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Derek Chauvin sentencing thrusts Minnesota Judge Peter Cahill back into spotlight

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SectionsTVFeaturedMore from NBC Follow NBC News A Minnesota judge who, former colleagues and friends say, has no penchant for publicity will again find himself in the media spotlight this week when he sentences the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd.Judge Peter Cahill, who has served on the bench in Hennepin County for 14 years, could sentence Derek Chauvin to as little as probation, an outcome requested by his attorney, or more than the 30-year punishment favored by prosecutors.In interviews, people who know Cahill and cases he has overseen say he is likely to land somewhere in the middle. Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, requested a downward departure from sentencing guidelines or a sentence of probation with time served.Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota, said he believes that neither the defense nor the prosecution will get what they want."The defense request for probation is so far outside the guidelines and would be such a deviation from the way these cases are normally handled that I think it's a zero percent chance that would be the outcome, regardless of who the judge was, frankly," he said.From 2008, the year he was elected to the bench, through January, Cahill has sentenced six people convicted of second-degree murder to prison. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of eight years.Michael Cohlich, a defense lawyer and friend of Cahill, said, "I certainly believe, and I don't think anyone would argue with this, that he is not going to go below the guidelines."Having had cases before Cahill, "and just following some of the big cases he has done here in Minneapolis in Hennepin County," Cohlich said, "I always remember thinking that fundamentally, that's probably what I would have done, had I been sitting in his place."Cahill was picked by Chief Hennepin District Judge Toddrick Barnette to oversee Chauvin's trial.

As said here by Janelle Griffith, Donna Mendell