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Minnesota AG: Court should 'not go light or heavy' on Chauvin sentencing

Minnesota Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith EllisonMinneosta AG's office to prosecute case against officer charged in killing of Daunte Wright State trial for former officers charged in George Floyd's death moved to next year Lawyer for former officer charged in George Floyd death alleges witness coercion MORE said Sunday he things “it is important for the court to not go light or heavy” when sentencing former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

In an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday, CBS’s Scott Pelley asked Ellison what kind of message a maximum sentence would send. Ellison did not answer the question, instead telling Pelley that he thinks a sentence should be tailored to the "offense" and "circumstances" of the case.

“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 continued.

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He added that the state “never wanted revenge against Derek Chauvin,” but instead “just wanted accountability.”

Ellison’s comments come nearly one week after a jury found Chauvin guilty of three criminal charges brought against him in the death of George Floyd: second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Ellison's office took over the case from the county prosecutor's office.

Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16. He trial spanned three weeks and concluded with 10 hours of jury deliberation.

He awaits sentencing at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, a maximum security prison.

Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

The former police officer was captured on video footage in May 2020 kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes outside a local convenience store.

Floyd was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests during the summer of 2020, with demonstrations advocating for police reform and racial justice.