Former police officer Dererk Chauvin’s attorney argued before an appeals court on Wednesday that his client was unable to receive a fair trial, due to pre-trial publicity, venue, and other factors.
JUST IN – Derek Chauvin appeals conviction in George Floyd case.
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Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd and sentenced to 22 years in prison. His attorney argued Wednesday that “the pretrial publicity was more extensive than that of any other trial in Minnesota history, and that the judge should have moved the trial elsewhere and sequestered the jury for the duration,” explained Fox News.
Here’s more from the Washington Times:
Mohrman argued in his brief to the Minnesota Court of Appeals that the pretrial publicity was more extensive that any other trial in Minnesota history, and that the judge should have moved the trial elsewhere and sequestered the jury for the duration. Mohrman wrote that the publicity, combined with the riots, the city’s $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family announced during jury selection, the unrest over a police killing in a Minneapolis suburb during jury selection, and the unprecedented courthouse security were just some of the factors prejudicing Chauvin’s chance of a fair trial.
He also argued that Cahill improperly excluded evidence that could have been favorable to Chauvin, and accused prosecutors of misconduct.
Prosecutors said in their brief that Chauvin had a fair trial and received a just sentence.
The prosecutors — including state Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank and Neal Katyal, who was acting U.S. solicitor general during the Obama administration — argued that Chauvin’s rights were not prejudiced.
They said pretrial publicity had blanketed the state making a change of venue for the trial pointless, and that Cahill took extensive steps to ensure the selection of impartial jurors. They also said he took sufficient steps to shield the jurors from outside influences so there was no need to sequester them before deliberations.
The appeal is to his state conviction and winning the appeal would not affect his federal conviction or sentence, the AP and other outlets explain.
Even if Chauvin wins his appeal, his federal sentence will keep him in prison longer than his state sentence likely would, the Associated Press is reporting, because he would qualify for parole earlier in the state system.
The point, then, is to set some precedent for future trials involving police officers and/or massive pre-trial (and during trial) publicity, I guess?