Chauvin trial footnotes (7)

I have posted six previous editions of footnotes to our coverage of the trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd. Readers who think they know all they need to know about these cases are invited to pass them by.

I post these footnotes in the form of bullet points and differentiate facts and law from (my) opinion. I posted my fifth set on June 3 and my sixth set on June 10. The fourth set (May 9) appended previous editions (May 5, May 2 and April 25). Today I want to add another 8 footnotes in the same form:

• The sentencing hearing in the Chauvin case is set for 1:30 this afternoon. I will cover it from the court’s Media Business Center across the street from the courthouse. The AP preview of the hearing is here.

• The presumed sentence is 12-and-a-half years. Prosecutors seek an aggravated sentence of 30 years. Chauvin seeks probation with a sentence of time served.

• I infer from the court’s previous finding of the existence of aggravating factors that the sentence will track that the prosecutors’ suggestion more closely than that of Chauvin’s. If the court were to adopt Chauvin’s sentencing recommendation, the Twin Cities would be subject to yet another round of riots, arson, vandalism, and malicious mischief.

• Judge Cahill is unable even to hold the sentencing hearing free of such considerations. He has imposed stringent security procedures limiting access to the courthouse in connection during the hearing. The procedures reflect the mob atmosphere that pervades the case.

• Publicly accessible filings in the Chauvin case are listed by date on the court’s Chauvin page here. State prosecutors in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office filed their 77-page memorandum in opposition to Chauvin’s post-trial motions on June 16. It is posted here.

• I have reported Judge Patrick Schiltz’s investigation of grand jury leaks in the federal civil rights case brought against Chauvin and his former colleagues. The leak I have followed most closely is the one to the Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix. State and federal prosecutors have filed their responses to Judge Schiltz’s show-cause order announcing his investigation of the leaks under seal.

• Whatever is disclosed in the responses, Judge Schiltz’s investigation is not over. On Wednesday Judge Schiltz scheduled a status conference to be held in his courtroom on June 30 at 02:00 p.m. — “COURTROOM TO BE SEALED,” according to the case docket accessible on the court’s electronic filing system for In Re Blue Grand Jury Investigation.

• There is no public disclosure of the status of this matter beyond what can be gleaned from the the docket entries. It seems to me that the responses of the state and federal prosecutors could be made publicly available in some redacted form, or that Judge Schiltz could himself file a memorandum summarizing the status of his investigation as of today. Although this matter has dropped from public view and the Star Tribune is pleased to leave it there, there is a substantial public interest in the proceedings, or so it seems to me.

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