Chauvin's sentencing 'enhancements'

When Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder against habitual criminal George Floyd, triggering the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020, there was an uncomfortable sense that the whole trial that followed was a matter of mob justice. To be sure, something appeared to be wrong in the incident, given that Floyd died in his custody, but other factors suggested a less than fair trial, nonetheless. As one commentator noted on PowerLine Blog yesterday: "There are things I really don't like--fighting the case out in the press, threatening riots unless Chauvin was convicted as charged, finding him guilty of two mutually exclusive crimes done in the same act, doctors all but ignoring the drugs in his system, and a lot more..." None of that promotes a fair trial, even if the defendant clearly has done something that appears wrong.

The presence of a Black Lives Matter activist on the jury, who apparently lied about his conflicts of interest to get chosen for it, suggests even more of a whiff of leftist mob justice with a kangaroo trial.

Now the mob seems to be insatiable. According to Scott Johnson at Power Line:

Having been convicted of second-degree murder at trial for the death of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin is subject to a presumptive sentence of 12 and 1/2 years under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. Prosecutors moved for an aggravated sentence in the case based on five so-called Blakley factors and applicable Minnesota law. Sentencing is scheduled for June 25.

Chauvin chose to submit the required findings of fact to Judge Cahill in place of, or rather than, the jury. The court has just posted Judge Cahill’s findings here. In his findings Judge Cahill adopts four of the five grounds urged by the prosecutors for aggravation of Chauvin’s sentence. He makes each of his four findings beyond a reasonable doubt. He rejects the fifth proposed finding.

The findings are based on the evidence at trial, the facts the jury must have found to convict Chauvin, and on the verdict itself. By the time we reach finding 4 — “Defendant committed the crime as a group [sic] with the active participation of three other persons” — they take on an absurd quality.

All public filings in the case are accessible via the court page dedicated to the case here

Which appears to be overkill, a response to a mob, which cannot be satisfied, from a cowardly judge.

Johnson, who is a very experienced and even-tempered attorney himself, finds some of the judge's logic "absurd," which is important enough, though he cautions that the judge hasn't signaled that this is how he will actually rule when he sentences Chauvin in late June. The logic, though, is a problem, apparently Minnesota's seemingly lenient laws suddenly aren't enough now -- ten years is insufficient -- but only for Chauvin.

Combine that with the fact that Chauvin apparently has to serve his entire sentence in solitary confinement -- even at ten years, but now looking at 30 years -- is already an enhanced punishment, even at the unenhanced sentencing rates which had been there formerly. That's known as punishment time, the box, and something which other prisoners, convicted of far more horrible crimes for personal benefit, don't get unless they do something terrible on the inside, and they do anything they can while on the inside, not to get. In Chauvin's case, it's only being meted out because the jailers cannot control their charges. That's their failure, not Chauvin's, but he pays for it.

Solitary confinement has been branded 'torture' by Amnesty International, particularly when extended, and has been known to drive people insane. In numerous cases, it's been argued in court to be "cruel and unusual punishment." They're proposing 30 years of this? It doesn't sound like a matter of the punishment fitting the crime, particularly given the flyweight sentences for far more damaging and malevolent crimes that other criminals are serving inside the Minnesota prison system. There's also the leftist move, bankrolled by the likes of George Soros, to get district attorneys elected who let them all off no matter what they've done -- just ask San Francisco's son-of-terrorists D.A. Chesa Boudin. 

Chauvin seems to be special.

This can be called a lot of things, but impartial justice doesn't seem to be one of them. Mobs are never satisfied.

Image: Pixabay / Pixabay License 

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