek Chauvin appeals murder conviction

Former police officer Derek Chauvin listens to verdicts at his trial at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, on April 20, 2021. Associated Press/Photo by Court TV

Derek Chauvin appeals murder conviction

In an 82-page file, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin asked the state Court of Appeals to either reverse his conviction, allow a new trial, or resentence him. Last June, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Derek Chauvin to 22 ½ years imprisonment on murder and manslaughter charges for restraining George Floyd and causing his death during an arrest attempt in May 2020. Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests. 

What are the grounds for the appeal? Chauvin’s attorneys have three main complaints about the first trial: it was held in the same county as the crime, the jury admitted to feeling scared if they acquitted Chauvin, and the sentence exceeded state limits of 15 years. Attorney William Mohrman said negative media coverage and news about the city’s multimillion-dollar settlement in the case swayed the jury. The judge previously said sequestering jurors or relocating the trial would not escape pervasive media coverage and that he sentenced Chauvin more harshly because of the egregiousness of the crime. Chauvin pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges in December but has not been sentenced. That plea deal allowed any time he served in state prison to count toward his federal sentence.

Dig deeper: Read Addie Michaelian’s report in Compassion about police departments struggling to recruit new officers.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a WORLD reporter and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College. She resides in Washington, D.C.


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