Derek Chauvin formally appeals guilty verdict in George Floyd death case

America waited on pins and needles for the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was involved in the death of George Floyd. As sensational as the trial was, many, including Chauvin and his defense attorneys, believe that the prosecution had an unfair advantage.

According to NBC News, Chauvin and his legal defense team have formally appealed his guilty verdict, arguing that the jury for the trial who, astonishingly, was not sequestered, were intimidated by the massive protests outside of the courthouse, and the media frenzy that ensued. 

Chauvin and his lawyers on Monday filed the appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

In the appeal, they asked for a number of possible outcomes, including a total reversal of the verdict, a new trial in a new venue, or possibly a resentencing.

Unfair for Chauvin?

While millions of Americans applauded the jury’s decision to convict Chauvin of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and a 22.5 year sentence, many believed that Chauvin, guilty or not, didn’t get a fair shake.

The trial was guaranteed to be one of the most-watched in recent history, as Floyd’s death the previous year set off a historic, deadly round of riots across the country that cost billions in damages, and claimed several lives.

Because of that, Chauvin’s lawyers argued that holding the trial in the same county where Floyd died was the first extreme disadvantage for their client.

“The overwhelming media coverage exposed the jurors — literally every day — to news demonizing Chauvin and glorifying Floyd which was more than sufficient to presume prejudice,” their brief stated.

Other issues

Critics of the process were flabbergasted that the Chauvin jury pool was only “partially sequestered” during the trial, as they were allowed to go home at night. Many believe some or all of the jury members were undoubtedly intimidated by what might happen to them or their community if they didn’t return a guilty verdict.

Many believe Chauvin should face some level of consequence for Floyd’s death, but also believe that at the very least, he should have gotten a fair shake in the justice system.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison now has 45 days to respond to Chauvin’s lawyers’ request for an appeal.

Only time will tell what happens, but once again, the threat of nationwide protest is again very real, should Chauvin actually get a retrial or anything in his outcome reduced or reversed.

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