(FiveNation.com)- In filing their legal arguments in support of a motion for a new trial, the defense team representing Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin is claiming the prejudicial pretrial publicity surrounding Chauvin’s case made impossible for him to receive a fair trial in Hennepin County.
They further argue that juror misconduct during the trial also deprived Chauvin of the right to a fair and impartial jury.
In their 53-page memorandum, Chauvin’s defense catalogues what they believe were Judge Peter Cahill’s shortcomings in addressing the request for a change in venue.
Most notable among the claims is that Judge Cahill’s approach to the motion for a change of venue based on pretrial publicity was somewhat cavalier. The memorandum includes a direct quote from Cahill where he stated “I don’t think there’s any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity in this case.”
In reviewing the defense’s memorandum, RedState’s Shipwreckedcrew – a former Federal prosecutor – writes that it is not required that jurors be completely ignorant of the facts of a case. What’s more in today’s information age, it would be impossible to find jurors who haven’t been exposed to some news or opinion about a case and, as a result, have already formed some opinion of the merits of the case.
Shortly after the verdict, it was discovered that one juror in Chauvin’s trial traveled to DC in 2020 and attended a BLM rally. While at the DC event the juror was photographed wearing a “GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECKS” Black Lives Matter T-shirt.
At the time this was revealed, Chauvin’s defense attorney said this alone was not enough to secure a new trial for his client. However, combined with other the other questionable issues, it could have an impact.
Shipwreckedcrew believes that it is likely Judge Cahill will deny any motions for a new trial, adding “Minneapolis would likely burn” if he granted a new trial. Likewise he suspects the Minnesota appeals court will deny the motions as well.
Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter on April 20.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 25th.
Read the 53-page defense memorandum HERE.