He expresses sympathy for "the defendant" & says of the sentencing phase, "It's important for us to act justly not vindictively."
The guilty verdict has been handed down in Derek Chauvin's murder case and now the public awaits his sentencing. The world will have to wait until June 16 to learn Chauvin's prison fate, but the lead prosecutor in his case is hoping that the disgraced officer doesn't receive a sentence that doesn't fit his charges. Minnesota Attorney-General Keith Ellison recently sat down with 60 Minutes to discuss the murder of Geroge Floyd and the subsequent trial against former officer Chauvin.
During the conversation, Ellison shared that he is grateful for how things turned out but showed sympathy for Chauvin.
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He was asked what his first thoughts were when he learned of the verdict. "Gratitude. Humility followed by a certain sense of, I'll say, satisfaction," he said. "I spent sixteen 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."
The host was surprised to hear "a note of compassion" from Ellison for Chauvin. "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."
In a separate interview with TODAY, Ellison stated, "It is important for us to act justly not vindictively," when speaking about Chauvin's sentencing. Ellison expressed that he hoped the judge wouldn't hand down a heavy sentence that didn't match the conviction in order to make an example out of Chauvin.
Watch the feature from 60 Minutes as well as the interview with TODAY below.