In April, a jury found Chauvin, a white man, guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes while Floyd, a Black man, was handcuffed, laying face down on the pavement and saying he could not breathe.
Chauvin is now facing decades in prison with some experts predicting he will be sentenced to 20 to 25 years.
Chauvin will only be sentenced on the most serious charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, due to Minnesota statutes. Case law dictates that a 30-year sentence would be the practical maximum sentence Judge Peter Cahill could administer without risk of being overturned on appeal.
However, Cahill ruled in May that there are aggravating factors in this case, which would allow him to go above the state’s sentencing guidelines.
Officials say it is highly likely that Chauvin will appeal whatever sentence he is given.
Floyd’s family members are expected to speak during the sentencing Friday.
Family attorney Ben Crump told the Associated Press that he hopes Judge Cahill orders a sentence higher than most second-degree murder sentences.
“There was nothing typical about what Derek Chauvin did in torturing George Floyd to death,” Crump said. “So we don’t expect it to be a typical sentence. It needs to be a sentence that sets a new precedent for holding police officers accountable for the unjustifiable killings of Black people in America.”