Chauvin trial jury panel member admits being intimidated

One member of the jury panel that heard the case against Derek Chauvin has admitted to being intimidated. The jury panel on which she sat found him guilty on all charges (second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter) with only a few hours’ deliberation in a complex, technical case. During its deliberations, the jurors asked no questions and sought no evidence to review.

As it happened, the juror who spoke out to KARE-TV’s Lou Raguse, Lisa Christensen, “had no idea that she was one of two alternates until the judge dismissed her right before the 12 jurors were sequestered,” so she didn’t the opportunity to vote “guilty” on all charges, as she said she would have done, had she been in the jury room.

Raguse tweeted:

 

Daniel Horowitz highlights the key admission, found in the interviews that is covered on KARE-TV’s website:

"I did not want to go through rioting and destruction again and I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict."

 

Coming in the heels of attempts to influence the jury by President Biden and Rep. Maxine Waters, this latest admission places the burden on the appellate process. There can be little doubt that Chauvin did not receive a fair trial, given the personal fears members of the jury inevitably felt after watching Minneapolis partially destroyed in rioting, after the local newspaper, the StarTribune, shamefully published biographical information that made identification of jurors possible even without naming them, and after the presumed home of an expert witness for the defense was smeared in pig’s blood.

Will any appellate court have the guts to declare a mistrial? I rather doubt it, including even the United States Supreme Court.

Derek Chauvin is no Alfred Dreyfus, a man whose unjust conviction (known to history as the Dreyfus Affair) is a landmark of injustice. Dreyfus was innocent of the charges for which he was imprisoned. Chauvin was guilty of brutality and maybe some actual crimes, all caught on video. But he did not receive the consideration of a fair and impartial jury, and his trial is a landmark of injustice.  Common sense, the shameful statements of high-ranking politicians, and now the admission of a member of the jury panel all point to a verdict based on fear not the facts.

Photo credit: Twitter video screengrab

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