MINNEAPOLIS – Virtually a 12 months after the demise of George Floyd in police custody, the homicide trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is underway and anticipated to proceed for as much as a number of extra weeks.
The trial is being held on the 18th ground of the Hennepin County Authorities Heart downtown. Jury choice within the trial occurred final month, when the courtroom chosen 14 jurors – 12 to deliberate and two to function alternates. The choose has mentioned the trial may final 4 weeks.
Jurors have heard from dozens of witnesses up to now – together with Floyd’s girlfriend, bystanders, law enforcement officials and paramedics – and are anticipated to listen to from dozens extra earlier than the trial is completed. They’ve additionally seen dozens of video clips from bystanders, enterprise surveillance cameras, metropolis cameras and police body-cams.
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Right here are the solutions to a few of your prime questions.
Will Derek Chauvin converse at his trial?
It isn’t clear if Chauvin will take the stand. He has the appropriate to not testify underneath the Structure’s Fifth Modification, which states an individual has the appropriate to keep away from self-incrimination.
Authorized observers say they doubt that the protection would name up Chauvin, although it depends upon how the case goes.
Whether or not Chauvin finally ends up testifying might rely on how his protection lawyer, Eric Nelson, handles cross-examination of the medical consultants, mentioned Mary Moriarty, former Hennepin County chief public defender.
The medical consultants shall be key to the case as a result of prosecutors argue Floyd died from Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck, whereas the protection argues Floyd died because of the medication in his system and underlying medical situations.
Moriarty mentioned it is doable he might testify “if he can add one thing to their case, (like) his perspective on what he did.” His testimony may find yourself being a last-ditch effort for the protection on the finish, or an effort to humanize him, she mentioned.
Joseph Daly, a professor at Mitchell Hamline College of Regulation, mentioned it could be “extraordinarily dangerous” for Chauvin to testify. “The primary hazard of him testifying is the prosecution will put in its total case once more – via its cross of Mr. Chauvin, to not point out his unhealthy behaviors in different conditions,” Daly mentioned.
There have been 17 complaints filed with Minneapolis police about Chauvin. Prosecutors needed to have the ability to inform jurors about eight of the incidents, however the choose allowed solely two of them to be admitted as proof. (It is common for judges to make such rulings on what proof could be launched in a trial.)
Ted Sampsell-Jones, additionally a professor at Mitchell Hamline College of Regulation in neighboring St. Paul, mentioned Chauvin would most likely not testify.
“It’s in the end the consumer’s determination,” Sampsell-Jones mentioned. “Nelson will advise Chauvin on what the most effective course shall be, however it’s in the end Chauvin’s determination. Nobody is aware of what’s in his head.”
Sampsell-Jones mentioned “some purchasers actually need to inform their story, some are afraid to testify, and a few simply do what they’re lawyer advises.” He mentioned it is inconceivable to inform what class Chauvin is in.
Is Derek Chauvin in jail?
Chauvin just isn’t in jail: He was launched on a $1,000,000 bond in October.
All through the trial, Chauvin has been sitting within the courtroom subsequent to Nelson, his lawyer, carrying a face masks and showing to take notes on a yellow authorized pad.
He was additionally current within the courtroom throughout the 11 days of jury choice final month.
Chauvin was fired final 12 months from the Minneapolis Police Division, a day after Floyd’s demise, and was arrested a pair days later.
What are the fees?
Chauvin is charged with second-degree homicide, third-degree homicide and second-degree manslaughter.
Three different former officers concerned are charged with aiding and abetting these crimes. They may stand trial in August.
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