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Posted under: News Social Justice

Legal Experts Doubtful Derek Chauvin's Lawyers Will Be Successful In Request For New Trial

Several attorneys believe that Chauvin and his team's argument alleging juror misconduct is weak and will be shut down in court.

Derek Chauvin’s legal team has filed a motion for a new trial this week, bringing into question the legitimacy and fairness of his April trial.

As Blavity previously reported, the former Minneapolis police officer was convicted last month of second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder in the death of George Floyd.

In four pages of court filings, attorney Eric Nelson detailed what he said was a number of mistakes made during the trial that violated Chauvin's constitutional rights to a due process and a fair trial, according to CNN. Nelson alleged that Hennepin Judge Peter Cahill committed prosecutorial misconduct, juror misconduct, witness intimidation and overlooked the impact of publicity of the case.

Attorney Joe Tamburino, who was not associated with either side in the Chauvin trial, said the odds of the former police officer being granted a new trial are dismal.

“It appears that when it comes to this alleged juror misconduct Derek Chauvin is asking for this verdict to be thrown out,” Tamburino said, according to CBS Minnesota. “Obviously the defense is under the gun, they have 14 days to do a motion for a new trial.”

Last week, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told Rev. Al Sharpton that he viewed the composition of the jury as a “bouquet of humanity.” Blackwell shared that the prosecution’s argument was centered on the shared humanity we all share, including the bystanders who were prohibited from helping Floyd.

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell reflects more on the Derek Chauvin trial. #PoliticsNation pic.twitter.com/4kohlpFJJv

— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) May 2, 2021

“Our theory was that the humanity that unites all of us is greater than any of the ideas that separate us,” he said.

Chauvin’s attorney contended that the publicity during the trial threatened its fairness, and alleged that a defense consultant witness was harassed after he testified, but before the jury met for deliberation.

"The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings," Nelson wrote.

Turning his sights on the jury, the attorney accused the jurors of committing misconduct, who he said could have potentially "felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations."

His argument was contradicted by juror Brandon Mitchell’s recent television appearances. During an interview on USA Today, Mitchell said he and his fellow jury members felt hardly any pressure at all to reach a guilty verdict.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said Mitchell’s comments could come into play in relation to Chauvin’s conviction appeal. He expressed that Mitchell’s interview “completely obliterates” Nelson’s argument that the jury was pressured to come to their determination, Revolt reports.

No. No. No. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. https://t.co/tC95w0ITUc

— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) May 4, 2021

In the legal documents, Nelson added that the court "abused its discretion" in not permitting a change of venue or sequestering the jury.

He said that the court violated “its discretion when it submitted instructions to the jury that failed to accurately reflect the law" in regards to the second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and authorized use of force charges," CNN reports.

The attorney continued, saying that the prosecution failed to prevent misconduct "including but not limited to: disparaging the Defense; improper vouching, and failing to adequately prepare its witnesses."

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