Former police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted of the murder of African American George Floyd, has filed an appeal for a new trial in the case on Tuesday alleging that the “publicity” prior to the trial “intimidated the jury” and affected his right to a fair trial.
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, has presented a document of several pages in which he reels off a series of errors that the defense believes were committed during the trial against the former agent and that, in his opinion, violated his constitutional rights to due process.
Among them, Nelson has pointed to errors by Hennepin Judge Peter Cahill, misconduct by the prosecutor, the jury, intimidation of witnesses or the impact of publicity, although no specific incidents or specific members of the jury have been identified.
Specifically, the document indicates that “the publicity here (in the case) was so pervasive and so damaging before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the process,” which is why it considers that the jury was subjected to “intimidation “Or” potential fear of retaliation. “
Thus, it requests “to challenge the verdict” based on the “misconduct” of the jury, which, according to the document, “felt threatened, intimidated, besieged racial pressure during the process and / or did not comply with the instructions during the deliberations. », Collects CNN.
It also accuses Minnesota state prosecutors of “pervasive and damaging prosecutorial misconduct” and of “discrediting the defense, improperly vouching, and failing to adequately prepare their witnesses.”
In addition, it says that the court “abused its discretion” by not granting a change of venue or retaining the jury, among other issues.
Guilty of involuntary murder in the second degree
Chauvin, who was found guilty by a jury of involuntary second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree murder in the death of Floyd in May 2020, when he pressed his knee to the victim’s neck for more than nine minutes, remains in a prison in Minneapolis awaiting the sentence, which will be read on June 25 at 1:30 p.m.
The second degree involuntary manslaughter conviction is a prison term of no more than 40 years, while third degree murder can take you a maximum of 25 years behind bars. The sentence for murder in the second degree does not exceed ten years and a financial fine of $ 20,000 (16,600 euros).
After reading the verdict of the twelve members of the jury, Judge Peter Cahill announced that the sentence would be issued after analyzing the last arguments of Chauvin’s defense and the preparation of an investigation report, which will be analyzed in a previous hearing.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black citizen, died on May 25, 2020 after complaining that he could not breathe due to having Chauvin’s knee on his neck, a sequence that was recorded on video. The police response originated because Floyd made a payment with a counterfeit $ 20 bill.
Chauvin was expelled from the Police Corps shortly after and released on bail after being charged with murder and ill-treatment, although the trial in which he has been charged with Floyd’s death has finally concluded by finding him guilty. Three other agents face charges of complicity in committing the alleged crime. All of them will be tried in August.
The event unleashed in 2020 a wave of protests against police violence and racism throughout the United States, which continues today and has starred in the days of the judicial process against Chauvin. The protesters welcomed the jury’s verdict with joy.
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