6 jurors; third diploma homicide resumed
MINNEAPOLIS – The racial tensions that reigned during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin have emerged as a crucial sticking point in determining the jury that will determine his fate on the death of George Floyd.
So far, five of the six selected jurors are men. Three of the jurors identify as white, one as multiracial, one as Spanish and one as black, according to Hennepin District Judge Peter Cahill, who leads the case.
Chauvin’s attorneys met at least three Spanish jurors over the week, prompting prosecutors to take advantage of the Batson challenges twice. Such challenges claim that a potential juror has been eliminated based on gender, race, ethnicity, or religion. The judge denied both challenges and denied that there was a pattern for potential judges based on breed.
Meanwhile, Cahill allowed prosecutors to reintroduce a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin – something legal watchers say gives the jury more options as it takes into account the former officer’s guilt for Floyd’s death.
The indictment accompanies the second degree murder and manslaughter charge that Chauvin faced in Floyd’s death last May when Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes on a video when Floyd yelled he couldn’t breathe. Floyd, who was accused of using a fake $ 20 bill, was handcuffed and pinned to the sidewalk.
- Jury selection resumed on Friday at 9:00 a.m. CT. The judge has planned at least three weeks for the selection of the jury. Opening statements are not planned for March 29th at the earliest.
- Attorney Ben Crump was due to hold a press conference with the Floyd family on Friday afternoon.
- Cahill and attorneys over the week asked potential jurors about their prior knowledge of the case, whether they saw it on the news, and how they responded to a 13-page questionnaire.
- Protesters say they plan to demonstrate every day of the trial. Across the street from Hennepin County Courthouse, protesters carried plaques and portraits of Floyd on Thursday.
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Here’s who’s on the jury for Chauvin’s trial
So far, six jurors – five men and one woman – have been selected to serve during Derek Chauvin’s trial. According to Richter, three of the jurors identify themselves as white, one as multiracial, one as Spanish and one as black. Given the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death – a black man who dies under the knee of a white cop – the racial makeup of the jury is certainly an issue.
Among the selected jurors: a black man who immigrated to the US from Africa, a chemist, a man who said he disagreed with the criminal justice system is biased against minorities, a woman who said she was ” super excited “to serve, a man who said he had a pretty negative view of Blue Lives Matter and a groom who is likely to be forced to cancel his wedding to serve on the jury.
The court must have a total of 12 jurors and two deputies.
On Thursday afternoon, when the defense met another potential Hispanic juror – at least the third Hispanic juror hit by the defense – prosecutors launched their second Batson lawsuit alleging that a potential juror was based on gender, Race, ethnicity, or religion have been eliminated. The judge denied the challenge.
“I don’t see any pattern in the defense of striking racist minorities,” said Cahill.
The state issued its first Batson challenge on Tuesday when the defense met a second potential Hispanic juror.
The judge reinstates the 3rd degree murder charge and gives the jury more options in the case
Judge Peter Cahill reinstated a third degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin, which legal observers say gives the jury more options as he considers his guilt for Floyd’s death.
Cahill had previously dismissed the charges as not justified by the circumstances of Floyd’s death, but an appeals court ruling in an unrelated case set new grounds for it. it. The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal from Chauvin aimed at preventing the additional fee and opened the door for reinstatement.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who heads the indictment, said in a statement that the addition of the indictment “reflects the gravity of the charges” against Chauvin. “We look forward to bringing all three charges to the jury,” he said.
Ben Crump, senior attorney for the Floyd family, said he was “pleased that all legal options are being reviewed and the process is moving forward”.
“We are pleased that the judge cleared the way for the trial to proceed and that Chauvin is facing this additional charge. The trial is very painful and the family must be closed,” Crump said in a statement.
Cahill also noted that the reinstatement of the third degree murder charge does not apply to three other officers charged with Floyd’s death. They are due to go to trial this summer and possible third-degree charges in the case would be dealt with at a later date, the judge said.
Background:The Minnesota Supreme Court denies Derek Chauvin’s appeal and opens the door to another murder charge on George Floyd’s death