It’s a ten-year upward departure from the state’s sentencing guidelines for the crime of second degree murder. The victim impact statements were fucking heartbreaking and incredibly moving, especially the appearance of Floyd’s 7 year old daughter Gianna, who spoke via video link. It’s just a fact that there can never be any real justice for her. Floyd’s brother just aches to understand why. I don’t think he will ever get any kind of answer either, at least not a satisfactory one.
The judge said the upward sentencing departure was based on four aggravating factors, one of which was cruelty. No one who has seen the video of Floyd’s murder could deny that. Nevertheless, the defense argued for a sentence of “probation and time served.” And Chauvin’s mother got up there to proclaim Chauvin’s innocence, and assured her son that many other people believe in his innocence, too. That the Floyd family sat quietly through all of that is a testament to their extraordinary strength of character. I’m sure I couldn’t do it.
Now the world will bear witness to Chauvin’s endless appeals, as well as the additional trial on federal charges. I will be paying attention, because George Floyd matters.