Chauvin juror who promised judge impartiality said serving can 'spark some change'
May 05 2021
He said the goal of the questioning is to show 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".
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter last month over the death of George Floyd - but new questions were raised in recent days over the impartiality of one of the jurors.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The defense attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd has requested a new trial, saying the court abused its discretion, and he wants a hearing to have the verdict impeached because of what he says is jury misconduct, according to a court document filed Tuesday.
The motion alleges the court abused its discretion by denying the requests for a change in venue and a new trial.
Mr. Nelson gave few details on alleged prosecutorial misconduct, which he said included "disparaging the Defense; improper vouching; and failing to adequately prepare its witnesses". "The publicity was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings".
Nelson also took issue with Cahill's refusal to sequester the jury for the trial or warn them to avoid all media, and with his refusal to allow a man who was with Floyd at the time of his arrest to testify.
Former Chief Hennepin County Public Defender Mary Moriarty, who wasn't involved in the case, said there wasn't much new in the filing, and that it lacked specificity.
Legal experts have said the defense could use this to justify an appeal or to even possibly push for a mistrial. Mitchell had indicated on his juror questionnaire that he had not attended any Black Lives Matter protests, and he told the Star Tribune he did not consider the D.C. event to be a protest or an event specifically about Floyd's death.
A photograph from the event showed Mitchell wearing a black T-shirt with a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. emblazoned with the words "Get your knee off our necks", and "BLM", which stands for Black Lives Matter, as well as a baseball cap that says "Black Lives Matter". The second asked: "Other than what you have already described above, have you, or anyone close to you, participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality?"
Mitchell answered "no" to both questions.
The defence will argue the image is proof that Mitchell was not impartial. During jury selection, he also told Nelson that he had a "very favourable" opinion of Black Lives Matter, and that he knew some "great guys" who were police officers. "It was literally called the anniversary of the March on Washington", he said. He said the question about attending an anti-police rally is open to interpretation, so it is unlikely that the court will find that he was lying.
He said he was capable of being impartial as a juror.