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Justice And The Question Of Process Versus Outcome

:snip:The left is almost assured to be outraged by a Chauvin verdict that falls short of its sense of justice as outcome. America must brace itself for the coming conflict over this trial.  Yet we must understand that the left swept us into a more fundamental conflict some time ago. The Chauvin trial is just one case in a societal adjudication between our left and the rest of America over what justice is: Process or outcome? :snip:

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3 hours ago, Geee said:

Justice And The Question Of Process Versus Outcome

:snip:The left is almost assured to be outraged by a Chauvin verdict that falls short of its sense of justice as outcome. America must brace itself for the coming conflict over this trial.  Yet we must understand that the left swept us into a more fundamental conflict some time ago. The Chauvin trial is just one case in a societal adjudication between our left and the rest of America over what justice is: Process or outcome? :snip:

 

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The case calls to mind another inflammatory one from America’s past. More than two centuries ago, an incensed community had difficulty holding a fair trial, to the point that no attorney would defend the accused. Approached as a last resort, John Adams accepted the role at great risk and with equal trepidation. The trial was that of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre.

 

 

 

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The Chauvin Trial So Far

John Hinderaker

April 8, 2021

Here in Minnesota and around the country, all eyes are on the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the alleged murder of George Floyd. We are nearing the end of the prosecution’s case, so this is perhaps an opportune moment to assess what has happened so far. While not listening to every moment of the testimony, I have followed the trial closely. Much could be said, but here are a few big-picture observations:

* The defense got off to a slow start. Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s only in-court lawyer, was rather passive during jury selection and, I thought, delivered a sub-par opening statement. But he has gained steam during cross-examination of the state’s witnesses, which he has done skillfully. And the jury has seen him as one fallible man standing against the immense power of the state. This might create sympathy in unexpected quarters.

(Snip)

So, is there any chance that Derek Chauvin might be acquitted? As you can tell from these notes, I have become sympathetic to his defense. But it is too early to tell what conclusion the evidence will point toward.

The prosecution will conclude its case with expert witnesses on cause of death, the key issue in the case. Did Minneapolis police officers kill George Floyd by kneeling on him, as the local and national press have relentlessly asserted for nearly a year? Or did Floyd die of a drug overdose, with the officers essentially bystanders? The medical evidence on both sides will be critical. We know that when he died, Floyd had something like three times a lethal dose of fentanyl in his system. How will the prosecution try to overcome that fact?

(Snip)

The trial so far as been the world vs. Derek Chauvin and Eric Nelson. While the “dream team” prosecution has rotated counsel from the Attorney General’s office and various high-priced lawyers from Minnesota and D.C. who are working for free, Eric Nelson, outmanned and outgunned, has stood up alone for his client. Over the last two weeks, he has grown visibly tired and today he lost control over some exhibits through sheer exhaustion. (No one who hasn’t tried a jury case, even one of relatively modest length like the Chauvin trial, can understand what hard work it is.) Maybe the jury will look down on him, compared with the well-heeled prosecution team. Then again, maybe they will relate to a classic underdog story.

The trial’s result likely will come down to the medical testimony on both sides that we have not yet seen. But so far, I think Chauvin’s defense has held its own, and probably has surprised most members of the jury. *The political class may have expected to usher Derek Chauvin off to a speedy oblivion for the sake of a greater good, but instead, they have a fight on their hands.

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*

I believe regardless of the verdict this will go to the Appeals Court.

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LIVE: Chauvin Trial Day 11 – Has State Eliminated Reasonable Doubt As Case Nears End?

Reasonable Doubt Before Defense Even Begins Is Bad For Conviction

Andrew Branca Monday, April 12, 2021 at 09:30am

As we enter the 11th full day of trial in this case, the state is rapidly approaching the end of its presentation for its case in chief. We are, therefore, nearing a major inflection point for this trial.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the criminal trial process, after opening statements by both sides, the state takes the first turn in presenting the jury with its case in chief, meaning its entire comprehensive argument to meet its burden to remove all reasonable doubt on the criminal charges brought against Chauvin.

These charges include second-degree murder (really, felony murder), third-degree murder (really, reckless homicide), manslaughter, and third-degree felony assault (the predicate for the felony murder charge). A more detailed overview of these criminal charges is discussed in our previous commentary and analysis, here:  Chauvin Pre-Trial Day 1: 3d Degree Murder Throws Wrench Into Jury Selection Process.

After the state has finished presenting all the witnesses and evidence that they believe prove the crimes charged beyond a reasonable doubt, they rest their case, and it becomes the turn of the defense to present witnesses and evidence that they believe create a reasonable doubt.

(Snip)

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Note video At Link

Chauvin Trial Day 11 Update – State’s Desperate Moves Reveal Vulnerabilities In Prosecution of Chauvin

Prosecutor Schlieter: “Authorized use of force a complete defense to all charges.”

Andrew Branca Monday, April 12, 2021 at 03:06pm

This is not our end-of-day wrap-up post, folks, that’s still to come later this evening, but there were some interesting arguments made in court before the jury was brought in that I thought worth sharing with you because they appear to indicate that the prosecution is beginning to panic about some profound weaknesses in this case.

The specific arguments I have in mind centered around the state’s upcoming use-of-force expert Professor Seth Stoughton. He’s long been scheduled to testify that based on national standards—not Minneapolis Police Department standards—that in his opinion Chauvin’s use of force was unreasonable.  This testimony was being allowed even though there is no evidence that Chauvin has ever been made aware of standards other than those imposed by Minneapolis Police Department.

Defense Counsel Nelson filed a motion that asked Judge Cahill to exclude Stoughton’s testimony entirely, on the grounds that it is cumulative in nature. That is, in court one is allowed to bring in a witness to argue a legal or factual point in court, but not an unlimited number of witnesses on the same point—to do so risks creating a fundamental unfairness in the proceedings.  So one witness on a given point, OK, two are OK, three or four being to feel sketchy on this issue, seven or eight start to feel over the top.

This has always been a concern of the defense, because the state had a witness list of some 400 people—no, I’m not kidding—most of whose testimony would necessarily be duplicative and cumulative.

(Snip)

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