The Guardian (Charlottetown)
Chauvin likely to appeal, claiming trial tainted
Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin will likely seek to overturn his murder and manslaughter convictions by arguing that the jury was prejudiced by media coverage and a settlement in the civil case brought by George Floyd’s family, though his odds of success are slim, legal experts said.
A jury on Tuesday found that Chauvin was guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree “depraved mind” murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd, a Black man.
Video of the incident touched off global protests over race and police brutality.
Chauvin’s attorneys will have to notify the trial court within 60 days if they plan to appeal. His lawyers then have months to review transcripts and court filings dating from the start of the case to build their arguments.
Two weeks before trial testimony began, Minneapolis agreed to pay US$27 million to settle a civil lawsuit brought by Floyd’s family over his death.
The agreement was reached while jury selection in the criminal case was under way and Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson said the settlement had an “incredible propensity to taint a jury pool.”
Judge Peter Cahill on March 19 rejected Nelson’s request to delay the trial because of the settlement, a decision which the defense is likely to raise on appeal.
Chauvin’s lawyers may also cite Cahill’s decision to hold the trial in Minneapolis as a reason to overturn the conviction.