“Mr. Floyd was treated with particular cruelty,” Ellison wrote, adding, “Defendant continued to maintain his position atop Mr. Floyd even as Mr. Floyd cried out that he was in pain, even as Mr. Floyd exclaimed 27 times that he could not breathe, and even as Mr. Floyd said that Defendant’s actions were killing him.”
“Chauvin, who is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25, faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree unintentional murder,” the Post noted. “Judge Peter Cahill would have to find there were ‘aggravating factors’ in Floyd’s death to go above the 12½-year sentence recommended under state sentencing guidelines for the murder charge of someone without a previous record. Prosecutors did not say in the filing how much time they are seeking Chauvin to serve.”
Chauvin defense attorney Eric Nelson is arguing that “prosecutors failed to prove the aggravating factors during the trial that would trigger additional prison time,” the Post said.
“Mr. Chauvin was authorized, under Minnesota law, to use reasonable force” during the arrest of Floyd, “an actively-resisting criminal suspect,” Nelson argued in a court filing.
As highlighted by The Daily Wire, it was revealed last month that the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) reportedly planned to arrest Chauvin in court and charge him with civil rights violations if the jury were to acquit Chauvin of the murder charges.
“Leading up to Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, Justice Department officials had spent months gathering evidence to indict the ex-Minneapolis police officer on federal police brutality charges, but they feared the publicity frenzy could disrupt the state’s case,” a report from the Minneapolis Star Tribune outlined. “So they came up with a contingency plan: If Chauvin were found not guilty on all counts or the case ended in a mistrial, they would arrest him at the courthouse, according to sources familiar with the planning discussions.”
This “backup plan,” the report said, wasn’t “necessary” for the DOJ, since the jury on April 20 found Chauvin guilt of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in relation to the death of George Floyd.
Still, the DOJ is reportedly moving forward with the case, planning to level charges of civil rights violations against the former officer, who is still awaiting sentencing for the murder and manslaughter convictions.
Nelson on Tuesday filed a motion for a new trial, claiming that his client’s right to due process and a fair trial was violated, in part, when the court decided against sequestering the jury and against granting a venue change.
“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,” the filing said.
Nelson separately requested a hearing to throw out 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.”
Days ago, it was revealed that now-public juror Brandon Mitchell, 31, back in August, wore a “Black Lives Matter” and a T-shirt that says “BLM” with the words, “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks,” a reference to the death of Floyd. He also attended a racial justice rally in Washington, D.C., which in part focused on police brutality and featured remarks from members of the Floyd family.
The revelations seem to contradict statements Mitchell gave to the court during the jury selection process. For example, on his juror questionnaire, Mitchell reportedly answered “no” when asked about past participation in demonstrations. Star Tribune reported:
The first question asked, “Did you, or someone close to you, participate in any of the demonstrations or marches against police brutality that took place in Minneapolis after George Floyd’s death?”
The second asked, “Other than what you have already described above, have you, or anyone close to you, participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality?”
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