George Floyd Prosecutor In Derek Chauvin Case Begs Judge For Leniency In Sentencing Killer Cop

 The lead prosecutor in the Derek Chauvin trial says he felt bad for the police officer as the guilty verdicts in the George Floyd murder trial were delivered.  


Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told 60 Minutes host Scott Pelley his initial reaction upon hearing the guilty verdict was 'gratitude, humility', followed by sympathy for the defendant.     

'I will admit, I felt a little bad for the defendant,' Ellison told the CBS current affairs show. 

'I think he deserved to be convicted. But he's a human being.' 

Ellison told 60 Minutes that his 16 years as a defense attorney led him to try to feel compassionate for defendants.

'I'm not in any way wavering from my responsibility. But I hope we never forget that people who are defendants in our criminal justice system, that they're human beings. They're people. I mean, George Floyd was a human being. And so I'm not going to ever forget that everybody in this process is a person.'   

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter at the conclusion of the three week trial.

He faces a maximum term of 40 years in prison and minimum 12.5 years when he is sentenced on June 16. 

But when asked for his opinion on an appropriate custodial punishment, Ellison said he didn't want to see a heavy sentence meted out to Chauvin. 

'I think it is important for the court to not go light or heavy. I don't know if it's right for a judge to send a message through a sentence because the sentence should be tailored to the offense, tailored to the circumstances of the case,' Ellison told 60 Minutes. 

'Look, the State never wanted revenge against Derek Chauvin. We just wanted accountability.'

Ellison also told CBS's flagship current affairs show that there no evidence to suggest Floyd's death constituted a racist hate crime. 

'I wouldn't call it that because hate crimes are crimes where there's an explicit motive and of bias,' he told 60 Minutes. 

Hate crimes would typically involve the use of racist language, Ellison said. 

'We don't have any evidence that Derek Chauvin factored in George Floyd's race as he did what he did.'

To bring a race hate charge would have required evidence to show Chauvin targeted Floyd because of his race.  

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