Derek Chauvin, the man who was found guilty of killing George Floyd two weeks ago has now appealed to the Minnesota Judge to reconduct his trial, arguing that his jurors were heavily influenced by the large-scale publicity of the case.
Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney registered a complaint in state court Tuesday, citing several problems about how the trial was not conducted impartially. From the judge’s refusal to change the venue to no sequestration of jurors during the trial, the filing reads: “Errors in these proceedings deprived Mr. Chauvin of a fair trial, in violation of his constitutional rights,”
He also argued that it was unconstitutional for the court to not call Morries Hall to testify since Hall was suspected to be a drug dealer and a close acquaintance of Floyd’s who was with him at the time of his death. It was later noted that Hall had cited the Fifth Amendment to avoid coming to court, but he had spoken to the police and those statements hadn’t been revealed to the jurors, despite Nelson’s incessant attempts to have them read in a trial.
A process more commonly known as sequestration in court, Nelson argued that the jurors should have been isolated for Derek Chauvin’s trial. Floyd’s death had garnered substantial media coverage and the issue had been circulating on platforms throughout the world. He used this point to suggest the possibility of the high media coverage influencing the juror’s decision to declare Chauvin guilty. In a statement, Nelson wrote about how the case’s “publicity was so pervasive and so prejudicial,” a factor that led to convicting Derek Chauvin of murder.
Chauvin’s appeal to change the verdict doesn’t come as a surprise. Apart from Eric Nelson, his lawyers had also continually pestered the judge about the trial that had become more of a worldwide issue- considering it was broadcast throughout the nation and elicited a string of responses from renowned celebrities and politicians.
At present, Derek Chauvin has been locked up in prison and his sentencing is scheduled to take place on June 25. He has been charged for unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter- all of which carry long sentences.