Mar 11, 2021 - News

Some locals leap at chance to serve on Derek Chauvin jury

Illustration of a pattern of gavels.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

One of the concerns going into the Derek Chauvin jury selections was that the court would have a hard time finding enough people willing to subject themselves to a month-long trial during a pandemic and face potential backlash after their decision.

Reality check: In the first two days of selection, five jurors have been seated, which puts the court on pace to easily seat 12 jurors and four alternates before the March 29 trial start.

State of play: While some potential jurors have tried to avoid duty, a surprising number of Hennepin County residents have been OK with serving, and a few have been flat out excited.

One potential juror on Wednesday said he is getting married on May 1 in Florida, but was willing to delay the wedding to serve on the jury. The trial is expected to wrap up in late April.

  • "We would have to make accommodations ... that's me answering, not my fiancee," he said to laughter in the court.
  • He was seated.

Another prospective juror on Tuesday said she voted in the November election because she wanted to become eligible for jury duty and called the process "fascinating." She took multiple days to fill out a questionnaire.

  • She was also seated.

Yes, but: When prospective jurors seem too eager it can be viewed as a sign that they want the chance to convict or acquit Chauvin, causing the defense or prosecution to strike them.

  • But in these cases the jurors' excitement has centered around doing their civic duty.

Of note: So far, the five seated jurors are three white men, one woman of color and a Black man who is an immigrant.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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