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.
Well, not much exciting happened this afternoon in voir dire, as the court worked its way through the last three prospective jurors for the day.
The first post-lunch juror, #59, was promptly switched off-microphone to discuss an unstated sensitive matter, and when the court came back on-microphone he was dismissed for unstated reasons.
The second post-lunch juror, #60, was a male in college with aspirations for law school. He professed not much knowledge of the case, claimed to not have formed opinions, promised to listen to all the arguments in court and to be fair and impartial, and he was promptly stricken by the defense after their questioning of him. I presume the fact that #60 was immersed in what he himself described a the extremely liberal environment of a college campus was the key. Also, the notion that if #60 even briefly considered what his college life would be like upon his return if he were to vote for an acquittal, he’d never consider voting not guilty.
Finally, the third post-lunch prospective juror, #62, was fully the fourth today alone to be dismissed for cause after explicitly telling Judge Cahill that they could not be fair and impartial if they were placed on the jury.
This last one, at least, had not so much formed a definite opinion of Chauvin. Rather he knew that his concerns about the safety of his family would lean him heavily towards a guilty verdict, and away from an acquittal, were he on the jury, and he recognized this would not be a fair trial of the defendant.
Normally I would share some details, Parler posts, and video of those jurors who were seated this afternoon, but none were.
As an alternative, I’ve pulled together the video from this morning’s in-court discussion around the arguably prejudicial effect of the city of Minneapolis settling with the Floyd family to the tune of $27 million this past Friday.
I’ve also pulled together the relatively short videos of the four prospective jurors who announced to Judge Cahill that they could not be fair and impartial in this case, to give you a sense for the thinking of these folks.
Once again, I’d like to explicitly give them full points for being honest. No one can demand that a prospective juror be unbiased. All we can ask for is that they be honest, admit their bias, and remove themselves from consideration as a juror. These four today did so, and kudos.
If you’re reading this as a blog post, each of these five videos is embedded immediately below. Each is relatively short, about 10 minutes in length or less.
If you’re listening to this as a podcast, I’ve gone ahead and embedded the audio of each of those five videos right into the podcast.
Settlement Prejudice Discussion
OK, folks, that’s all I have for all of you today. Until tomorrow, 8:00am CST when we join the court live again, 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 Court TV video of today’s court proceedings in MN v. Chauvin.]