Chauvin’s “slumping performance” leaves experts to discuss the outcome of the trial


Mark Osler was amazed and watched as a defensive medical expert testified in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin.

Osler, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minnesota, says why in racist cases, defense relies heavily on “white professionals” who grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He said he thought he would. ) And trained in South Africa during apartheid.

“He spent much of his life where white supremacy was literally a form of government,” Osler said. “People with such a background are not necessarily racists, but the symbolic link to historic racism was unmistakable.”

In the end, he said he decided they wouldn’t have a better option. The defense called on seven witnesses, including only two experts, a specialist in the use of force and a medical expert, Dr. David Fowler.

“I really thought the defense would have more arrows in the quiver-but given the nature of the case, I think they had a hard time finding credible facts and expert witnesses.” He said.

This is a conclusion drawn by several legal experts who provided observations on prosecution and defense performance, both of which suspended their proceedings almost three weeks after witness testimony in a carefully watched trial. No.

Defense lawyer Eric Nelson (left) and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (right) at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 30, 2021.

Defense lawyer Eric Nelson (left) and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (right) at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 30, 2021.

“In fact, the defense was weaker than I expected,” said David Schultz, a visiting law professor at the University of Minnesota. “I was expecting more witnesses and more medical testimony.”

Schultz suspects he is reluctant to testify because he is concerned that the other witnesses searched by counsel Eric Nelson may be considered “behind the scenes of history.” ..

Chauvin has been charged with two and three murders and two manslaughter charges. George FloydHe screamed out of breath, and his mother lay down and pinned it to the ground below Chauvin’s lap. The prosecutor said more than nine minutes. The trial described the last moments of Floyd’s life in great detail.

Suffering witnesses testified about their sorrow for not being able to help him. Medical experts told the jury how long it would take the human body to run out of oxygen. Police officers tried to distance themselves from one of them in less than a year.

And the viral videos that shook this country and other nations (accelerating protests, seeking racial justice, demanding police reform), almost every day, in whole or in part, for the jury. It is being played.

Prosecutors allege that Floyd pressed Chauvin’s knees against his neck and placed his hands behind him to secure him to the ground, resulting in death from lack of oxygen or suffocation. The defense said it was due to Floyd’s drug use and bad heart.

Chauvin Refuse to testify, Exercise his fifth amendment To avoid self-incrimination. Closing arguments are set to begin on Monday.

Overall, Mr Osler said the prosecution was much more effective. Not because of the lawyer, but because of the witnesses, specifically, Minneapolis Police Chief Medallia Aradondo And Dr. Martin Tobin, a world-renowned pulmonologist. They were among the 38 people called to the stand by the prosecution.

“The two most powerful witnesses in the trial were Chief Aradondo and Dr. Tobin, both unambiguous and spoken in plain language from a wide range of experience,” Osler said. “In contrast, defense witnesses were less convincing.”

Image: Minneapolis Police Department Chief Medaria Arradondo testified at the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis on April 5, 2021.  (Court TV pool via AP)

Image: Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified at the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis on April 5, 2021. (Court TV pool via AP)

Nelson claimed that Chauvin simply followed the training he received. 19 years careerBut Aradondo was in a handful Veteran police officer who testified otherwise.. Prosecutors were also able to pierce the testimony of Barry Brod, an expert in the use of defense forces. Those who testified that Chauvin did not use deadly power..

Bloyd testified that Chauvin’s actions were justified because Floyd was not obedient. The obedient person “rested comfortably” on the pavement while being anchored under Chauvin’s lap, he said.

“Did you say’rest comfortably’?” Prosecutor Stephen Schleicher asked Brod.

“Or I was lying comfortably,” Brod replied.

“Are you resting comfortably on the pavement?” Schleicher asked.

“Yes,” Brod said.

He finally admitted that Chauvin’s knees on Floyd’s neck could have caused Floyd’s pain and could therefore be considered a force.

Schultz believes the indictment should be seen as a victory in the testimony of several medical professionals, including lung and critical care specialist Tobin at Edward Hines Junior VA Hospital and Loyola University School of Medicine in Illinois. Stated. “A healthy person exposed to what Mr. Floyd received would have died,” Tobin testified. Floyd died from low levels of oxygen caused by shallow breathing, he said.

Dr. Andrew Baker, an inspector general at Hennepin County, who performed an autopsy on Floyd and declared his death a murder, testified: Fentanyl and heart disease contributed to Floyd’s death However, the actions of police officers were the main cause.

The more technical and professional testimony of medical professionals and police was balanced with the testimony of the everyday people who spent their days when they encountered Floyd and Chauvin.

Darnella Frazier, who was 17 when he recorded a viral video and uploaded it to Facebook, Emotional testimony that Floyd’s death is bothering her.. Several bystanders cried at the stand.They said They saw Floyd die and felt helpless And the Chauvin seemed indifferent to their plea.

“They all testified to the horror they saw,” Schultz said. “I think this helps the jury to infer the corrupt spirit or manslaughter that is the standard needed to prove a third-class murder or manslaughter.”

“There was logic and order in what they were here,” Schultz added.

Rebecca Cabana, a criminal defense counsel in New York who is closely watching the case, said: The team that George Zimmerman had probably helped him acquittal. “

Nelson proved that there was nothing comparable to the prosecutor’s team, she said. Keith Ellison, Attorney General, elected the first African-American in Minnesota. Former federal prosecutor and veteran referee lawyer Stephen Schleicher. Jerry Blackwell won the posthumous amnesty of a black man who was mistakenly convicted of rape in June 2020 before his 1920 lynching in Darus. Matthew Frank, a 21-year veteran of the Attorney General’s office. Former federal prosecutor Erin Eldridge and several others who joined the Attorney General’s office in 2018.

“He’s not terrible,” Cabana said of Nelson. “He is not comparable to the prosecution.”

Mr. Cabana said it was as powerful as the prosecution’s case. The conviction is far from certain, as the jury’s racial makeup and implicit prejudice can act.

Fourteen juries, including two agents, listened to the case.

They include 9 women and 5 men. Eight of the jury have identified white, four black, and two mixed races. They are in their 20s and 60s.

“I remember George Zimmerman being convicted and feeling almost inevitable that a jury of six women (five of whom were white) acquitted him,” she said. It was. “In that case, I found that the race had beaten the gender, and I’ve seen it many times in this country. In this case, with a majority of white juries, it might happen again. I’m worried about it. “

Mr Cabana said she believes the prosecution did a good job dealing with this through the testimony of white witnesses.

“Many of the law enforcement officers who testified to Chauvin were white, and perhaps most importantly, forensic and medical professionals were white,” she said. “Dr. Tobin was probably the most important here. Objectively, he was probably a great witness with unquestionable credibility, but his whiteness, Irish accents, all of which are implicit biases. From the perspective of, the emergence of authority. “

One of the obvious mistakes she made was that she didn’t seem ready to defend herself to introduce the theory that carbon monoxide poisoning from car exhaust affected Floyd’s death.

She said the prosecutor should have expected the defense to raise such suspicions. Instead, the prosecutor had to bring Tobin back to the stand as a witness to the counterargument to withdraw the allegations.

“I think it was helpful to give Dr. Tobin the last word, but it wasn’t very helpful to give the final testimony of what wasn’t a problem in the trial. It’s more important than that. I think. “

In closing arguments, Schultz found that Floyd’s detention was a “substantial causal factor” to his death and not the only cause for Chauvin to be guilty of murder. He said he needed to remind the jury that he needed to. They also need to make a final attempt to persuade the jury who had a corrupt spirit when Chauvin knelt on Floyd.

According to Schultz and Osler, what the defense wants to do is confuse the jury.

“The defense has much more to do in closing arguments,” Osler said. “The challenge for Eric Nelson is to stitch together several different threads of testimony to form something that creates reasonable doubt.”

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