Chauvin Trial: Final Jury Instructions

Hey folks,

Just a quick post here to document the final jury instructions for the Derek Chauvin trial.

Stay safe!


Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

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6 thoughts on “Chauvin Trial: Final Jury Instructions”

  1. I am amazed that the jury convicted him on the “Assault in the Third Degree” under the felony murder. This would require that Chauvin was intentionally causing bodily harm to Floyd meaning that Chauvin intentionally was placing his knee on Floyd’s neck to cause “pain or injury”, and not for the purpose of a lawful arrest. Doesn’t the state have to prove Chauvin’s mindset in order to convict him of this? We already have body cam footage of Chauvin stating his reasoning when he said, “The guy is big and on drugs and we had to control him”

    1. My thoughts exactly. When a person uses force against another person without the other person’s permission, or without the permission of the law, the intent to cause whatever result occurs is implied by law (the eggshell doctrine). When a person uses force for a lawful purpose with the permission of the person, or with the permission of the law, and there is an unforeseen result, the eggshell doctrine does not apply, and the unforeseen result of the use of force is excused on the grounds of misfortune. Since no malice is implied by law the prosecution must prove the necessary element of malice aforethought (intent) beyond a reasonable doubt.

    2. Attorney Andrew Branca

      Under MN law the state needed to prove not that Chauvin intended to cause harm, but only that he intended to commit the physical contact was wither without consent or not otherwise authorized by law, and for 3rd degree assault that serious bodily harm or death resulted. No particular harm need have been intended by Chauvin. So if the jury decided the kneeling was unauthorized by law (“not per training,” as the state argued), and that Floyd’s death was the result, the state need only also convince the jury that Chauvin had not tripped and landed on Floyd with is knee unintentionally.

      1. I am looking at the general principle of law that the intent makes the felony, the felony doesn’t make the intent, and the Minnesota statutory definition of assault that requires an “intent” to inflict bodily harm before the act can be an assault.

        I didn’t see any evidence that Chauvin intended to inflict bodily harm on Floyd, all the evidence pointed to his intent to prevent bodily harm to Floyd and to get him emergency medical care.

        Minnesota’s codification of the law is not very well written.

  2. Maryland is now investigating the defense witness Dr. David Fowler, who was Maryland’s chief medical examiner from 2002 to 2019, because he had the gall to state that Floyd died of a cardiac event. So now it’s not just juror intimidation or doxxing, it’s any witness at all. Is this the future of any lawful self defense court case?

    1. That’s silly. Actually Dr. Tobin clearly testified that the cause of death could not be determined from the autopsy because there was no medical evidence of a blood choke or an air choke. His testimony should have ended there because he had no training or experience in the judicious use of force to make an arrest or restrain a suspect who was having a violent fit.

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