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Derek Chauvin State Appeal Now Fully Briefed

Derek Chauvin State Appeal Now Fully Briefed

The trial took place in a fortress courthouse with violence and threats of violence swirling around the entire proceeding. A fair trial free from threats is particularly important for defendants reviled by the public. That’s were society is tested. Society failed the test here.

In late April 2022, Derek Chauvin filed an Appeal Cataloguing Pervasive Trial Misconduct and Irregularities in his state conviction in the death of George Floyd. My assessment of Chauvin’s Brief was:

It’s all extremely detailed with evidence images and testimony. And none of it is likely to make a difference.

None of it was likely to make a difference because (1) Chauvin already had pleaded guilty to federal charges with roughly equal jail time as Chauvin’s state sentence, and (2) even if somehow he were to succeed in his appeal, he would be retried and the likelihood of getting a fair trial would just as dismal as in the first state trial.

Here are some of our prior posts demonstrating problems with the Chauvin trial:

It’s worth following the appeal because receiving a fair trial — even for “guilty” people — is so fundamental to our pre-existing now-fading justice system.

The appeal docket has all the documents. I don’t see an argument date listed. The state filed its Brief in opposition to the appeal;

Chauvin’s appeal raises an industrial kitchen-sink’s worth of arguments. Many have been forfeited, some several times over. The vast majority are reviewed for an abuse of discretion or for plain error—or both. None contain any merit.

Chauvin recently filed his Reply Brief. As before, it’s a catalogue of misconduct and mistakes that made it impossible for Chauvin to get a fair trial, including the threats of violence that enveloped the trial:

Pretrial publicity coupled with threats of violence poisoned the jury against Appellant Derek Chauvin (“Chauvin”). Appellant’s Brief 6–12 (outlining local daily media coverage from day of events to the start of trial); id. at 12–22 (discussing protests at the courthouse during voir dire and trial as well as potential and actual juror concern for personal and local public safety in the event of a Chauvin acquittal); id. at 3–5 (summarizing riots in response to the events in question in what was the second-most destructive riots in American history that caused $500,000,000 in property damage and two deaths in the local Hennepin County area)….

There was no sufficient cooling period in this case to let the publicity or the physical pressure on the courthouse to simmer down….the District Court not only abused its discretion in refusing to grant a continuance, the District Court actually accelerated the trial such that there was less than ten full months between events and jury voir dire ….

Threats included the second worse [sic] riots in the U.S. history, physical violence to the officer’s attorneys at pretrial hearings, extensive security at the Courthouse during the trial due to the threats of physical violence, riots in Brooklyn Center during trial, and elected Congresspersons egging on the violence….

Juror prejudice was apparent throughout the voir dire process where jurors expressed concern for their safety and riots breaking out if they acquitted Chauvin. Juror concerns are laid out in Chauvin’s original appellate brief. Appellant’s Brief 13–22. For
those venire members not actually selected to serve, their voir dire testimony illuminates the pretrial prejudice of the venue.

Seated jurors actually stated their concerns during voir dire….

First-tier analysis shows that the District Court should have presumed prejudice and transferred venue. On the second tier analysis, voir dire highlighted that pretrial publicity had been so pervasive in the community that the District Court abused its discretion by failing to transfer venue. A new trial in a fair venue should be ordered.

The trial took place in a fortress courthouse with violence and threats of violence swirling around the entire proceeding. A fair trial free from threats is particularly important for defendants reviled by the public. That’s were society is tested. Society failed the test here.

Not that it will make a difference ultimately to Derek Chauvin, who will serve about 20 years regardless. But it does make a difference to society to reiterate that we don’t have trials by mob.


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Reversal of the state verdict would theoretically open the door to a future presidential pardon.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to henrybowman. | October 12, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    One would hope that everyone who played a role in this injustice is ultimately destroyed, stripped of their assets, unemployable and begging for food on street corners.

    Only then will they understand what it is like.

    There are many other cases which need to be addressed, one being Darren Wilson.

    mailman in reply to henrybowman. | October 13, 2022 at 3:50 am

    Not under a Democrat President. They are far to busy pardoning murderers and racists of the right skin colour.

I really feel for this guy. This whole thing has been such a nightmare

    broomhandle in reply to gonzotx. | October 12, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    I have not been convinced that he broke any laws. There has to be a way out for him.

      mailman in reply to broomhandle. | October 13, 2022 at 3:51 am

      Of course he didnt.

      He followed the procedures as laid down by a Democrat controlled police Department in a Democrat controlled City in a Democrat controlled State. Yet somehow this was a reflection on Trumps America???? Go fucking figure!?!

      He certainly broke no Federal laws. He was called to investigate the attempted passing of [an alleged] counterfeit note. Upon discovery of the suspect, the suspect was subsequently found to be in possession of narcotics. The suspect was arrested, and having swallowed enough Fentanyl to kill himself several times over, the suspect went into narcotic-induced resisting arrest, stiffened, and could not be placed securely in a police vehicle. Chauvin then did as the MPB instructed, laying the person on the ground on their stomach and knelt on the back of the neck to control the person to avoid the person from harming himself and others while waiting for an ambulance.

      Floyd then suffered what is termed ‘wooden chest syndrome’., which occurs in some Fentanyl overdose cases. In the end, Floyd killed himself.

      Thus, George Floyd died of an overdose of Fentanyl. period.

There’s exculpatory physics arguments. The reason you use a knee on the neck is because it applies minimum necessary force, not maximum force.

The force necessary to move your knee out of the way is equal to your weight, but it’s force the person down applies to his own neck if he tries to get up. Your knee won’t move from its zero force position no matter how much force he applies to overcome it. It’s a low-impedance restraint. No force unless he tries to overcome it, no reaction needed on your part.

    chrisboltssr in reply to rhhardin. | October 13, 2022 at 3:14 am

    That’s all great, but it came out in the trial that Chauvin’s knee was not his Floyd’s neck, but around his should area.

The ME was pressured to change his cause of death statement

Americans need to ensure that the jurors in cases like this are subject to capital punishment.

    mailman in reply to joecinpa. | October 13, 2022 at 3:53 am

    That is an incredibly bad idea. Its a bad idea because Democrats will subvert the system to put EVERYONE away who doesnt toe the line for their mob justice demands.

Totally a rewriting of the word justice and many conservatives bought it hook line and sinker.

Subotai Bahadur | October 12, 2022 at 10:58 pm

Chauvin is far from being the epitome of an LEO. But he is the type example of why cops need to get out of urban police forces. And it seems a lot of them are taking heed, and action.

Subotai Bahadur

The key witness, “MMA expert” Donald Wynn Williams was arrested this summer for choking his girlfriend. He is charged with felony domestic assault. This happened in front of children. He also resisted arrest and threatened to kill the officers who arrested him. This piece of trash will walk free while Chauvin, who was doing his job, detaining a life long junkie, lost everything and will spend 20+ years in prison.

Legal criminal complaint is in the article.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Reader45. | October 12, 2022 at 11:31 pm

    Anyone could tell from his body language in testimony that he was unstable.

    Regardless,. I wouldn’t say he was the key witness.

      Reader45 in reply to healthguyfsu. | October 13, 2022 at 12:11 am

      I agree with you on both of your statements. I pulled the “key witness” part from the headline of the article. I read the criminal complaint and “unstable” does describe Williams well.

E Howard Hunt | October 13, 2022 at 3:52 am

This case demonstrates the extreme power of propaganda. Many normally conservative commentators pronounced Chauvin a murderer from the beginning. CEOs branded him a murderer in lickspittle official employee communications. Anyone heard defending him at work was likely to be fired. There was a hard line that could not be crossed, much like questioning Obama’s background.

    That piece of shit Sean Hannity at Faux news being a good example. He convicted Chauvin in his zeal to prove himself something.

      MarkS in reply to Barry. | October 13, 2022 at 3:42 pm

      Before you get all exercised, just ask yourself, would Floyd have died at that point in time if Chauvin’s knee wasn’t on his neck?

        E Howard Hunt in reply to MarkS. | October 13, 2022 at 3:58 pm

        You make my point. If you had actually followed the trial you would know that even the prosecution was forced to concede that the knee was not actually on his neck!

        Reader45 in reply to MarkS. | October 14, 2022 at 12:13 am

        Did you read the autopsy report? Yes, he would have died without ever encountering Chauvin. If your doctor told you that you had severe hypertensive heart disease with 75% -90% blockage in your coronary arteries and then you proceeded to take meth and fentanyl, you would not be here either. You can see in the report all the hard drugs he had in his system. Read the part about his neck. If Chauvin had pressure on his neck, especially for 9 minutes, there would have been bruising. You can kneel and have all of your weight on the other knee, especially when the other is elevated. Try it.

          Barry in reply to Reader45. | October 14, 2022 at 12:19 am

          MarkS doesn’t care what the autopsy report says.

          One, he’s too stupid too read such a report.
          Two, his job is to spread propaganda by whatever means possible.

        Barry in reply to MarkS. | October 14, 2022 at 12:16 am

        Apparently you are so stupid you know nothing of the trial and evidence. The felon Floyd, the one that put a gun to the belly of a pregnant woman during a home invasion, died of a drug overdose. Nothing the police officers did had anything to do with his death. Nothing.

        The answer of course is yes. People die of drug overdoses everyday without a cops knee on their neck, back, shoulder or anywhere else. They die without cops even present.

        So now, before you get all exercised, just ask yourself, How did I get to be this stupid?

Should the trial have been done with the Judge only and not a jury?? Would the result have ended the same (with the Judge saving their skin by giving the mob their trophy win?)?

Suburban Farm Guy | October 13, 2022 at 7:30 am

Society failed the test. 100%. But why?

‘Society’ IS the mob. Despite our Founders attempts to build a polity around Reason, rationality and the Rule of Law, the human tendency to seek emotional catharsis in group rejection of perceived injustices has not been excised. Reason and the rule of law are hard. They require education and deep thought. They require rejection of emotional distractions. No fun when you are out there for Social Justice, and our system of higher ‘education’ has been corrupted by a philosophy of much lower aspirations– Marxism.

We have got a terrible problem on our hands here. Trying to straighten this out will take longer than Chauvin has to ‘serve’ as the lamb sacrificed on the altar of Wokeness.

    Thus, Franklin’s remark:
    “A republic if you can keep it.”

    I’m afraid gallons of blood will be required to keep it. And if not gallons of blood will be shed anyway as the marxist dictators always murder citizens by the millions.

He should have NEVER been convicted.

It is a travesty. Chauvin and the other officers were trying to SAVE Floyd, not kill him. As I recall, the cause of death was cardiac arrest, not choking, although the medical examiner mentioned the trauma as a possible cause. This was a case of black activists taking charge of a situation and spinning it to suit themselves, and thus affecting the justice system. Floyd was high as a kite on an extremely deadly drug and Chauvin was simply trying to restrain him.

    texansamurai in reply to SamC130. | October 13, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    remember at least one report that stated floyd had ingested way in excess of the lethal dose for fetanyl and, at that point, only emergency medical intervention MIGHT have saved him–chauvin and his fellow officers were not trained / qualified to interdict a fatal overdose so they summoned help

    whether intentionally or not (and it makes no difference), floyd killed himself

    Fentanyl on occasion can cause what is called ‘wooden chest syndrome’.

    ScottTheEngineer in reply to SamC130. | October 15, 2022 at 7:55 am

    It’s impossible to kill someone by choking them kneeling on the their back. That’s not how breathing works. A junky died of an O.D. and a Tacticool cop went to jail for murder. Should he have been fired? maybe. This isn’t a crime though. In the end he was doing his job and had his life thrown away for a few votes. Remember how evil these people are when someone tells you its coming from both sides.

BierceAmbrose | October 13, 2022 at 4:13 pm

There’s no cooling off period in show trials.

0:44 here

Toughtowns require tough Cops.
Derek is not a bad Cop.
He is a tough Cop.
It is not his fault that those conditions exist.