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Derek Chauvin Appeals Conviction to Minnesota Supreme Court

Protestors against Derek Chauvin.
By A.J. Firstman | Last updated on

Former Minnesota police officer and current convict Derek Chauvin has chosen to appeal his murder conviction to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Chauvin's attorney, William Mohrman, has proved to be tenacious by filing a petition for review with the Minnesota Supreme Court after the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Chauvin's conviction back in April of 2023. What's their legal theory this time around? Let's break it down.

Mohrman's main objections seem to be that his client's right to a fair trial was violated by the district judge's decision to not move the proceedings out of the city. So perhaps ironically, Chauvin is claiming a due process violation in a case where he himself was accused of depriving George Floyd's rights due process under the law by keeping his knee on Floyd's back and neck for a lethal nine and a half minutes—what you might call excessive force or police brutality.

The arguments that Mohrman has presented on Chauvin's behalf are much the same as before. Back at the court of appeals, Mohrman had presented a long list of reasons as to why his client's conviction should be thrown out; he repeats many of those reasons now before the Supreme Court. The lawyer summed up his objections back in January:

"The primary issue on this appeal is whether a criminal defendant can get a fair trial consistent with constitutional requirements in a courthouse surrounded by concrete block, barbed wire, two armored personnel carriers, and a squad of National Guard troops, all of which or whom are there for one purpose: in the event that the jury acquits the defendant."

In a nutshell: Derek Chauvin—the guy who essentially publicly executed an unarmed man while on camera and surrounded by a group of angry onlookers (none of whom could intervene legally)—argues that he could not receive a fair trial because it was too public and too surrounded by angry onlookers (none of whom could intervene legally). Again, the irony.

The Minnesota Supreme Court hasn't said much about Chauvin as of yet, so we'll have to wait and see how the case develops.

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