Derek Chauvin’s lawyer filed a motion on Tuesday in Hennepin County, Minnesota, for a new trial on multiple grounds including jury misconduct.
The big picture: Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter last month in George Floyd’s death. Video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes as Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe sparked global protests.
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What they’re saying: “The State committed pervasive, prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct, which deprived Mr. Chauvin of his constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial, including but not limited to: disparaging the Defense; improper vouching; and failing to adequately prepare its witnesses,” the motion reads.
The filing cites factors such as “the interests of justice; abuse of discretion that deprived the Defendant of a fair trial; prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law.”
Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson, who filed the motion, did not name any jurors or explain what specific misconduct he was referring to.
“The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings,” the motion read.
What to watch: Nelson filed a request for a hearing to impeach the verdict “on the grounds that the jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations, in violation of Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial.”
He also asked the court for time to fully investigate the issues.
Wednesday is the deadline for post-conviction filings, per Minnesota court rules cited by the Wall Street Journal.
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