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Chauvin Pre-trial Day 8 – Breaking: Two Seated Jurors Excused for Cause Based On Civil Settlement Disclosure

Chauvin Pre-trial Day 8 – Breaking: Two Seated Jurors Excused for Cause Based On Civil Settlement Disclosure

#20 & #36 No Longer Fair & Impartial After Settlement News

Welcome to our ongoing coverage of the Minnesota murder trial of Derek Chauvin, over the in-custody death of George Floyd.  I am Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense, providing guest commentary and analysis of this trial for Legal Insurrection.

As a reminder, I am “LIVE Parlering” the trial in real-time over at my Parler account, which you can find using my Parler handle:  @LawofSelfDefense.

This morning Judge Cahill called back the seated jurors to conduct additional voir dire over the news reports of the $27 million settlement the city of Minneapolis agreed to with the Floyd family.

Of the seated jurors, two–#20 and #36—and told Judge Cahill that they’d heard the news of the settlement and that they would no longer be able to be fair and impartial jurors. Accordingly, Cahill dismissed both of them for cause.

Seated Juror #20: Excused for Cause Over Settlement Bias

Seated Juror #36: Excused for Cause Over Settlement Bias

As a result, the number of seated jurors is now down to 7 in number.

Until next time, stay safe!


Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

Attorney Andrew F. Branca’s legal practice has specialized exclusively in use-of-force law for thirty years.  Andrew provides use-of-force legal consultancy services to attorneys across the country, as well as near-daily use-of-force law insight, expertise, and education to lawyers and non-lawyers alike in the form of blog posts, video, and podcasts, through the Law of Self Defense Membership service.  If this kind of content is of interest to you, try out our two-week Membership trial for a mere 99 cents, with a 200% no-question- asked money-back guarantee, here:  Law of Self Defense Membership Trial.

[Featured image is a screen capture from video of today’s court proceedings in MN v. Chauvin.]

[Post has been updated with videos.]


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note to admins/webmaster.
embedded items (such as tweets) are small font for some reason.

    That’s my bad, I can make them a bit larger moving forward.

      OleDirtyBarrister in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 17, 2021 at 2:01 pm

      If you have time, please discuss the pros’s and con’s for the defense proceeding with a bench trial instead of a jury trial in this case.

      Do prosecutors get to demand a jury trial in a criminal case in MN?

      Does Chauvin have a professional history of discipline and complaints that would undermine the positive “public service” bias a judge would likely have for another govt. employee in the legal system?

      Does MN allow character witnesses for a criminal defendant whom could take the stand and talk about what a good man and good officer Chauvin is?

      If permissible, does Chauvin have personal warts that would preclude the use of character witnesses?

        James B. Shearer in reply to OleDirtyBarrister. | March 17, 2021 at 7:42 pm

        “If permissible, does Chauvin have personal warts that would preclude the use of character witnesses?”

        He is also facing multiple felony counts regarding his state taxes for 2014-2019.

      dmacleo in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 17, 2021 at 2:16 pm

      ok thanks, would be appreciated.

“#36: Last week explained I had strong opinions, city obviously had strong opinions as well, confirms what I was feeling”

Very troubling that the juror “had strong opinions” and that the city’s settlement for a huge sum of money “confirmed what he was feeling”.

Why was he seated as a juror in the first place?

    BillyHW in reply to CalFed. | March 17, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    Because all they had to do was say the magic words, “I can be impartial,” and the judge seated them.

      CalFed in reply to BillyHW. | March 17, 2021 at 8:52 pm

      Except last week he apparently “explained that he had strong feelings” and those “strong feelings” apparently were confirmed by the huge monetary settlement made by the city. That certainly seems to indicate that he had strong feelings about the propriety of Chauvin’s actions.

      If that is the case, then whatever assurances he made about his ability to be impartial, Chauvin’s attorney should have bounced him.

Not that great a loss to the defense, especially #20.

Post updated with video of dismissed jurors #20 and #36.

Also, resized the Parler embeds to make more legible.

Mean while down the block……

A resident of Minneapolis’ “no-go zone” said in a recent Facebook post that she and her fiancé will be dealing “with the emotional trauma of this for a very long time.”
East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue South, the intersection where George Floyd died, is surrounded by barricades and patrolled by black-bloc activists who have transformed the memorial site into an autonomous zone.
The area is informally referred to as a “no-go zone” because of reports that police are either hesitant to respond to calls directly within the zone or are met with resistance when they attempt to do so.
“Police were not allowed to get into the area,” said Kim Griffin, a relative of Imaz Wright, who was shot and killed in the no-go zone on March 6.
“It was made clear law enforcement was not welcome to penetrate that zone,” Griffin added.
A statement from the Minneapolis Police Department said officers “were met with interference at the scene” when responding to Wright’s death, but spokesperson John Elder declined to elaborate further.
A reporter was recently chased out of the area when he attempted to uncover more details.
Hannah Bretz and her fiancé are now “grappling with the fact” that they “own and live in a house in the middle of an autonomous zone with no end in sight.”

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to catscradle. | March 17, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    More and more, I question why we have a police force.

    More and more, i wonder if, in fact, defunding the police is not so radical a view. What are we getting for our money?

      I wonder the same thing about Congress. What are we getting?

      That is an interesting point that I have been contemplating for several years now. I live in California and more often than not it seems like the police are actually doing more to protect the criminals than the law abiding citizens. Most people I know think it would be perfectly justified and moral to shoot someone trying to steal their car, yet only one state even allows for this, and only under certain circumstances.

      While I am not in favor of vigilante justice in theory, I also realize how quickly my small city would be rid of the criminals if citizens were allowed to dispense a little street justice without the worry of arrest and procecution.

      It is a sad situation with no easy answer.

        Joe-dallas in reply to fogflyer. | March 17, 2021 at 3:50 pm

        “While I am not in favor of vigilante justice in theory, I also realize how quickly my small city would be rid of the criminals if citizens were allowed to dispense a little street justice ”

        As a former juvenile deliquent ( probably just a typical kid testing a few extra limits), the fear of getting the shit beat out of me, did a lot to straighten me out ( by age 15)

        There is a lot to be said for viliante justice.

          MajorWood in reply to Joe-dallas. | March 17, 2021 at 3:58 pm

          I have thought for some time that the lax law enforcement and the creation of problems via illegals and homeless is a backhanded way to force vigilantism and thus provide a basis for tyrants to crack down. Those who support true law and order and civil behavior are the natural enemies of a corrupt state. Portland isn’t fixable and that is why I started to plan my exit after the last election.

OleDirtyBarrister | March 17, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Criminal defense attorneys often have a strong bent for jury trials. A jury is preferable if not necessary in many criminal cases because the judge hears motions on exclusion of facts and evidence such as prior convictions and exclusion due to improper search and seizure, etc.

But in many jurisdictions across America, the acquittal rate is higher in bench trials than jury trials. If one is in a jurisdiction where the venire is liberal and is likely to have a bias against cops couple with massive media exposure and it is very hard to de-select a petite jury, the lawyers should consider whether a bench trial could put to work the judges’ “public service” biases in favor of the cops. Judges presume the cops to be noble and virtuous public servants like they are until proven otherwise. That then leads to the issue of whether the cop has a pattern of past behavior that would impair his character in the eyes of the judge.

I do not know Chauvin’s past disciplinary history of the MN rules of evidence on character, but based on the adverse publicity in this case and the attitude of the people in the venire, I’d strongly consider a bench trial and putting on evidence of good character from LEO’s, judges, preachers, and politicians Chauvin might know.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but acquittal is higher from bench trials, but so is conviction rate, because a bench trial cannot result in a hung jury and a mistrial.

    So the overall rate of acquittal + mistrial from a jury trial is quite a bit higher than the pure acquittal rate from a judge.

    Criminal defense attorneys much prefer jury trials for guilty clients because all they have to do is convince ONE (or a small number, depending on the jurisdiction and rules) juror that there is reasonable doubt to avoid a guilty verdict. And at that point either the state gives up, or they try them again and the attorney gets paid again. Win-win.

Char Char Binks | March 17, 2021 at 2:36 pm

“Can you put aside the fact that you already decided the defendant is guilty, and give him a fair trial?”


“You’re in.”

A change of venue is so necessary.