The final arguments in the trial against the former police officer accused of killing George Floyd began this Monday in a court in Minneapolis (Minnesota), a city in which the former agent Derek Chauvin He allegedly suffocated the African-American with his knee until his death in May 2020.
After hearing the latest arguments from the Prosecutor’s Office and the defense, the members of the jury will isolate themselves and lock themselves in a hotel to review all the evidence presented at the trial and reach a unanimous sentence on each of the three charges that he faces. Chauvin.
The ex-agent is charged with the crimes of murder in the second degree, punishable by up to 40 years in prison; murder in the third degree, with a maximum sentence of 25 years, and murder in the second degree, which carries up to 10 years of deprivation of liberty.
However, as he has no criminal record, he could only be sentenced to a maximum of 12 and a half years in prison for the first two charges and 4 years in prison for the third.
Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
What exactly are these charges?
SECOND GRADE MURDER
Second degree murder in the US can occur in two scenarios: when the defendant intentionally kills someone, but without premeditation, or when there is no intention, but violence is used to commit the crime.
In his closing arguments, prosecutor Steve Schleicher argued that Chauvin He is guilty of this charge because he “assaulted Floyd, intentionally used unlawful force, and inflicted substantial bodily harm,” which resulted in his death.
According to the evidence presented by the Minnesota District Attorney’s Office, Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, allegedly causing his death by suffocation.
Elements on the trial for the death of George Floyd. (SOPHIE RAMIS, GAL ROMA / AFP).
MURDER IN THE THIRD DEGREE
The third degree murder charge requires the death to occur unintentionally, without premeditation, but due to irresponsible or reckless action, as occurs in many traffic accidents in which a pedestrian is killed.
For prosecutors, Chauvin acted recklessly towards human life by placing his knee on the neck of Floyd for several minutes, despite the African-American man repeatedly claiming that he could not breathe.
“The accused caused the death of Floyd for an intentional act that was eminently dangerous to other people and he acted with a state of mind that consisted of an indifferent disregard for human life, ”stressed Schleicher.
HOMICIDE IN THE SECOND GRADE
So that Chauvin is convicted of second degree murder, the jury must decide that Floyd’s death occurred as a result of the negligence of the former police officer.
“The accused caused the death of Floyd, for negligent negligence, since it created an unreasonable risk and risked in a notorious way to cause death or great bodily harm, ”argued Schleicher.