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Derek Chauvin Convicted On All Counts

Justice for George Floyd!
Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all three charges.

< Closing Arguments in George Floyd Murder Trial
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    Like Jason Johnson just said (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 04:13:04 PM EST
    it's not really that much to celebrate.  If this is what it takes.  Live murder on tv for the world to see and lineup of other cops saying the guy was guilty.  It's great news but it's also got a subtext.

    It's at least a start, (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Zorba on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 04:19:04 PM EST
    Howdy.  A start at holding cops accountable for their illegal actions leading to the deaths of suspects.
    I want law enforcement to start being aware that they are not the judges, juries, and executioners.  This was very blatantly not a case where the cop was in danger from the suspect, and this kind of response needs to stop. Now and forevermore.

    Parent
    Hardly (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 04:20:56 PM EST
    the first case of that description.  So yeah, it's a start.

    Parent
    Maybe the loggerjam (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 04:15:49 PM EST
    of cops covering for cops will take a hit.

    Parent
    Or they will say (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 04:17:22 PM EST
    it was one bad apple.  He's gone.  Time to move on.

    Parent
    Jason Johnson's (none / 0) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 04:57:58 PM EST
    reaction is understandable, but there is cause to celebrate---a changing tide is sensed, albeit with glacial speed. A white cop was found guilty of murdering a black man,  A start.  A message.  A juggernaut.

    Parent
    Mr Johnson (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 05:05:19 PM EST
    Thank Heavens. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 04:13:28 PM EST
    There has been so many cases of no justice or accountability.

    It's a good day (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 04:19:25 PM EST
    for the family.  And the community.

    If I had been forced to bet $$$, (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 04:50:10 PM EST
    I would have bet the final outcome would have been a hung jury. I am so glad that I was wrong. The evidence and the witnesses were overwhelmingly supportive of the verdict that was reached yet based on past outcomes, I did not believe that justice would be achieved.

    I was surprised (none / 0) (#9)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 04:55:47 PM EST
    by the guilty verdict on count 1. Not what   I expected.

    Parent
    Press is statingmax sentence is 40yrs. (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 05:26:45 PM EST
    Are none of the counts lesser-included?

    I would be very surprised if Minnesota law (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Peter G on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 06:39:32 PM EST
    did not require merger of counts for multiple forms of homicide verdicts for a single killing, even if not technically lesser-included. And even if no merger, I would be shocked at consecutive sentences where it is only one basic form of wrongdoing. I heard the judge refer to the parties making submissions soon on "Blakely factors." That refers to an important US Supreme Court case that says where a state has mandatory sentencing "guidelines" that increase the sentence for a given crime incrementally based on particular factors, the Sixth Amendment right to jury trial demands that any finding of fact on those factors has to be implicit in the jury's verdict, not just a determination by the judge.

    Parent
    Is 8 weeks until sentencing normal (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 06:39:26 PM EST
    Long time.

    Or longer (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Peter G on Tue Apr 20, 2021 at 06:56:34 PM EST
    At least in federal court. Presumably in Minnesota also. Sentencing that is discretionary (i.e., where there is no mandatory sentence provided by law), as sentencing should be, takes into account not just the nature and circumstances of the offense, but also the history and characteristics of the defendant. These are presented to the judge in the form of a Pre-Sentence Investigation Report ("PSI" or "PSR") from a Probation Officer (a court employee who is part social worker, part investigator, and part cop), followed by comments (and often written "sentencing memoranda") from the lawyers. The philosophy of sentencing is generally expressed in that state's statutes, or if not, then in court decisions. The current federal sentencing statute, enacted in 1984 and effective since 1987, demands in each case that the judge seek to impose the sentence that is "sufficient, but not greater than necessary" to achieve the varying and often conflicting purposes of the criminal law:  public condemnation of antisocial conduct, punishment for wrongdoing, deterrence of others from similar conduct, deterrence of the defendant from recidivism,  incapacitation of the dangerous, avoidance of unwarranted disparities, divestment of unlawful gains, restitution to victims, and rehabilitation. (And sometimes mental health treatment, where needed.) Sometimes this is referred to as "the principle of parsimony." It takes a really good judge to pull it off well. A properly conducted sentencing is a very difficult and complex process, and yes, takes many weeks to prepare for.

    Parent
    A little surprised with the verdict (none / 0) (#16)
    by McBain on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at 10:39:20 AM EST
    but looking back at the super high profile cases I've followed somewhat closely (OJ, Scott Peterson, Casey Anthony, Zimmerman and now Chauvin) the ones with convictions (Peterson, Chauvin) had juries that weren't sequestered during the main part of the trial. I'm not sure why this jury wasn't sequestered.

    I thought Eric Nelson gave Chauvin a solid defense but he might have benefited from having a little more help. In the Anthony trial, Jose Baez had Cheney Mason.  For Zimmerman Mark O'Mara had Don West.
     

    From What I've Read (none / 0) (#17)
    by RickyJim on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at 11:42:46 AM EST
    Key evidence against Chauvin was given by a pulmonologist who was able to relate Floyd's breathing as shown in the video to his demise. Nelson was seen as not having enough medical expertise to give an effective cross examination.  This was certainly a case where the defendant had to testify in order to explain his actions.  How bad a witness could he have been?

    Parent
    Almost certainly the defense team (none / 0) (#18)
    by Peter G on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at 12:06:47 PM EST
    subjected Chauvin to several "practice" rounds of testifying, probably videotaped for later review. Very likely he was so bad on cross-exam (unable to give convincing answers to questions posed by a colleague of defense counsel, presumably an ex-prosecutor, playing the role of trial prosecutor), that he and his counsel decided it would be better to exercise his right to remain silent and rely instead on there being at least one juror who would seize upon something -- anything -- to claim reasonable doubt during the deliberations.

    Parent
    Yeah, I read and observed (none / 0) (#19)
    by McBain on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at 12:10:32 PM EST
    that Nelson was better with use of force than with the medical experts.  The problem was the use of force was justified defense was was always going to be a long shot.

    One of the problems with Chauvin taking the stand was his testimony could be used against him in future trials.  This is one of things I don't like about our justice system.

    If I was on the jury I would want to see some kind of demonstration of the prone restraint technique. They talked about studies showing  proper use wasn't dangerous to healthy people but I thought the prosecution was claiming what Chauvin did would have killed a healthy person.

    Would the defense have been permitted to have a live demo?  The state's own medical witnesses debunked the "blood choke" cause of death theory so I'm still little confused as to the exact cause.  

    I was more influenced by the testimony of Dr. Baker and Dr. Fowler than I was with pulmonologist Dr. Tobin. It will be interesting to see if his testimony stands up over time.

    I believe several factors may have contributed to Floyd's death but when I heard/read the jury instructions and Minnesota law I was confused as to what exactly the state had to prove. They lawyers and judge seemed a bit confused too.  

    Parent

    What Better Legal Procedures Offer (none / 0) (#20)
    by RickyJim on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at 12:39:24 PM EST
    which means mostly what is found in non English speaking democratic nations.  (I go into my broken record mode.):

    1. A defendant is expected to testify in his own behalf and cannot be subjected to a perjury charge as a result.

    2. No cross examination!  Both sides hand in their case in writing ahead of time. The questioning of witnesses is done by the judge (or panel of judges) with the lawyers, defendant, jury, victims and perhaps others allowed to raise their hand and ask individual questions.


    Parent
    I think about George Floyd's (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at 03:34:07 PM EST
    Little girl often.

    Her father has changed things, but she lost him in that process. Complicated grief. I hope she gets all the love and support she needs.

    "Seven Last Words of the Unarmed" (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Peter G on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at 07:36:17 PM EST
    Sung by the Univ of Michigan Men's Glee Club and interpreted as "It Could Have Been Me ... It Could Be Me," by David Adrian Freeland,Jr., of the Los Angeles Dance Project.

    Parent
    Very moving.... thanks Peter. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by desertswine on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at 09:18:49 PM EST
    Thank you Peter (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 22, 2021 at 07:43:08 AM EST
    I think one possible future effect (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 22, 2021 at 08:50:53 AM EST
    of the murder conviction might be that the next time, we know there will be a next time, the crowd of onlookers might not stand by and allow it to happen.

    I would say this is good by possibly also worrisome considering how that might go.