The jury selection begins Monday at the trial of Derek Chauvin, who was charged with a second murder and manslaughter of Floyd’s death. Prosecutors and defense lawyers are expected to take at least three weeks to appoint a jury as they seek to eliminate those who may be prejudiced against them.
Former prosecutor Susan Gertner said, “I don’t want a completely blank jury because it means it’s not in harmony with the world at all.” “But what you want is a jury who can set aside the opinions formed before entering court and give both sides a fair hearing.”
Floyd retained his position on May 25, after white Chauvin pressed his knees against Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes and then dragged him because Floyd was handcuffed and lay on his stomach. Later, he was sentenced to death. Floyd’s death caused occasional fierce protests in Minneapolis and beyond, leading to national calculations of the race.
Chauvin and three other police officers were fired. Others are facing an August trial on prosecution assistance and betting.
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, argued that pre-trial publicity of the case and subsequent violent mayhem in Minneapolis would make it impossible to find a fair jury in Hennepin County. But Judge Peter Cayhill said last year that “every corner of Minnesota isn’t protected from pre-trial propaganda,” moving the trial doesn’t solve the problem of possible jury pool pollution. I said I would.
The jury candidate (at least 18 years old, a US citizen and a resident of Hennepin County) was sent a questionnaire to determine how much he had heard and commented on the case. In addition to background and demographic information, juries were asked about previous contact with police, whether they protested police atrocities, and whether they believed the judicial system was fair.
Some questions became concrete, such as how often the jury candidate watched a video of a bystander of Floyd’s arrest, whether they had a sign in protest, and what the sign said. I will.
Local defense lawyer Mike Brandt said prosecutors could look for a jury who had a positive opinion about the Black Lives Matter movement or was more angry about Floyd’s death. Said it was expensive.
Unlike the normal jury selection process, this jury pool is asked one by one, not in groups. Judges, defense lawyers, and prosecutors will all ask questions. The defense can oppose up to 15 jury candidates without giving a reason. Prosecutors can block up to nine people without explaining why. The other side can oppose these so-called compulsory challenges if they believe that race or gender is the only reason to disqualify the jury.
Both sides can also insist that the jury be dismissed indefinitely “for good reason.” That is, they must provide a reason for them to believe that the jury should not serve. According to Brant, this situation can fall into some detailed tactics, and it’s up to the judge to decide whether the jury will stay or go.
“Sometimes there are tortured questions,” Brandt said.
Even if the jury says they have had a negative interaction with the police or have a negative opinion about Black Lives Matter, the key is that they are fair with their past experiences and opinions aside. He said it was to see if it could be done.
“We are all stepping into these with prejudices. The question is, can we put these prejudices aside and be fair in this case,” he said.
The jury selection will end after 14 people have been elected. Twelve juries will deliberate the case and will not participate in the deliberations unless two juries are required. The jury is attended by the court daily and quarantined during the deliberations. Their names will be kept secret until further court orders are given.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, court seats are limited to maintain social distance and jury seats are vacant. Like everyone else in court, the jury must wear a mask.
The earliest opening statement begins on March 29th.
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Derek Chauvin trial: Jury selection is 1st battleground at trial in George Floyd’s death Source link Derek Chauvin trial: Jury selection is 1st battleground at trial in George Floyd’s death