Nearly a week has passed since Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd last May. In the days since the conviction, Ma'Khia Bryant, Andrew Brown and several others have been killed by police. Also, thousands gathered in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota to celebrate the life of Daunte Wright, the young man who was killed by Kim Potter days before Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter. With all of this going on, the nation continues to have conversations about the intersection of state violence and race. Recently, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sat down for an interview with Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes.
Keith Ellison was the lead prosecutor in the state of Minnesota's case against Derek Chauvin. Leading the charge, Ellison had his own doubts about the trial and says that he was "never convinced" that they could get a guilty verdict. His hard work paid off as the state secured a conviction, but he felt mixed emotions as the verdict was handed down.
"When you first heard the word 'guilty,' you thought what?" Pelley asked.
"I spent 16 years as a criminal defense lawyer. So, I will admit, I felt a little bad for the defendant. I think he deserved to be convicted. But he's a human being," he answered.
As Chauvin awaits his sentencing, Ellison hopes that Judge Peter Cahill does not come down too "heavy" on the convicted killer. Instead, he hopes that Chauvin's sentence is "tailored" to the crime he was convicted of.
"It is important for the Court to not go light or heavy," Ellison told Pelley.
"The sentence should be tailored to the offense, tailored to the circumstances of the case. The state never wanted revenge against Derek Chauvin. We just wanted accountability."
Chauvin is currently being held in custody as he awaits a sentencing hearing in June. He faces up to 40 years in prison.
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