Derek Chauvin’s Attorney Demands New Trial, Arguing Jury’Felt Race-Based Stress’ to Convict
Defense Attorney Eric Nelson introduces potential jurors into Derek Chauvin through the voir dire process.
The four-page motion, filed Tuesday afternoon, inquires in part for a”hearing to impeach the verdict” — an effort to force jurors to describe, with some constraints, what occurred during deliberations. It also revealed a litany of different deficiencies from the judge and, to a lesser extent, with prosecutors in the high-profile, exceptionally watched moving.
As to the petition to”impeach the verdict,” Chauvin’s attorney, Eric J. Nelson, clarified in the motion he considers”the jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure throughout the proceedings, or neglected to adhere to instructions during deliberations, in breach of Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial”
The requisite Rule of Evidence provides more detail regarding the process at such a”hearing to impeach the verdict” It reads:
The bulk of the motion is premised to a Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure allowing defense attorneys to ask for, and judges to give,”a new investigation on the dilemma of guilt or the existence of facts to support an aggravated sentence, or both.” The relevant rule lets seven chances for this order:
1. The interests of justice;
3. Prosecutorial or jury misconduct;
4. Accident or surprise which could not have been prevented by ordinary prudence;
5. Newly discovered material evidence, which with reasonable diligence could not have been discovered and produced at the trial;
6. Errors of law at trial, and flocked to at the time unless no objection is required by these rules;
7. A verdict or finding of guilty which isn’t justified by the proof, or will be contrary to legislation.
Nelson further testified that trial judge Peter Cahill abused his discretion several times, such as (a) by denying a defense petition for change of place ; (b) by denying a previous motion for a new trial based on the effects of pretrial publicity; and (c) by failing to sequester the jury.
Pausing briefly in a criss contrary to the judge,” Nelson said (d) that prosecutors”dedicated fascist, prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct” by”disparaging the Defense; improper vouching; and failing to adequately prepare its witnesses”
Then, Nelson returned his focus on the judge by asserting the courtroom (e) must have ordered Floyd’s friend, Morries Hall, to testify; (f) didn’t satisfactorily explain the legislation to the jury; (grams ) allowed the state to present”cumulative proof;” (h) allowed the country to ask leading questions of witnesses on direct examination; and (I)”neglected to order that a record be made of the various sidebars that occurred during the trial”
“The cumulative impact of the multiple mistakes in such proceedings deprived Mr. Chauvin of a fair trial, in breach of his constitutional rights,” Nelson said. He then lent a Minnesota appeals court case to argue that”if the cumulative impact of numerous errors — even if, independently, the mistakes are harmless — represents the denial of a fair trial, the suspect is entitled to a new trial” (internal punctuation omitted).
The terse motion also asks the court for additional time to fully brief and maintain the legal points raised therein.
Chauvin is awaiting sentencing on convictions for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Read the full motion below:
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