EXPLAINER: Will the presence of the juror on the march have an effect on the Chauvin case?

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The revelation {that a} juror who helped convict a former Minneapolis cop within the homicide of George floyd had participated in a march in Washington, DC, months earlier than the trial is unlikely to have an effect on guilty verdict, consultants say.

But it surely’s not at all times the case. Though uncommon, there have been circumstances during which convictions have been dismissed or reconsidered after new details about a juror was found. Here is a have a look at the issue and what’s subsequent:


After the juror Brandon Mitchell spoke to the media about his expertise within the Derek chauvin trial, a photo of him walking Final August, Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I’ve a Dream” speech started circulating on-line.

Photograph reveals Mitchell at rally carrying a T-shirt with a picture of King and the phrases “GET YOUR KNEE FROM OUR NECKS” and “BLM”, for Black Lives Matter.

Mitchell didn’t converse in regards to the march throughout jury choice for Chauvin’s trial. However he advised the Star Tribune he answered “no” to questions on a jury quiz about whether or not he or a relative had participated in marches denouncing Floyd’s loss of life and police brutality.

He stated the Washington rally was “not 100%” a march for Floyd. He stated: “It was actually known as the anniversary of the March on Washington.”

Members of Floyd’s household spoke on the occasion together with family members of others who had been shot and killed by police.


Specialists say it is unlikely. Mike Brandt, a Minneapolis protection lawyer not concerned within the case, stated the revelation alone was not sufficient to overturn Chauvin’s conviction, however that it may very well be mixed with different points in an attraction to say that Chauvin had been denied a good trial.

Chicago-based lawyer and jury marketing consultant Alan Tuerkheimer stated, “I do not assume the decide needs to do something with this verdict.”

Is there a authorized precedent?

A 1984 choice by the US Supreme Court docket set a precedent on the problem of juror disclosures.

McDonough Energy Gear v. Greenwood was a case involving accidents to a boy from the blades of a driving garden mower. The boy’s dad and mom misplaced and demanded a brand new trial after studying {that a} juror, whose son broke his leg when a tire exploded, didn’t reply sure to a query in search of data accidents which have resulted in incapacity or extended struggling to an instantaneous member of the family.

The Supreme Court docket concluded that folks weren’t entitled to a brand new trial until the juror’s failure to reveal denied them the suitable to an neutral jury, saying: “Invalidate the results of a 3 week trial due to a juror error, whereas trustworthy, the reply to a query is to insist on one thing nearer to excellent than what our authorized system is meant to present. “

The judges stated that with a view to get a brand new trial, a celebration should present {that a} juror didn’t reply a query actually and {that a} right reply would have supplied a legitimate foundation for eradicating the juror.


In 2015, a Tennessee judge granted an annulment of the trial within the case of two former Vanderbilt soccer gamers who had been convicted of raping a pupil in 2013 in a dormitory. The decide discovered that one of many jurors, the foreman, deliberately withheld data throughout the jury questioning about being sexually assaulted.

In a listening to, the juror stated he didn’t withhold data as a result of he didn’t contemplate himself a rape sufferer – he was 16 on the time and stated the connection was consensual . His dad and mom filed a criticism in opposition to the writer.

However the decide concluded that “actual bias has been clearly demonstrated” and granted an annulment of the trial. The 2 former soccer gamers had been convicted once more in later trials.

In California, a decrease court docket is presently consideration of whether to order a new trial in the high-profile Scott Peterson case, sentenced in 2004 for having killed his spouse, Laci, who was eight months pregnant. The California Supreme Court docket ordered final fall that Peterson’s convictions be reviewed after it discovered {that a} juror had “prejudiced” by failing to reveal data.

Laci Peterson, 27, went lacking on Christmas Eve 2002 and his physique was subsequently washed up in San Francisco Bay.

In keeping with court docket paperwork, the juror answered no to questions on whether or not she had ever been a sufferer of a criminal offense or concerned in a trial. In truth, she filed a lawsuit in 2000 in search of a restraining order in opposition to her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, claiming the girl harassed her whereas she was pregnant and feared for her. lifetime of her unborn little one.


Protection lawyer Eric Nelson requested Choose Peter Cahill a listening to to question the decision – which suggests questioning its validity – on the grounds that the jury dedicated a fault and / or felt stress primarily based on race, amongst others. Nelson’s request didn’t embody particulars and didn’t point out any latest details about Mitchell.

Nelson is anticipated to file extra detailed briefs outlining his arguments.

Tuerkheimer stated Cahill had the ability to carry a listening to and every celebration may current witnesses. Mitchell may very well be assigned to reply questions. Subsequent, Cahill must resolve if Mitchell’s participation within the stroll mattered.

“Nobody is aware of if it will have made a distinction. No person is aware of who the juror could be if that juror was hit, if he revealed he was at that MLK Jr. march, ”Tuerkheimer stated. He additionally stated Mitchell may have stayed on the jury anyway, though his presence on the march had been recognized.

If Cahill guidelines in opposition to Nelson, that is one other problem he may increase on attraction.

“It touches the center of a good and neutral juror. And if there’s a juror who was biased and never fairly open, this is a matter that must be thought of, ”Tuerkheimer stated.


Discover full AP protection of George Floyd’s loss of life on:

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