The former Minneapolis police officer’s lawyer appeared before a Minnesota appeals court on Wednesday to request that Derek Chauvin’s convictions in the killing of George Floyd be overturned, claiming that he was denied a fair trial due to procedural and legal errors.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison by Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill after jurors convicted Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd on May 25, 2020, whom he had pushed to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Chauvin was later found guilty of a different federal civil rights charge and given a 21-year prison term. He is currently completing that sentence in Arizona along with his state-imposed term.
In his brief to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Chauvin’s appeals lawyer, William Mohrman, contended that the trial’s pre-trial publicity was more extensive than that of any other case in Minnesota history and that the judge should have postponed the trial and kept the jury in seclusion for the duration.
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In his article, Mohrman listed a number of elements that diminished Chauvin’s chances of getting a fair trial, such as the publicity surrounding the riots, the $27 million settlement the city reached with Floyd’s family during jury selection, the unrest surrounding a police killing in a Minneapolis suburb during jury selection, and the unusually high level of courthouse security.
Additionally, he charged the prosecution with misconduct and claimed that Cahill had improperly omitted information that could have been favorable to Chauvin.
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The state’s assistant attorney general Matthew Frank as well as Neal Katyal, the acting U.S. S. Chauvin’s rights were not prejudiced, according to the solicitor general during the Obama administration.
In their brief, they argued that the state had received extensive pre-trial publicity, rendering it pointless to move the trial’s location and that Cahill had taken great care to select impartial jurors. They also claimed that he took enough precautions to protect the jury from outside influences that it was unnecessary to sequester them before deliberations.
According to The Associated Press, Chauvin’s federal sentence will likely keep him in prison longer than his state sentence would because he would be eligible for parole earlier under the state system. This is true even if Chauvin succeeds on appeal.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals must reply in writing to KARE 11 within 90 days.