Apr 20, 2021 - Politics

Jurors resume deliberations as the nation awaits Chauvin verdict

George Floyd protesters outside courthouse

Protesters outside Hennepin County Government Center on the day of closing arguments. Photo: Christopher Mark Juhn/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial resume deliberations Tuesday morning as the nation waits for a verdict.

The latest: The 12 jurors met behind closed doors for about three hours Monday before breaking for the night at 8pm.

How we got here: Jurors sat through a total of 5.5 hours of closing arguments Monday — 2 hours 46 minutes from the prosecution and 2 hours 47 minutes from the defense, according to reporter Chao Xiong — with barely any break.

  • The intensity and length of the final day in court matched its stakes as the landmark trial nears an end.

So how long will it take for them to reach a verdict?

  • It's anyone's guess. Juries can deliberate for minutes or days or even weeks.
  • Yes, but: Most experts don't expect deliberations in this case to drag out that long.
  • Of note: Jurors are weighing three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Flashback: It took jurors about 11 hours to render a guilty verdict on third-degree murder charges against former MPD officer Mohamed Noor in 2019.

The last words: Here's are highlights from the closing:

  • Prosecutor Steve Schleicher: "This case is ... exactly what you believed. It's exactly what you saw with your eyes. It's exactly what you knew. It's what you felt in your gut. It's what you now know in your heart. This wasn't policing. This was murder."
  • Defense Attorney Eric Nelson: "In this case the totality of the circumstances ... demonstrates this was an authorized use of force, as unattractive as it may be."
  • Judge Peter Cahill: "This case is important and serious and therefore deserves your careful consideration."

What's next: Jurors are expected to deliberate until about 7pm each day if needed.

  • Cahill has said there will be more than an hour's notice before a verdict is read in court.

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