Minnesota AG Keith Ellison Pushing For A Tougher Prison Sentence For Derek Chauvin

Minnesota AG Keith Ellison Pushing For A Tougher Prison Sentence For Derek Chauvin

FILE PHOTO: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin stands after a jury finds him guilty of all charges in his trial for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. April 20, 2021 in a still image from video. Pool via REUTERS



May 01, 2021

10:07 PM ET

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is advocating for a harsher prison sentence for Derek Chauvin, the former Minnesota police officer recently convicted for the murder of George Floyd, the Washington Post reported.

Court documents filed on Friday reveal Ellison’s insistence on a harsher punishment emphasizing that the evidence from the trial of Chauvin’s actions against Floyd support “aggravating factors” that justify a harsher sentence.

“The facts proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial demonstrate that five aggravating factors support an upward sentencing departure,” Ellison wrote.

“Mr. Floyd was treated with particular cruelty,” Ellison wrote in the 26-page briefing to Hennepin County District Court. “Defendant continued to maintain his position atop Mr. Floyd even as Mr. Floyd cried out that he was in pain, even as Mr. Floyd exclaimed 27 times that he could not breathe, and even as Mr. Floyd said that Defendant’s actions were killing him.”

Judge Peter Cahill would have to agree to increase the sentencing for Chauvin. Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric J. Nelson, rejected Ellison’s claims of legitimate aggravating factors, saying it was not proven during the trial, the Post reported.

“Mr. Chauvin was authorized, under Minnesota law, to use reasonable force” as part of what the attorney described as the arrest of “an actively-resisting criminal suspect,” Nelson wrote in his own court filing on Friday.

The U.S. Justice Department announced they are planning to indict Chauvin on civil rights charges, according to the Star Tribune.

Chauvin will be sentenced on June 25 and is facing up to 40 years in prison for second-degree unintentional murder, CNN reported.

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North Korea dismisses ‘spurious’ US diplomacy: Report

North Korea dismisses ‘spurious’ US diplomacy: Report

AFPSeoul Published: May 02, 2021, 07:29 AM(IST)

File photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Photograph:( Reuters )FOLLOW US


Diplomacy was a “spurious signboard” for the United States to “cover up its hostile acts,” the North Korean foreign ministry said in a statement run by the KCNA news agency. 

North Korea branded US diplomacy “spurious” on Sunday, dismissing the idea of talks with Washington a day after the Biden administration said it was open to diplomatic negotiations on denuclearization, state media reported.

Diplomacy was a “spurious signboard” for the United States to “cover up its hostile acts,” the North Korean foreign ministry said in a statement run by the KCNA news agency.


It also warned President Joe Biden that he had made a “big blunder” with his “outdated” stance towards the country.

In a separate statement also run by KCNA, the foreign ministry accused Biden of insulting Kim Jong-Un, and added: “We have warned the US sufficiently enough to understand that it will get hurt if it provokes us.

Biden had said in his first address as president to Congress on Wednesday that he would use “diplomacy as well as stern deterrence” to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

The White House said Friday that its goal remains “the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

US policy will see “a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy” with North Korea, Biden’s press secretary Jen Pskai told reporters.

Psaki gave little indication of what kind of diplomatic initiative this could entail, but suggested that Biden had learned from the experience of previous administrations, who have struggled for decades to deal with the dictatorship in North Korea or, in recent years, its growing nuclear arsenal.

She said Washington would not “focus on achieving a grand bargain,” apparently referring to the kind of dramatic over-arching deal that former president Donald Trump initially suggested was possible when he met with North Korea’s leader.

Neither would the White House follow the more standoff approach called “strategic patience,” espoused by Barack Obama, Psaki said.

In April, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is due to visit the White House on May 21, urged Biden to engage directly with Kim on denuclearization.

Moon told the newspaper he favoured “top-down diplomacy.”

Calif. to release 76,000 inmates early to cut prison population

Calif. to release 76,000 inmates early to cut prison population

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 05: Democratic California gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during his primary election night gathering on June 5, 2018 in San Francisco, California. California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom claimed the top spot in the California gubernatorial primary election ahead of republican candidate John Cox. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 12:20 PM PT – Saturday, May 1, 2021

California is planning to release thousands of inmates in order to reduce prison capacity. According to reports on Saturday, the state is expected to increase early release credits for 76,000 inmates, including violent and repeat felons.

Nearly 20,000 serving life sentences may be eligible for good behavior credits, which will shorten their sentences by one-third.


Additionally, over 10,000 inmates who were convicted of a second serious, however, non-violent offense under California’s “three-strikes” law will be eligible for release after serving half their sentences.

The changes were approved this week by the state office of administrative law.

A spokesperson for the department said the goal is to increase incentives for the incarcerated population to practice good behavior and follow the rules.

Senate OK needed to send Florida vaccine passport ban to DeSantis’ desk

Senate OK needed to send Florida vaccine passport ban to DeSantis’ desk

By John Haughey, The Center Square contributorApril 30, 2021 – 8:00 AM

NewsMinute 7 AM (CR)

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Florida will fine any business or school $5,000 each time it requires a “vaccine passport,” or proof of COVID-19 vaccination, for entry or participation under a bill bound for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk.


The House Wednesday passed Senate Bill 2006 in a 76-40 vote and sent it to the Senate to endorse a newly added amendment before the session ends Friday.

Sponsored by Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, SB 2006 was passed by the Senate on April 22 in a 27-9 vote.null

The 49-page SB 2006 amends the state’s Emergency Management Act to place limits on local emergency powers and installs fines for businesses or institutions that require vaccine documentation. The relatively technical amendment added Wednesday clarifies COVID-19 screening protocols.

Under SB 2006, violating the state’s vaccine passport ban would be punishable by fines up to $5,000 per violation.

Miami private school won’t employ teachers who get the Covid-19 vaccine


Miami private school won’t employ teachers who get the Covid-19 vaccine

Centner Academy is basing its decision on information that has already been debunked.April 27, 2021, 9:40 AM CDTBy Minyvonne Burke, Caitlin Fichtel and Caroline Radnofsky

A Miami private school said it won’t employ anyone who has received the Covid-19 vaccine, citing concerns that the injection might not be safe.

Centner Academy outlined its controversial policy in a letter to parents, encouraging faculty and staff to hold off on being vaccinated “until there is further research available.” Those who do wish to be vaccinated are asked to wait until the end of the school year.null

“This was not an easy decision to make,” the letter stated. “It was a consensus from our advisors that until this topic is investigated more thoroughly, it is in the best interests of the children to protect them from the unknown implications of being in close proximity for the entire day with a teacher who has very recently taken the Covid-19 injection.”

Centner Academy in Miami.
Centner Academy in Miami.Google Maps

The school said it won’t employ anyone who has been vaccinated “until further information is known.”

“We are not 100% sure the Covid-19 injections are safe and there are too many unknown variables for us to feel comfortable at this current time,” the school wrote. “Until more is known, we must err on the side of caution when it comes to the welfare of our students and school team.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday, but has said that the injections are “safe and effective.”null

“Covid-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA),” the agency said.

Long-term side effects from the shots are “extremely unlikely,” according to the CDC. Between Dec. 14 and April 19, more than 211 million doses of the vaccine were administered in the United States, the agency noted.

“Millions of people in the United States have received Covid-19 vaccines, and these vaccines will undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that Covid-19 vaccines are safe,” the CDC said.

One Centner Academy parent told NBC Miami that if she could pull her child out of the school now she would. However, she said she has already forked over $30,000 for tuition.


“The whole year has been unbelievably stressful for all of us to know what to do. And I don’t know if there’s going to be teachers there,” said the mother, who did not want to be identified because she signed a document that prevents parents from criticizing the school. The news station referred to as “Lidia.”null

“They’re very pro ‘my body, my choice,’ and yet, it’s the complete opposite of that is what she’s actually telling these teachers. It’s your body, but it’s her choice,” she said.

Leila Centner, co-founder and CEO of Centner Academy, said in a statement that the school’s response to the Covid-19 vaccine was made “out of an abundance of caution” and with “thoughtful decision-making.”

She said that “tens of thousands of women all over the world” have reported reproductive issues from being in close proximity with someone who has been vaccinated — a claim that top medical experts have debunked.

“We know not everyone agrees on this topic, but this is our philosophy at Centner Academy, one in which many of our teachers and parents share,” Centner said.

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