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Dispatch From Georgia 

From Ladrina Johnson

Speculation on how much time Mr. Chauvin would receive bounced from cell to cell for the four hours during which the residents in F dorm watched the victim impact statements given by George Floyd’s family. 

We were especially touched when his daughter spoke about how much she loved her father and how much she would miss him.

In the case of George Floyd, there could have been a thousand victim impact statements given that this murder affected the children who witnessed the murder, the store clerk who called the police in the first place, and every pedestrian that walked by and saw Floyd take his last breath. 

Was the judge not touched by all of the chaos, hurt, and destruction Chauvin’s actions caused? Why wasn’t he given at least what the state was asking for?

When asked about what Chauvin’s next steps would be, Lasondra Deriso, a former correctional officer serving a five-year sentence for aggravated assault said, “He will be placed in protective custody and housed there for his safety, but considering the notoriety of the case he may not even be safe then. The right amount of money could put him in a lot of danger.” 

Most offenders were baffled after hearing the sentence. “This is messed up,” said Crystal Shyrock. “All I did was shoot a cop in the hip, and I got 20 years. Chauvin will be able to parole out after a few years, but George Floyd will never get out the dirt.” 

Let’s consider another case. Kelly Gissendaner was sentenced to death for conspiring in the murder of a police officer in 2015. Slapping Derek Chauvin on the wrist for murder, and making Kelly pay for what she did with her life does not balance out on the scale of justice. It does not show that the integrity of our judicial system applies to all, and it does not give justice to George Floyd. 

It implies that blue lives matter and civilian lives don’t. It implies that “value” in the United States lies in a badge. How can anyone see justice in that?

From Candie Scott 

Me and this wonderful woman named Ms. Melinda Langston watched the sentencing of Mr. Chauvin together. I think one of the first reactions for a lot of people was, “Hooray, there is finally justice!” 

But then as they thought about it more, the sentence that he was given angered them. The reason being: when one thinks about the extreme time that they themselves were given for a much lesser crime, it shows you that there really wasn’t much justice done. 

One of the major things that I noticed in watching the sentencing was that Mr. Chauvin was unemotional throughout the entire trial and sentencing. Even I shed a few tears, not just when George Floyd’s family spoke but also when Mr. Chauvin’s mother spoke. 

No matter what our children resort to as adults, as a mother I still support my child because I know the child that I raised. So not only could I sympathize with the Floyd family, but I also sympathized with her as well. One thing about life is that things are always what they look like and never what they actually are.

This incident had the biggest impact on America because of the severity of the situation. My heart goes out to the family tremendously because they will forever live with the constant reminders of that day. America will not let them forget, even when they are ready to start moving forward and piecing their lives back together.

From Melinda Langston

I feel they gave Officer Chauvin a slap on the risk. George was begging for his life and they all had no mercy. The video showed it. They should have got life without parole because they knew what they were doing even when he told them he couldn’t breathe. They all just sat there and held him down. They didn’t try to stop at all. There was no mercy. I’m in prison for taking the police on a high speed chase. I didn’t kill no one and got 30 years. There are a lot of people locked up with a lot of time who haven’t done what they were found guilty of and got more time than he got. Where is the justice? 


Thoughts from Washington State

By Renee Bishop-McKean

I can honestly say I wasn’t at all surprised he only received 22 years. This case wasn’t as big on the telly as the O.J. Simpson trial, which I thought It could have been like. Maybe it just seemed smaller to me, because I’m in here? I was free at the time of the O.J. trial.

As for the other ladies here, I didn’t hear one word about the case. One woman came out to tell me it was on. She said nothing more.

It was surreal to me that African Americans are finally speaking up and out. They’re finally being heard. I think it’s a start. That poor man and his family. The French can’t believe we treat our own that way, they feel we’re ignorant and barbaric. I agree.

That man (Chauvin) has a lot to take in and many years to think about what he is. God bless those poor kids and the family for the losses he created.


Dispatch from Virginia 

By Chanell Burnette 

It is my personal opinion that Derek Chauvin’s charges should have been more severe as an officer of the law. A person who was supposed to uphold justice, protect and serve, and work for the greater good of humanity, has instead acted above the law and showed the world just how inhuman he is. How cruel, how unjust, how racist and dastardly the justice system in America truly can be.

I feel Chauvin’s sentence could have been more stringent as he clearly demonstrated reckless disregard for the life of George Floyd, He murdered George Floyd. 

To put it in their own terminology, Derek Chauvin willingly, wantonly and feloniously murdered Mr. George Floyd.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

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Candie Scott

Candie Scott is a writer incarcerated in Georgia.

Melinda Langston

Melinda Langston is a writer incarcerated in Georgia.

Renee Bishop-McKean

Renee Bishop-McKean is an incarcerated writer at a Washington facility for women.

Chanell Burnette

Chanell Burnette is a writer incarcerated at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Virginia.

Ladrina Johnson

Ladrina Johson is a writer and beekeeper incarcerated in Georgia. She calls herself a social butterfly who loves people and things.