Derek Chauvin Denied Motion For A New Trial Hours Ahead Of Sentencing
Update #2 (June 25th): Despite his request, Derek Chauvin will not be getting a new trial.
The former Minneapolis police officer was denied his motion yesterday (Thursday, June 24th), just before he’s scheduled to be sentenced for the murder of George Floyd today (Friday, June 25th).
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who will also sentence Derek Chauvin, determined that Chauvin’s legal team didn’t prove that he wasn’t given a fair trial, or that the state took part in prosecutorial misconduct.
The judge also denied Chauvin’s request for a hearing on jurors’ possible misconduct, ruling that his lawyer didn’t prove that a jury lied during the selection process.
Prosecutors are pushing for Chauvin to get 30 years behind bars.
Original Story (May 5th): Derek Chauvin‘s defense attorney is filing a motion for a new trial, making an argument that his client was not given a fair one.
The attorney, Eric J. Nelson, is claiming that a number of misconducts occurred during the highly-anticipated trial that wrapped up last month. His client, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
One major complication in the trial, however, is the recent revelation that one of the jurors lied about ever attending a Black Lives Matter rally, which was one of the questions asked during the jury selection process. A photo of Brandon Mitchell–one of the jurors (#52) who found Derek Chauvin guilty–attending an August 28th rally has recently resurfaced.
Specifically, he was donning a shirt that read “GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS” and “BLM,” with the first statement directly referencing the fatal incident between George Floyd and Derek Chauvin. George Floyd‘s siblings, Philonise and Bridgett Floyd, also spoke at this event.
This revelation complicates Chauvin‘s guilty verdict because it suggests that Brandon Mitchell was not fully honest during jury selection. From a legal standpoint, this calls his impartiality into question and opens the door for Chauvin’s defense team to claim that he received an unfair trial. This is on account of juror neutrality being a cornerstone concept behind being “entitled to a jury of your peers.”
Among Eric J. Nelson‘s other grievances are accusations of “prosecutorial misconduct” and an “abuse of discretion” by the court. Regarding the latter, Derek Chauvin‘s attorney claims:
“The Court abused its discretion when it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media, which resulted in jury exposure to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings, as well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors, which violated Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and to a fair trial.”
Eric J. Nelson also claims jurors may have felt pressured to give a guilty verdict, stating:
“[The jury] felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations.”
There have been no reports yet on whether his issues are sufficiently legitimate for a new trial or mistrial.
What are your thoughts on these latest developments in the Derek Chauvin trial? Comment down below to let us know.