George Floyd's murderers on trial

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Bird on a Fire
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George Floyd's murderers on trial

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:28 pm

So the cop who knelt on George Floyd's neck for 9 minutes while he and a crowd of horrified onlookers begged for his life is about to go on trial, to see if killing people is still against the law if the killer is a cop and the victim is black. (The other cops who helped him do the murder will be tried separately in August)

First up is the totally normal feature of all well-run justice systems: picking teams. The prosecution and defence have co-written a 16-page questionnaire to be given to potential jurors, with questions like:
How many times did you see the video of George Floyd's death?
Did you participate in marches against police brutality and, if so, did you carry a sign?
What are your views of the group Blue Lives Matter (the movement supporting police) - favourable or unfavourable?
Do you believe our criminal justice system works?
Lawyers can then ask the judge to remove anybody whose answer suggests a possible opinion on the case to be removed.

Furthermore, lawyers can also remove jurors without having to state why. For example, black people are more likely to find cops guilty, so the defence will be keen to remove as many black people from the jury pool as possible. Similarly, the prosecution will be aiming to remove racists, bootlickers, fascists and other sorts of people who like the police. Luckily for the defence the jury pool is being drawn from one of the whitest counties in Minneapolis, so they're off to a good start.

In the interests of fairness, the defence can remove 15 jurors whereas the prosecution can only remove 9.

All four cops have already been fired, which is pretty unusual for the US and perhaps represents some progress. Nevertheless if I choked somebody to death at work for no reason other than racism and power-tripping I might expect some legal repercussions as well as professional ones.

Derek Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. The others - Kueng, Lane, and Thao - are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Minnesota got rid of the death penalty 110 years ago, at least officially. It remains to be seen whether it's still de facto permitted for people suspected of passing bad cheques.
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Re: George Floyd's murderers on trial

Post by Sciolus » Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:56 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:28 pm
First up is the totally normal feature of all well-run justice systems: picking teams. The prosecution and defence have co-written a 16-page questionnaire to be given to potential jurors, with questions like:
How many times did you see the video of George Floyd's death?
Did you participate in marches against police brutality and, if so, did you carry a sign?
What are your views of the group Blue Lives Matter (the movement supporting police) - favourable or unfavourable?
Do you believe our criminal justice system works?
Lawyers can then ask the judge to remove anybody whose answer suggests a possible opinion on the case to be removed.
I presume there is also a meta-level where each side coaches its potentially supportive jurors on what answers to give to ensure they get through.

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Re: George Floyd's murderers on trial

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Mar 08, 2021 3:09 pm

I'm not sure "coaching" is quite the right word, but this piece from the wonderfully-named Plaintiff Magazine does suggest that such a meta-level exists:
Part of the information you are getting from the jurors is whether or not they have life experiences, attitudes or beliefs that would result in biases against your client and your case. Your job is to get jurors to express those biases by encouraging them to speak up honestly and letting them know that you value their responses. Only by getting the jurors to talk about their biases in their own words can you establish challenges for cause and make informed decisions about how to use your peremptory challenges.

At the same time as you are eliciting biases, you want to be careful not to identify and highlight your good jurors for the other side. If time permits, you should do what you can to protect the jurors you believe are favorable from challenges for cause and, whenever possible, from peremptory challenge.
https://www.plaintiffmagazine.com/recen ... -selection

sh.t's f.cked. It's not like there's going to be a single black person with no opinion on police brutality and racism, unless they can successfully feign having lived under a rock.

As far as I can tell from wiki, you're sort of not allowed to do it, but in practise you can (which is kind of a pattern in these matters) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_di ... ted_States
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Re: George Floyd's murderers on trial

Post by Sciolus » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:08 pm

I was wondering if media aimed at particular sections of the community might offer advice on how to pretend you've been living under a rock, say.

But yes, jury challenges are a f.cked-up idea. In England, peremptory challenge was substantially reduced in 1977 and abolished in 1988, and it doesn't appear to have substantially changed the amount of justice dispensed. Where there is reason to suppose there is a genuine COI, this can be addressed but is considered "exceptional".

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Re: George Floyd's murderers on trial

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:57 pm

The prosecution seem to be doing a decent job of swatting away Chauvin's defence points. They've clearly established that he wasn't just following protocols, so that's the Nuremberg defence gone. Now a doctor is dealing with the racist "it wasn't me choking him for nine minutes that killed him, he was rEaLlY hIgH oN dRuGs" flubber.

(Spoiler: he died from oxygen deprivation, caused by the police, not drugs.)

Minneapolis Police seem quite keen to throw him under a bus (rightly so).

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56670912
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Re: George Floyd's murderers on trial

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:48 am

There is one point I have not see the prosecution make: even assuming George Floyd fell unconscious due to a drug overdose, surely the police had a duty to notice this and make a vigorous attempt to keep him alive - not prevent medical attention to guarantee his death?
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Re: George Floyd's murderers on trial

Post by Herainestold » Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:02 pm

Chelsea Handler
@chelseahandler
·
Mar 30
So pathetic that there is a trial to prove that Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd when there is video of him doing so.
https://twitter.com/chelseahandler/stat ... 78?lang=en

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