May 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Derek Chauvin's legal team requests new trial, alleging jury misconduct

Derek Chauvin

Photo: Handout/Minnesota Department of Corrections via Getty Images

Derek Chauvin's lawyer filed a motion on Tuesday in Hennepin County, Minnesota, for a new trial on multiple grounds including jury misconduct.

The big picture: Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter last month in George Floyd's death. Video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes as Floyd pleaded that he couldn't breathe sparked global protests.

What they're saying: "The State committed pervasive, prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct, which deprived Mr. Chauvin of his constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial, including but not limited to: disparaging the Defense; improper vouching; and failing to adequately prepare its witnesses," the motion reads.

  • The filing cites factors such as "the interests of justice; abuse of discretion that deprived the Defendant of a fair trial; prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law."
  • Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson, who filed the motion, did not name any jurors or explain what specific misconduct he was referring to.
  • "The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings," the motion read.

What to watch: Nelson filed a request for a hearing to impeach the verdict “on the grounds that the jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations, in violation of Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial.”

    • He also asked the court for time to fully investigate the issues.
    • Wednesday is the deadline for post-conviction filings, per Minnesota court rules cited by the Wall Street Journal.
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