Ellison says Chauvin received ‘fair trial and a just sentence’ as ex-officer appeals for new trial
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Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin filed an appeal asking for a new trial after being convicted of murdering George Floyd, but Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a response saying the initial trial was “one of the most thorough and transparent … in the history of this nation.”
Chauvin, who was sentenced to 22½ years in prison for second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, claims that the pretrial news coverage and civil unrest following Floyd’s death made it impossible for him to get a fair trial.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison responded to the appeal by arguing that Chauvin is not entitled to a new trial based on publicity, saying that the argument “boils down to an unsupported assertion that the notoriety of Chauvin’s crimes somehow prevented him from receiving a fair trial.”
Chauvin’s attorneys also said the trial should have been held outside of Minnesota or that jurors should have been physically sequestered. State prosecutors responded by saying that the court had already evaluated efforts to move the trial and rejected them, in part because the trial was “sure to garner tremendous publicity whenever and wherever it occurred.”
Ellison continued to point out other factors that he claims show the trial was fair and that there was “no misconduct, nor any prejudice to Chauvin.” He points to the process of selecting witnesses, members of the jury and security measures in place to ensure the safety of all parties involved.
Ellison also responded to Chauvin’s challenges to the jury’s instructions when coming to a verdict. Chauvin’s defense team claimed that the instructions saying it was “not necessary for the State to prove that the defendant intended to inflict substantial bodily harm” had “obfuscate[d] the burden of proof.” The response filing states that the district court properly instructed the jury to decide if the state was able to prove if “George Floyd sustained substantial bodily harm as a result of the assault” and that the district court’s language for the jury instructions should not be disturbed.
There are currently no court hearings scheduled in Chauvin’s appeal for a new trial.
The former officer is currently in custody at a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona.