If the day didn’t precisely start with a whimper, it ended with a cathartic bang of a form. Follow me right here. In between the whimper and the bang three extra jurors have been seated, bringing the full to 12 thus far. We must always have 14 quickly and adjourn till opening statements on March 29.
Earlier than jury choice resumed Jerry Blackwell — one of many a number of outdoors attorneys contributing his companies to the prosecution — argued in favor of the exclusion of proof of George Floyd’s Could 2019 arrest by the Minneapolis police. The problem is one among authorized relevance. Late yesterday afternoon the state filed this memorandum of legislation on the problem. (It additionally filed this memorandum of legislation opposing continuance of the case on account of pretrial publicity.)
Decide Peter Cahill will announce his rulings orally on these motions and on the change of venue movement at 8:15 this morning. Jury choice ought to resume at 9:00. I anticipate that he’ll deny the motions for a continuance and alter of venue. He has already dominated in opposition to the admission of proof of the Could 2019 arrest. If he modifies his thoughts on that, my studying is that he’ll admit the proof just for restricted functions.
Blackwell’s argument Thursday morning was centered on the professional medical testimony of 1 Dr. Vincent. A video clip of Blackwell’s argument is posted right here.
The prosecution seeks to introduce Vincent’s professional testimony on how “a human being” in Floyd’s circumstances on the time of his arrest in Could 2020 would react. They wish to present that Floyd was reacting usually. I believe this can be a weak argument. I’ve in my notes that “this argument is a crock.” If granted — as Decide Cahill commented — it opens the door to Floyd’s habits within the Could 2019 arrest. We will see.
After a brief break jury choice resumed with juror quantity 86. We don’t get racial or ethnic knowledge on jurors who aren’t chosen, however I detected a reasonably thick Chinese language (I believe) accent. Though she has averted the information, she had realized of the settlement of the civil litigation. She conceded that, primarily based on what she knew, she leaned towards the prosecution. Decide Cahill excused her for trigger earlier than turning her over to the legal professionals for voir dire.
The potential jurors, I ought to add, have been requested by the courtroom to keep away from the information since they have been summoned to jury responsibility this previous December or so. Everybody understands, nonetheless, that information of the case is to some extent unavoidable. It is among the primary truthful trial challenges that permeates the case.
Juror quantity 87 was not equally present on the information. She is a soft-spoken mom of 5 who had not seen video of the arrest and professed neutrality towards the events. Though protection counsel Eric Nelson took his time along with her, I guessed that her evident equity towards the events would elicit a peremptory strike by Steve Schleicher — one other of the surface attorneys contributing his companies to the prosecution. I’ve in my notes on Schleicher’s voir dire that she could be a super juror — a super juror, interval.
Schleicher requested about her son’s attendance at one of many protests following Floyd’s loss of life. It seems that her son was on the protest on Freeway 35W in Minneapolis that narrowly averted disaster when the truck driver slammed on the brakes. George Floyd’s loss of life has touched lots of people within the Twin Cities a technique or one other. She didn’t learn about her son’s attendance on the protest till afterwards and solely expressed concern for his security. As anticipated, Schleicher exercised a peremptory problem to strike her. (The state has 4 strikes remaining.)
Given the possible issues about their security, Decide Cahill indicated that he supposed to authorize identification of the jurors solely when he deemed it protected to take action. Nelson, who repeatedly inquires on the problem of juror issues about private security, now incorporates this assurance into his voir dire. It wouldn’t do a lot for me, however there you might have one other facet of the basic truthful trial problem on this case.
We’d like not linger lengthy over juror quantity 88, He heard concerning the settlement of the civil litigation. His preliminary response was shock. Decide Cahill examined the juror with the audio off and excused him for trigger on account of his acquaintance with a key witness within the case.
Juror quantity 89 had additionally been uncovered to the settlement. In her case, despite the fact that she is making an attempt to keep away from the information, she heard of it by means of a passing point out on the radio. She knew the quantity was $27 million. She acknowledged that the settlement didn’t have an effect on her view of the legal case.
She is an skilled nurse who lives alone within the first-ring Minneapolis suburb Edina. She expressed ambivalence about being summoned to jury service on this “huge case.” It portends “a whole lot of repercussions.” She is worried about her security following the trial, however reassured by the safety within the courthouse and the anonymity afforded the jurors. It “form of” makes her really feel higher. She isn’t any dummy; she is not sure how snug she is with the prospect of her identify being on the market someplace down the street.
Her juror questionnaire gives a story of the information of the Could 25 arrest as much as Floyd’s loss of life that’s most likely primarily based on tv information. She holds impartial opinions of each Floyd and Chauvin. She appeared to assume that Chauvin saved his knee on Floyd’s neck too lengthy “understanding he died.” She is not sure of the reason for loss of life. She doesn’t mistrust the police. Handed for trigger by the events, she is the tenth juror seated within the case. We have been then suggested by the courtroom that she is a white girl in her 50’s.
Juror quantity 90 is a traditional Hennepin County juror. He’s an IT administrator of agency leftist views with a particularly unfavorable opinion of Chauvin. He’s sane sufficient to worry for his private security if he have been to sit down as a juror and render a verdict of not responsible, however he doesn’t want to fret. His views of the police are so hostile that he was excused for trigger. This man may very well be the grating voice of the Minnesota DFL. His evaluation of the protection points inherent within the case is skewed by lunacy. He’s a lunatic residing in a left-wing fantasy world.
The controlling Minnesota case — the Logan case — gives that jurors with a transparent exhibiting of partiality for police testimony are to be excused for trigger. Decide Cahill concisely excused juror quantity 90 for trigger as a “reverse Logan.”
Juror quantity 91 can be conscious of the $27 million wrongful loss of life settlement. an older girl who labored in advertising and marketing for a monetary firm. She lived within the neighborhood the place the incident occurred 25-30 years in the past. She doesn’t return to the neighborhood and even come a lot to Minneapolis. She stated she hasn’t been downtown in years. I chalk up her good perspective to avoidance of town.
She enjoys “caring for her household.” She has “a pair grandchildren.” Her son-in-law is a doctor.
She is worked up to have the chance to function a juror within the case. She was proud to fill out the questionnaire. She seldom watches the information and has solely seen the video as soon as, for 4 or 5 minutes, earlier than she shut it off. She expressed impartial views of George Floyd and Derek Chauvin. She is aware of there are two sides to each story. “I solely know the floor,” she stated, and thought extra info could be useful earlier than she makes up her thoughts.
She grew up in south Minneapolis, the place the incident occurred. She lamented the various shops that have been looted and destroyed. She has a relative who’s a police officer. She isn’t shut with him, however she is pleased with him for standing up as a police officer. Requested on the questionnaire about her view of Black Lives Matter, her response was: “I’m black and my life issues.” She expressed no view of the group.
I view juror quantity 91 as a great citizen. Her diploma is in baby psychology. She often volunteers with a youth group to assist children with their homework. I’ve her down as about pretty much as good because it will get for the protection. She is the eleventh juror seated. In response to the courtroom, she is a black girl in her 60’s.
At this level the courtroom took a day break. When courtroom convened once more following the break, Eric Nelson famous that metropolis officers have been publicly holding forth concerning the settlement of the civil litigation once more (video under). He cited Mayor Frey’s feedback yesterday in additional help of his change of venue movement. I didn’t know on the time — and I doubt Nelson did both — that the feedback of each each Frey and Metropolis Legal professional Jim Rowader on the press convention, concerning the settlement’s lack of impression on the Chauvin case — have been bald falsehoods, as one reporter had the temerity to level out.
Mayor Jacob Frey and Metropolis Legal professional Jim Rowader try to elucidate why Minneapolis agreed to a $27 million civil settlement with George Floyd’s household in the midst of jury choice for Derek Chauvin’s trial: pic.twitter.com/8oQnu9fPhh
— Alpha Information (@AlphaNewsMN) March 18, 2021
Though she acknowledged it had no impact on her view of the case, juror quantity 92 was additionally conscious of the $27 million settlement. She is family-oriented and loves her work within the enterprise of business insurance coverage. She has some concern about “what would occur to [her] afterwards” if she have been to function juror. She could be okay with the discharge of her identify at a later date.
She has seen a clip of the video. She holds “considerably unfavorable” views of each Floyd and Chauvin. The media have painted Chauvin as “an aggressive cop with tax issues.” She is conscious that “George Floyd’s report wasn’t clear” and that “he abused medicine in some unspecified time in the future.” Her opinion is that the police used extreme drive however that Floyd was not fully harmless.
In contrast with juror quantity 91, juror quantity 92 will not be a traditional Hennepin County juror. She “strongly disagrees” with defunding the police. She sees each constructive and unfavorable results to have adopted on Floyd’s loss of life. “We’d like legislation enforcement,” she stated. Why? “Have a look at the riots.” She was the twelfth juror seated.
Juror 95 will get his information from NPR. That was sufficient for me, however Nelson continued with him. He is aware of of the settlement. He was shocked by it — he didn’t anticipate the civil case to be settled till the legal instances are concluded. Though he thinks he can nonetheless be neutral, the settlement altered his view of the case. It’s onerous to get out of his thoughts. At about this level I discovered that he spoke with an Indian accent.
Probing his issues over his personal and his household’s security regardless of the verdict, Nelson ascertained that he couldn’t concentrate on the proof within the case. These security issues would weigh on his thoughts. Decide Cahill excused him for trigger.
Schleicher then rose to supply a transcript of Frey’s press convention and to chide Nelson for citing the press convention with no formal affidavit for the report. This set Decide Cahill off. Setting Schleicher again on his heels, Decide Cahill famous the disparity between the prosecution workforce and the protection. What number of attorneys have been admitted for the prosecution professional hac vice thus far, he requested. Ten or 12? Schleicher professed to not know, however added the irrelevant level that Nelson’s charges have been paid by the police union. That could be a stunning lack of professionalism on Schleicher’s half.
Decide Cahill had some harsh phrases for the prosecution on the finish of immediately’s proceedings within the Derek Chauvin trial: pic.twitter.com/KDsHGWx9RA
— Alpha Information (@AlphaNewsMN) March 18, 2021
I invoked Paul Newman’s adversaries in The Verdict to make some extent concerning the disparity between the prosecution and protection groups partially 4 of this sequence. It was good to see Decide Cahill unload it on Schleicher.
The following two jurors chosen will function alternates. Right here is the courtroom’s abstract of the 12 jurors seated thus far:
· No. 2: white male; 20s
· No. 9: multi/mixed-race girl; 20s
· No. 19: white male; 30s
· No. 27: black male; 30s
· No. 44: white girl; 50s
· No. 52: black male; 30s
· No. 55: white girl; 50s
· No. 79: black male; 40s
· No. 85: multi/mixed-race girl; 40s
· No. 89: white girl; 50s
· No. 91: black girl; 60s
· No. 92: white girl; 40s.
I ought to have reported yesterday that the events agreed to strike potential jurors 108, 112, 122, 124, and 125 for trigger.
Due to my associates at Alpha Information (I sit on the board) for clipping the video within the tweets above.