In the Chauvin case, MN Sup Ct takes a pass

Derek Chauvin petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court for discretionary review of the Court of Appeals decision affirming his conviction for the murder of George Floyd. The Minnesota Supreme Court has now denied review. My friend Bill Mohrman represents Chauvin. Bill has forwarded the following statement:

We are obviously disappointed that the Minnesota Supreme Court declined to review the criminal trial against Mr. Chauvin. The most significant issue on which we appealed was whether holding this trial in Minneapolis deprived Mr. Chauvin of his right to a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution due to pretrial publicity and concerns for violence in the event of an acquittal.

This criminal trial generated the most amount of pretrial publicity in history. More concerning are the riots which occurred after George Floyd’s death led the jurors to all express concerns for their safety in the event they acquitted Mr. Chauvin – safety concerns which were fully evidenced by surrounding the courthouse in barbed wire and national guard troops during the trial and deploying the national guard throughout Minneapolis prior to jury deliberations.

Based on these facts, Mr. Chauvin will now petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case on this fair trial issue under the Sixth Amendment.

I wrote about the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision in “The Chauvin appeal ruling.” It stands as the last substantive word on the case unless the United Supreme Court agrees to review the case. In the meantime, Keith Ellison’s memoir has provided new factual support for the fair trial issue that Bill is pursuing — see my review of Ellison’s memoir in the City Journal essay “The anti-cop attorney general.”

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