The attorney for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, Eric Nelson, filed a motion today, seeking a new trial for his client in Hennepin County District Court in Minnesota.
Nelson cited several reasons in the motion he feels Chauvin did not receive a fair trial, starting with intimidation of defense witnesses:
“The Court abused its discretion when it denied Defendant’s motion for a new trial on the grounds that “publicity during the proceedings threaten[ed] the fairness of the trial (…) Such publicity included post-testimony, but predeliberation, intimidation of the defense’s expert witnesses, from which the jury was not insulated. Not only did such acts escalate the potential for prejudice in these proceedings, they may result in a far-reaching chilling effect on defendants’ ability to procure expert witness—especially in high-profile cases, such as those of Mr. Chauvin’s codefendants—to testify on their behalf. The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings.”
Nelson argues Chauvin should have received a change of venue to receive a fair trial here:
“The Court abused its discretion when it denied Defendant’s motion for a change of venue, pursuant to Minn. R. Crim. P. 24,03, subd. 1, and 25.02, subd. 3, in violation of Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to a due process and a fair trial.”
Nelson argues here that the jury should have been sequestered:
“The Court abused its discretion when it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media, which resulted in jury exposure to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings, as well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors, which violated Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and to a fair trial. Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.03, subd. 5”
Nelson is seeking a hearing to impeach the verdict on the grounds the jury committed misconduct:
“An order for a hearing to impeach the verdict, pursuant to Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.03, subd. 20(6) and Schwartz v. Minneapolis Suburban Bus Co., 104 N.W.2d 301 (Minn. 1960), 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.”
In the motion, Nelson cited more reasons for a new trial, including prosecutorial misconduct, the Court abusing Chauvin’s rights, improper jury instructions, and due process and fair trial standards.
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Author: Ray Dietrich
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