7.02.2020

Ex-officers who murdered George Floyd might also seek venue change, raising questions of Prejuice


The former Minneapolis cops charged in the death of George Floyd will probable seek to relocate their trials in hopes of finding sympathetic jurors, but the legal experts said doing so will reinforce claims of systemic racism in the justice system.




While trials are not often moved in Minnesota, The legals experts stated the that George Floyd cases might exceptions because the Minneapolis police chief and other officials spoke publicly about the episode and called George Floyd’s death a murder, a departure from norms that defendants might also argue prejudiced jurors.


A video of the May arrest and dying of Floyd, who was Black, confirmed officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 mins as he went lifeless, sparking protests globally and igniting a national discussion on race( Colour).


Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, and the three other officers who were in the scene of george dying, who are white, Black and Asian American, are charged with aiding Chauvin.



In a Minneapolis courtroom on Monday, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill said he might consider in September arguments to move the case, which is going to trial in March. If the cases were moved, the new venue would be another Minnesota county as the charges are under state law.




In several high-profile, racially charged cases in the past juries were more lenient with defendants of the same race as the majority of jurors.




“If you go to a less diverse place, what that would mean for the range of the jury pool and the question of bias?” asked Justin Hansford, director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center and professor at Howard University School of Law.




When the defemse lawyers have convinced the judges to move trials from the jurisdictions of the crimes, those rare cases usually were marked by frenzied media coverage that judges agreed made finding an impartial local jury impossible.

Former soccer megastar O.J. Simpson, who's Black, become acquitted on double murder charges in 1995 by a downtown Los Angeles jury, comprised of nine Blacks, two whites, and one Hispanic person, after the case was moved from nearby Santa Monica, where the crime occurred and the population is majority white.


“The (OJ) Simpson case teaches us that venue can be the difference between an acquittal and a conviction,” stated defense attorney Brian McMonagle, who defended comedian Bill Cosby in his first sexual attack trial.


Earl Gray, who was a lawyer for Thomas Lane, one of the former officers charged in George Floyd’s death, told the Reuters that if Minneapolis officers continued to describe the case as a murder he expected the judge to move the trial.




Lawyers for the other officers and the Minnesota attorney general who is prosecuting the case declined to comment or did not respond to a request for comment.

“They have got to get this moved,” said Paul Applebaum, a Minnesota attorney, referring to the defense team. He said if they get a jury with mostly minority jurors, “they are cooked.”




While ordering a new venue may be necessary to protect the defendants’ rights of due process and impartial jury, moving trials involving police defendants to less diverse areas has stirred allegations of injustice in the past.



Four white New York City cops have been charged within the 1999 dying of Amadou Diallo, a Black man. The taking pictures touched off days of protests.

No comments:

Post a comment