Derek Chauvin is Observed Within an Hennepin County Jail mugshot.
The juror, known in court papers as Juror 52, has openly identified himself as Brandon Mitchell in several interviews, including one with all the Law&Crime Network.
At legal problem at the moment is an extended voir dire interview given under oath during jury selection and a concomitant poll which Mitchell fulfilled prior to being chosen to determine Chauvin’s destiny. Chauvin’s defense lawyer, Eric J. Nelson, argues that Mitchell should have said attending the rally and sporting the top before he was chosen; Nelson says Mitchell’s failure to do so is one of the reasons why Chauvin deserves a new trial.
Brandon Mitchell speaks to the Law&Crime Network following convicting Derek Chauvin.
Prosecutors countered that Mitchell was”honest and forthright” at voir dire and that no new trial is essential. Here’s a few of their debate (legal citations omitted):
In over 69 written questions and almost 45 minutes of testimony, Juror 52 widely detailed his preexisting viewpoints on a selection of his previous perception of the instance. In his motion, Defendant identifies just 1 matter, which Defendant believes demonstrates that Juror 52 was”untruthful and reassuring.” But that highly-subjective query inquired if there was”anything else the judge and attorneys ought to know about you” Nothing indicates that Juror 52 necessarily intended to mislead by replying”no,” particularly in light of Juror 52’s fulsome answers to a selection of different questions, including his positive opinion of the Dark Lives Matter movement, his worries regarding police misconduct, and his own statements about his previous views on this instance.
The prosecution stated any shield misgivings connected to Mitchell’s conduct were”pure speculation that does not merit a… hearing”
Prosecutors went to intense detail explaining why they believed Mitchell’s perspectives on the survey were sufficiently honest and acceptable. Here’s the state’s lengthy recitation of Mitchell’s answers (again, with all citations omitted):
In reaction to the very first question about his previous understanding of the circumstance, Juror 52 filled the entire page. He reported that he understood the episode had started”using a bogus bill or check,” the Mr. Floyd”ended up on the floor with Chauvin with his knee from Floyd’s neck to hold him in position,” which”Chauvin was on his own throat for more than 8 min[utes],” and around public reporting regarding autopsies. Juror 52 also indicated that he had watched parts of the movie of Mr. Floyd’s death 2-3 occasions, which he had discussed the case with other folks. In response to your follow up question about the remarks he had expressed about this circumstance, Juror 52 said that he had believed”why did not the other officials quit Chauvin.” For a question about if he’d seen police use more force than needed, he wrote:”In downtown Minneapolis[,] I’ve found police body slam then mace an individual just because they did not obey an order quick enough.”
Nor did his responses, and his impressive forthrightness, end there. Juror 52 indicated that he strongly agreed that”Blacks and other minorities don’t get equal treatment as whites at the criminal justice system,” that police officers are more likely to employ force against black suspects, which the criminal justice system would be”biased against racial and ethnic minorities.” He wrote that he cried that police”treat whites and blacks alike,” and that discrimination”is not as bad as the press makes it out to be.” He indicated that he agreed with the statement that”news reports about police brutality against racial minorities is only the tip of the iceberg.”
Juror 52 also wrote that he needed a”[v]ery positive opinion” of Dark Lives Matter:”Black lives only want to be treated as equals rather than killed or treated in an aggressive manner just because they are black.” He indicated that he had neutral feelings toward”Blue Observatory Issue,” and wrote this:”Although I do believe officers[‘] own lives issue, I feel as the idea’Blue Lives Matter’ just became a matter to battle Dark Lives Matter, whereas it shouldn’t be a contest.” Juror 52 likewise wrote that he believed the criminal justice system”functions, but also needs to be updated”
On the previous page of the poll, in reaction to some question about if there was”anything else the judge and attorneys ought to know about you in regard to serving on this jury,” Juror 52 replied”no” In reaction to the next–and last question–Juror 52 then wrote that he wanted to serve on the case”[b]ecause of all the protest and everything [sic] that occurred after case, this is definitely the most historic instance of my life. Would like to be a part of it”
The nation then summarized Mitchell’s roughly 45-minute-long verbal voir dire, and which the Law&Crime Network televised (once more, citations and parenthetical references are omitted):
He unequivocally confirmed that he could”hear the entirety of the evidence in this case in an impartial manner,” which he’d put aside”any previous remarks” and also”judge this case on the evidence presented in court ” He explained that he felt dangerous when he watched police”slam” a child”into the floor,” but that he understood police officers in his health club and”they’re amazing guys.” He also confirmed that one of his relatives or friends would be a corrections officer. He explained his perspective on the Dark Lives Matter movement:”It’s just people, black, you understand , pigment, their lives thing. It’s only a statement.”
Defense counsel asked Juror 52 to describe his written response that he wanted to serve on the jury since this was a historic case which had sparked protest. Juror 52 explained:”[T]there is no significance between the protests and the facts. The facts are the facts. There’s absolutely not any correlation between those 2 things…. Me saying that this could be a historic moment is just depending on the different movements which come from this. That is just–that’s only the simple fact of the issue.” The juror again confirmed that he could”hear the facts and evidence in this case, apply the law, and also be a fair and impartial juror.” Defense counsel passed onto a for-cause strike and elected not to use a few of Defendant’s many staying preemptory challenges.
Prosecutors noted that Mitchell confirmed he could”follow the legal requirement not to carry [the] Defendant’s silence against him” and confirmed he would”put apart what [he] may have heard about any other information and just focus on what was presented at court.” Legally, Mitchell’s process of agreeing to put aside any preconceived notions — which is known as the”rehab” of a possibly biased juror — is of paramount importance when appeals courts analyze whether pretrial bias really did affect a verdict. Appeals courts tend to accept jurors in their word when they promise to put aside what they believed they understood about a circumstance, and appeals courts also tend to also take jurors in their word if they vacillate or aren’t sure when they can set aside their thoughts judge a case dispassionately.
“Any fair reading of this document shows that Juror 52 frankly revealed his perspectives on a variety of problems, including his opinions of Dark Lives Matter, the criminal justice system, the case, and his own desire to serve on this jury,” prosecutors asserted. “Defendant does not contest Juror 52’s fulsome responses, either on the poll or at voir dire. Nor does Defendant ever admit Juror 52’s broad ranging and thorough responses in the substance Defendant cites.”
Prosecutors subsequently cut to the defense thought which Mitchell’s attendance in the D.C. rally somehow poisoned his ability to serve:
Defendant now asserts that Juror 52 was”untruthful and evasive” in reaction to only 1 query, seeming on the previous page of the questionnaire:”Will there be anything else the judge and attorneys ought to know about you in regard to serving on this jury?” Defendant only argues that Juror 52 should have revealed his involvement in a march in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 2020. However, Defendant argues that any”reasonable person” at Juror 52’s shoes would have revealed his”involvement in a major civil rights ,” and his sporting a t-shirt using Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s face and the slogan”get off your knee our necks * BLM.”
In case law, prosecutors then said the defense did not have the required legal footing to successfully challenge the juror’s presence in the rally vis-à-vis his poll, his voir dire responses, and his subsequent public comments about his jury services.
“The matter at issue asked the respondent to independently disclose’whatever else’ This generalized query is a far cry from’that the kind of apparent question that, demonstrating a lack of credibility on the juror’s part, necessarily would have elicited the revelation of the type of information which the [juror] withheld.'”
The prosecution accused Chauvin’s defense lawyer of”materially misstat[ing] the record” enclosing Mitchell’s answers and statements.
Chauvin’s defense lawyer raised additional complaints about Mitchell in particular and about the Chauvin jury generally, however, prosecutors said the majority of those complaints were not able to be alleviated by post-conviction proceedings. That is because Minnesota court rules and the law prohibit — in many cases — the post-conviction probing of this secrecy of jury deliberations.
Read the country’s complete 77-page record below; a lot of the discussion concerning Juror 52 starts on page 56: