Welcome to our ongoing coverage of the Minnesota murder trial of Derek Chauvin, over the in-custody death of George Floyd. I am Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense, providing guest commentary and analysis of this trial for Legal Insurrection.
As a reminder, I am “LIVE Parlering” the trial in real-time over at my Parler account, which you can find using my Parler handle: @LawofSelfDefense.
Just a quick early morning post this morning to share with you Judge Cahill’s rulings on four important motions.
The defense had made motions to continue (delay) the trial as well as for a change of venue.
Both of those motions were DENIED. So jury selection, trial will continue on schedule in Hennepin County in this courtroom.
The defense had also made a motion to admit video evidence of George Floyd’s year-prior arrest-related drug ingestion event, which is remarkably parallel to what happened on his day of death in 2020. Judge Cahill will ALLOW very limited admissibility of this video, for the sole purpose of arguing Floyd’s actual cause of death, a key issue in this case—did Chauvin kill Floyd, or did Floyd kill Floyd via drug toxicity when he ingested fatal dose of fentanyl. Much of the video of that 2019 event will not, however, be admissible, only the portions directly related to Floyd’s physiological condition and response to drug ingestion.
The state made a motion to admit expert witness testimony of forensic psychiatrist Dr. Vincent, as evidence of Floyd’s emotional state and to explain away his apparent non-compliance with arrest. Judge Cahill has DENIED this evidence, on grounds that Floyd’s emotional state (as distinguished from his physiological state) is irrelevant.
However, Cahill may allow Dr. Vincent testimony if the defense opens the door by making argument around Floyd’s emotional state. In that case however, Cahill cautioned that if Dr. Vincent is allowed to come in then the ENTIRETY of the 2019 arrest-related drug ingestion event would be admissible to enable defense to rebut that testimony on emotional state.
Here’s the video of Cahill announcing his decisions on these four motions:
Until next time, stay safe!
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
Attorney Andrew F. Branca’s legal practice has specialized exclusively in use-of-force law for thirty years. Andrew provides use-of-force legal consultancy services to attorneys across the country, as well as near-daily use-of-force law insight, expertise, and education to lawyers and non-lawyers alike in the form of blog posts, video, and podcasts, through the Law of Self Defense Membership service. If this kind of content is of interest to you, try out our two-week Membership trial for a mere 99 cents, with a 200% no-question- asked money-back guarantee, here: Law of Self Defense Membership Trial.
[Featured image is a screen capture from video of today’s court proceedings in MN v. Chauvin.]