Derek Chauvin’s lawyer said that the former police officer did not receive a fair trial, asking the court to annul the decision.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A lawyer for Derek Chauvin asked an appeals court Wednesday to throw out the former Minneapolis police officer’s conviction in the killing of George Floyd, arguing that there were legal errors. and procedures that prevented him from a fair trial.

Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pinned the Black man down with his knee on his neck for 9 1/2 minutes. A video captured Floyd crying “I can’t breathe.” Floyd’s death sparked protests around the world and forced a national inquiry into police brutality and racism.

READ MORE: The former police officer who knelt behind George Floyd was sentenced to 3.5 years

Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrman, told the three-judge Minnesota Court of Appeals that the trial judge should have removed the case from Minneapolis because of the amount of publicity before make judgments and defenses that did not happen before because of the fear of opposition.

“The main issue in this appeal is whether a criminal defendant can receive a fair trial according to basic needs in a courthouse surrounded by concrete blocks, barbed wire, employee car pits, and a group of National Guard soldiers, all of them who are. it exists for one purpose: if the court acquits the accused,” Mohrman said.

But Neal Katyal, a special attorney for the state, said Chauvin received “one of the clearest and most thorough trials in the history of our nation. … Chauvin’s arguments before this court are not close to justifying the change.”

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years when the jury found him guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin later pleaded guilty to the civil rights charge and was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison, which he is currently serving in Arizona along with his state sentence.

“Judge Cahill conducted this trial with great care, and even if Chauvin could have made a small mistake, there was nothing wrong,” Katyal said. “The proof of Chauvin’s guilt was caught on video for the world to see.”

Judge of Appeal Peter Reyes said on Wednesday that the court will make a decision within 90 days. Chauvin did not participate in the oral arguments, but Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who assembled the prosecution’s team, sat in the front row.

Even if Chauvin wins his appeal, his federal sentence will keep him in prison for longer than the state sentence that would make him eligible for parole early in the process. state.

Mike Brandt, the Minneapolis attorney who followed the cases arising from Floyd’s murder, said that winning the appeal “will be meaningless” and that Chauvin’s time in prison “is locked fine with the battery” because of his federal sentence.

READ MORE: Former police officer Derek Chauvin has pleaded guilty to federal charges in the death of George Floyd

Mohrman often pursues conservative causes, including challenges to President Joe Biden’s election victory and the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Mohrman argued in his brief that the pretrial release was more extensive than any other trial in history. history of Minnesota, and the judge had to proceed with the trial and dismiss the jury. Mohrman wrote that the publicity and uproar, the $27 million settlement the city and Floyd’s family announced during the jury selection, was uproar over the murder. the police in a town in Minneapolis during the selection of the jury, and the sealing of the courthouse, are some of the reasons. prejudicing Chauvin’s chance at a fair trial.

Most of the questions on Wednesday focused on one of the judges who attended a civil rights meeting to commemorate the March of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington a few months after Floyd’s death. After the trial the judge announced that he was there.

He was asked during the jury selection whether he participated in any demonstrations or marches “in Minneapolis” against police brutality after the death of Floyd. But Chauvin’s former attorney, Eric Nelson, did not ask if he had participated in any marches elsewhere.

Mohrman argued that Cahill should have held a hearing after the show to determine whether the judge’s failure to disclose was misconduct. He said the appeals court should send the case back to Cahill for a hearing on that issue – a request Cahill refused.

Reyes said jurors are “quick to judge” in sentencing, and Nelson asked the juror if he could have been hit but wasn’t. According to Reyes, the case law places the burden of asking the right questions on the defense.

Katyal told jurors that the juror answered the questions correctly and repeatedly argued that he could make an impartial decision. He said that the opposition did not use his three games, which he said was an indication of the satisfaction of the judges.

READ MORE: Derek Chauvin will be sued for copyright infringement

In their brief, prosecutors said pre-trial publicity that covered the state’s motion for a change of venue for the trial had no effect. School. They also said Cahill took reasonable steps to protect jurors from outside influence so there was no need to convict them before deliberations.

Other arguments in the appeal include whether Chauvin’s conviction for third-degree murder was legally permissible, and whether Cahill was justified in the more than 12 1/2 years recommended under government sentencing guidelines.

Leave a Comment