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George Floyd/Derrick Chauvin Trial

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Phidippides
(@phidippides)
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Chauvin was found guilty on all counts.  What do you think of the trial? 


   
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Phidippides
(@phidippides)
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Loaded Rounds: 737
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 299
Topic starter  

Here are my views on it.

  1. First, this case is way too wrapped up in politics which makes it hard to know which resolution is just.  It's simply ridiculous to think of this case as a judgment on America as a whole, or on the police, or whatever.  It's a case about facts, about the right of society to hold criminals - even police officers who cross the line - to account, and about the right of an accused to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty while enjoying rights guaranteed under our Constitution.
  2. Second, before the verdict, the only response we should have had was that we hoped justice prevailed.  People like Ben Crump who claimed that an entire race was relying on a guilty verdict were just plain irresponsible. 
  3. I watched much of the trial, but not all of it.  It's hard for me to know whether the prosecution satisfactorily showed guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  However, it's hard to see how second and third degree murder were reached given the statutes involved.  For second degree murder, I believe the jury had to conclude that Chauvin was intending to criminally assault Floyd, but I'm not sure the prosecution showed that.  Third degree murder didn't seem to apply since it calls for "Whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind...".  It doesn't seem like what Chauvin did was a danger to "others" (plural) but only to one person.  Second degree manslaughter seemed much more applicable because it's based on negligence when "the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another".
  4. I expect this to have a good likelihood of being overturned at some point on appeal.  Criminal defendants have a Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury, which means the court needs to adequately protect them from influence from the outside.  The judge likely should have moved the trial or totally sequestered the jury, but he did neither (they were fully sequestered for the deliberation).  There is a good chance that members of the jury knew the commotion going on outside, including the threats of violence if he were found not guilty.  Hard to know if the jury was basing their decision on the facts and law or desire to have their neighborhood escape the flames of rioters.

So I suspect that we'll see this case appealed, and that a mistrial will be declared, and he will be retried.  As I stated, I think second degree manslaughter sounds more plausible given what I know about the case, though I could be wrong. 


   
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