After President Joe Biden, Governor Tim Walz, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters all weighed in on what they hoped the “right” verdict would be in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer was found guilty on Tuesday afternoon of all three counts brought against him for the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.
After the unanimous verdicts were read, Chauvin was handcuffed and remanded to custody of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office.
There is no question there will be an appeal in the case.
Appealable considerations began with no change of venue. Witness intimidation, public statements meant to persuade the public, including the jurors, before they were sequestered were uttered by everyone from Joe Biden to Maxine Waters. Alternate jurors who lived in the riot zone had to be dismissed. Defense attorney Eric Nelson pointed to his request to sequester the jury for the entire trial will undoubtedly come into play in an appeal. Though experts say it’s not usually something that is given much heft, prosecutorial misconduct in closing arguments was objected to.
Chauvin’s lone attorney, Eric Nelson, faced 12 private lawyers, most of whom were working for free for the cause and hand-chosen by Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Floyd’s death in police custody sparked riots, arsons, and looting across the nation from Minneapolis to Portland to parts in between.
Four hours of deliberations took place yesterday and the jury resumed Tuesday morning.
Prosecutors appealed to the jury to believe what they’d seen on the viral video of George Floyd being held down by the former officer.
The five-man, seven-women jury told the judge they’d reached a unanimous verdict at 2:25 local time. The jury foreman was one of the men, a white male.
Two alternate jurors were released yesterday. One of them was released because the individual lived in nearby Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, the scene of rioting after the shooting of Daunte Wright by a police officer.
The jury breakdown was much more diverse than the surrounding area, as I reported on PJ Media.
Half of the jurors chosen in the case are non-white. The jury of 12 jurors and three alternates is made up of three black men, one black woman, and two self-identified “multiracial” people with the rest of them white. Two of the black male jurors are immigrants to the U.S.
Schools are closed, local news agencies report that people are leaving the city to flee expected riots.
State troopers have come from surrounding states. Buildings evacuated. One law firm instructed its people to pack “go” bags in the event of an emergency.
For a conviction of second-degree unintentional murder, the state’s prosecutors will have to show beyond a reasonable doubt that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death while assaulting him. This is the most serious charge and carries a presumed sentence in this case of 10 3⁄4 years to 15 years…
[…] Third-degree murder requires prosecutors to prove that someone caused the death of another “by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life. […] It also carries a presumptive sentence in this case of 10 3⁄4 years to 15 years, according to state sentencing guidelines.
[…] In order to convict Chauvin of second-degree manslaughter, prosecutors will need to show beyond a reasonable doubt that he was “culpably negligent” and took an “unreasonable risk” with Floyd’s life when he restrained him and that his actions put Floyd at risk of death or great harm. This charge carries a presumptive sentence of 41-57 months.
Even if he hadn’t been convicted today, Chauvin was in trouble with federal officials. He reportedly has failed to file his taxes for a few years, according to defense attorney Robert Barnes.
Trial Judge Peter Cahill will be passing sentence on Chauvin. Following closing arguments on Monday, Chauvin agreed to waive his right to a jury deciding his time behind bars.
That obviously was a smart move.