Mark Osler presents the award for Excellence in Professional Preparation during the University of St. Thomas School of Law Living the Mission Law Mission Award Ceremony in Schulze Atrium in the School of Law Building on April 11, 2017 in Minneapolis.

In the News: Mark Osler on the Possible Sentencing of Former Minneapolis Police Officers

Law professor Mark Osler commented for The Associated Press on the possible sentences that former Minneapolis police officers J. Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao may face following the verdict that they are guilty of violating George Floyd's rights.

From the article: The guidelines can be calculated in different ways. There are sentencing guidelines for the civil rights offenses the men were convicted of, but those offenses could also be cross-referenced with another crime — such as murder — and the guidelines for those other crimes could be used, said Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. 

“If they don’t cross-reference, the guideline range is likely to be under five years,” Osler said. “If they do cross-reference, it’s likely to be the same as what Chauvin got.” Chauvin’s plea agreement calls for 20 to 25 years and says that a “base offense level” of second-degree murder was used to calculate that range. 

The “guideline score” from the probation office doesn’t bind the judge, but it’s “anchoring” and is usually what a judge will rely on, Osler said.