Derek Chauvin will have difficulty appealing his guilty verdict because of one jury member, civil rights attorney Ben Crump said. Crump made the comments to TMZ on Sunday (May 2) and explained that juror Brandon Mitchell’s decision to speak publicly about the trial could play in prosecutors’ favor.
According to TMZ, Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson previously asked Judge Peter Cahill for a mistrial because of statements that Rep. Maxine Waters made during a protest for Daunte Wright. As reported by REVOLT, Rep. Waters spoke to journalists during the demonstration about the Chauvin trial, which at that time was a few days away from reaching a verdict.
“We’re looking for a guilty verdict,” she said at the time. The Congresswoman also encouraged activists to “get more active” and “more confrontational” if Chauvin was acquitted.
Nelson attempted to use these comments as fuel for a mistrial, arguing that Waters’ encouragement could have pressured the jury to convict Chauvin.
His argument was proven to be false, however, during juror Brandon Mitchell’s television appearances. Speaking with USA Today, Mitchell said he and his fellow jury members felt no pressure to reach a guilty verdict.
“The pressure more so came from just being in the room and being under stress. But it wasn’t pressure to come to a guilty verdict,” he said.
Judge Cahill ultimately denied Nelson’s request for a mistrial, but Crump says Mitchell’s comments could come into play later on if the defense attorney files to appeal Chauvin’s conviction. According to Crump, Mitchell’s interview “completely obliterates” Nelson’s argument that the jury was pressured to reach a guilty verdict.
Chauvin is due back in court for sentencing on June 25. The former Minneapolis police officer faces up to 40 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, which carries the maximum 40-year sentence; third-degree murder; and second-degree manslaughter.