Has one of the jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial opened the door to a mistrial?

Has one of the jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial opened the door to a mistrial?
Derek Chauvin (Image: YouTube screen grab)

The internet, as everyone should have learned by now, has a long memory. It remembers things we have long forgotten. Such as a comment someone made on social media at age 16 that someone else went to the not-inconsiderable trouble of exhuming and sharing with the world to shame or humiliate the other person.

Or a photo of Brandon Mitchell, aka Juror #52 in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, wearing a shirt that read “Get your knee off our necks” and “BLM.” The picture, taken in August of 2020, suggests Mitchell may have been less than totally forthcoming when he answered the trial judge’s question about whether he had heard anything about the George Floyd case:

It gets worse. As Ian Miles Cheong notes at the Post Millennial, Mitchell, who has shed his anonymity as a juror in the case, appeared on a show called Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell on April 27 where he “said that people should say yes to jury duty as a means to promote societal change”:

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I mean it’s important if we wanna see some change, we wanna see some things going different, we gotta into these avenues, get into these rooms to try to spark some change. Jury duty is one of those things. Jury duty. Voting. All of those things we gotta do.

In fairness, he never actually comes out and endorses lying in a court of law as a means to fostering societal change. But taken together with caption and content of the August 31 photo posted to Facebook by Mitchell’s uncle, Travis Mitchell, there may be enough doubt about Juror #52’s impartiality to throw out the conviction.

An NBC News notes, Chauvin’s legal team has already filed for a motion for a new trial, alleging that pretrial publicity, which included reports that George Floyd’s family had been awarded $27 million in a wrongful death suit, compromised Chauvin’s chances of receiving a fair trial.

Because the court failed to sequester the jurors or “admonish them to avoid all media,” [lead defense attorney Ed] Nelson’s filing said, they were subjected not only to prejudicial publicity but also to “jury intimidation or potential fear of retribution.” …

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."


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