George Floyd’s family lawyer is a fixture outside the Chauvin trial. Legal experts say that if a former police officer is convicted, this will be appealed.


Ben Crump George Floyd

George Floyd’s Family Attorney Ben Crump, Center, addresses media outside the Hennepin County Government Center. Associated Press Photo / Jim Monet

  • Floyd lawyers have made announcements and held events throughout Chauvin’s trial.

  • If Chauvin is convicted, the timing of these cases could be appealed, according to legal experts.

  • They said this is one of the many challenges of trying out the hottest cases in the Internet age.

  • For more articles, please visit the Insider homepage..

George Floyd’s family lawyer Benjamin Crump holds a press conference outside the Hennepin County Courthouse in the city $ 27 million illegal death settlement.

When the trial began two weeks later Crump and Rev. Al Sharpton gathered outside the courthouse Chauvin kneels on Floyd’s neck and takes a knee of 8 minutes and 46 seconds, showing the recorded time before his death.

The civil rights team returned to the government building on Wednesday, and a trial was held internally, this time leading the audience and Floyd’s family in prayer.

Crump is within the right to host these demonstrations in honor of Floyd and his family, but criminal law experts say that if Chauvin is convicted, he is likely to be filed on appeal. I have.

“It’s a dangerous move. Timing is tricky, there’s no doubt about it,” retired federal judge Nancy Gartner said of the March 12 settlement announcement. “I don’t know who it will affect, so for the prosecution, did they hear about this and lose the jury that would otherwise have been good for them?”

After the announcement, Judge Peter Cayhill of Hennepin County brought all seven already elected juries back to court and asked if they could remain fair after being exposed to the news. The two were eventually dismissed, and several jury candidates in the pool were also dismissed after telling the judge that the settlement amount was too high and they were feeling guilty.

Gartner, who currently teaches at Harvard Law School, made a distinction between demonstrating and disclosing information that the jury would not have disclosed in the trial.

“It’s always a more difficult situation. How do you forget what you’ve heard?” Gartner said of new information related to the incident. “Demonstrations have no real effect.”

The Crump representative did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

“People only pay that amount if they do something wrong.”

If a jury in Henepin County convicted Shovin, who was charged with murder and manslaughter, experts are likely to insist on the timing of the $ 27 million settlement, and publicly announced in court. The demonstration may have jeopardized the client’s right to a fair trial.

Daniel Medwed, a prominent professor of law and criminal justice at Northeastern University School of Law, said that although the civil and criminal court processes are separate, there are no legal issues regarding the timing of the settlement, but “future. Can cause practical problems, “he told insiders. .. “

Both Cahill and the prosecution and defense lawyers spent two weeks in early March asking jury candidates about their thoughts on a variety of topics, including racial justice movements and police. Those who responded in a way that showed deeply held prejudice, either in favor of or against the police, were dismissed for reasons.

“If Shovin was convicted, his appeal lawyer challenged the jury selection process, claiming that the judge did not do enough to ensure that they were impartial and impartial. Probably, “Medwed said. “Part of the debate is guilty based on the idea that news of a settlement at the forefront of the trial defiles their objectivity and” people pay that amount only if they do something wrong. ” It may be that they were tilted in the direction of. “

But according to Gartner, the news of the settlement could have done more harm to the prosecution than the defense.

“In a sense, defense is in a simpler situation, as people who have heard about it are definitely excluded, and this is part of the information that leads to prosecution,” Gartner said. “Defense may be as happy as eliminating those who know it.”

Crump’s demonstration near the court may not be much of an issue in potential appeals. After more than a decade of protests in the name of Floyd, Medwed said most of the juries were almost “insensitive” to them, hoping to see them on their way to court. thinking about.

George Floyd Square

George Floyd Square in Minneapolis. Associated Press Photo / Jim Monet

Dealing with advertising in a connected world

In the last few decades, it has been easy to protect juries from media coverage and public opinion, especially in small towns. Now that everyone is roaming around with internet access in their pockets, it’s not that easy.

“The tricky thing is, how do you prevent the jury from hearing about it after the trial begins or after the jury is appointed?” Medwed said. “In the old days, the jury was quarantined in the hotel and was given a newspaper with the article cut out. But nowadays, even if the jury is in the hotel, it is quarantined so that the phone cannot be checked. What should I do? How do I actually prevent them from going online? That can’t happen. “

George Floyd’s death has fueled a global movement for a black life that has permeated pop culture, marketing and social media. Jury may be able to proactively protect themselves from news articles on this topic, but avoiding public discourse about the trial cannot speak to friends and family, especially those they serve. If it is more difficult.

“Such cases will take place in the domestic market. Courts must understand what technology can be used to minimize the prejudice that comes from advertising,” Gartner said. ..

When an event shakes the city dramatically, judges may allow trials to take place elsewhere to increase the chances of finding a fair jury. Chauvin’s trial has been the subject of worldwide publicity, saying that no part of Minnesota has been exposed to the news, and Kay Hill denied the defense’s allegations to change the venue.

The denial is likely to come from a potential appeal, but “doesn’t necessarily upset the verdict,” Gartner said.

According to Medwed, Cayhill and Chauvin’s lawyers asked the jury candidate extensively prior to the trial and delved into the social media page at least to some extent to prevent the verdict from being overturned by the appeal. There is a possibility.

He said this was a lesson learned from the Boston Marathon bombings trial in Joharzarnaev, which was accused of killing three people and injuring more than 280 in 2013.

As in the Chauvin case, the Boston jury was exposed to the vigilance and monuments of the bombing victims in every corner of the city and in most storefronts prior to the trial. Tsarnaev was convicted and sentenced to death, but the decision was overturned after the Court of Appeals ruled that the judge was not sufficiently advanced to investigate the jury’s social media history. ..

“The Court of Appeals really wants this modern judge to be dotted with” i “and crossed with” t “so that the jury is not prejudiced. This includes the actual review of social media activities, “Medwed said. “I think the judge here did that. He may have learned a bit from the Boston Marathon bombing, but that would be a problem.”

Trust the jury

When the jury is chosen to attend the trial, and sometimes before that, the jury is instructed to avoid all coverage of the case.

Judges are expected to meet with the jury at the beginning of each day of the trial and ask if they were exposed to new information about the case and if it affected their impartiality.

“I’ve been a judge for 17 years, but I really believe they do,” Gartner said. “Some people don’t, but the overwhelming majority do. I am today just because I was in the middle of a high-profile trial and I was able to get the jury to tell me. I was on the train. I accidentally saw the headline. “

“So they will take great care to inform me of any kind of encounter,” she added.

Gartner said the judge must trust the jury to come forward if he feels honest and unfair. All the juries elected in the Chauvin trial probably knew how much attention it had, and what they learned and saw outside the court should not affect their verdict. You would have been warned.

“But it will still impress that Al Sharpton’s press conferences, demonstrations, settlements, etc. all put a heavy burden on the jury and that the world is paying attention to their decisions.” Mr Medwed said. .. “I’m sure it’s complicated for many.”

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