Before the guilty verdict was handed down today in the Derek Chauvin trial, Andy McCarthy explained why the arguments for prejudicial publicity, which could deny the right of the accused to get a fair trial, are as strong as he’s ever seen them in a given case:
McCarthy isn’t just talking about the outrageous comments by Maxine Waters and Joe Biden today. No, what he lays out here sounds like a very strong case for an appeal:
The thing that you have to remember with Maxine Waters’ statements and President Biden’s statements is that they’re not one-offs, they’re not in isolation, they come in a context.
Here we have a situation where the defendant, for good reason, argued that he could not get a fair trial in Hennepin County given what the atmosphere was there.
While the jury was being selected, the city of Minneapolis, which owed Chauvin a fair trial – it’s their obligation to give him a fair trial – they picked that time, while the judge was in the middle of selecting the jury, to announce publicly that they had made a $27 million dollar settlement with the Floyd family.
Then you have, going forward, what we happened in Brooklyn Center. The defense lawyer came in and said ‘Judge, at this point if we don’t sequester them, the amount of publicity that they are going to be exposed to and the amount of unrest in the streets that they are going to be exposed to – under circumstances where one of the jurors was actually from Brooklyn Center and a number of the jurors had ties to the area.
And then you lop on top of that the kind of explosive statements that were made by Congresswoman Waters, and the president piling on today – I think that makes a very strong record…
And it becomes all the stronger if it looks like, without even taking a full day and without even sending a note to the court, the jury convicted on all three counts, if that happens.
Notice the last line. McCarthy is even suggesting that the speed in which the jury came to a decision could make this appeal even stronger. As I said before, this case is far from over…