MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Juries that convicted Derek Chauvin of the murder of George Floyd sat down to share their experience in the courtroom with CNN’s Don Lemon, a few days before their names will be officially announced due to a court order.
Judge Peter Cahill’s order will publish the names of all 15 juries on November 1, along with the written questionnaires from all 109 potential juries. The seven jurors who spoke to Lemon said they wanted to do a single interview together before their identities were released.
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Lemon’s interview with the five jurors and two deputies airs Thursday night and will provide an insight into how they came to the decision to judge Chauvin on all three counts, their desire to hear from Chauvin himself, and how they care about their safety. after 1 Nov.
Lemon also asked how jurors felt about the racial consequences of their decision.
“Race was not even mentioned in the three and a half weeks we were in that courtroom. And it was never mentioned during the deliberations,” said jury member Sherri Belton Hardeman.
“I think we came here because of systemic racism in the system because of what has been going on,” said jury member Nicole Deters. “That’s how we got to a courtroom in the first place. But when it came to all three verdicts, it was based on the evidence and facts, 100%. “
TONIGHT: @donlemon speaks to jurors from the Derek Chauvin murder case.
– Don Lemon Tonight (@DonLemonTonight) October 28, 2021
Prior to Lemon’s interview, two jurors and a deputy had emerged.
In an interview with WCCO shortly after the April 20 sentencing, jurors Brandon Mitchell shared the mental strain it had on him to sit in the courtroom, saying that “you see someone die every day over and over again on video. You see someone die in instant repetition in real life. “
But Mitchell said he felt the responsibility as a young black man to be in the consideration room. The central testimony for him came from Dr. Martin Tobin, a lung and breathing expert, who said a healthy person would be dead if they had been restrained, as Floyd was: lying prone, handcuffed and with a knee pressed against his neck and back.
The deputy Lisa Christensen also appeared after the conviction and said that Tobin’s testimony and eyewitness accounts were the key to the prosecution’s case.
WCCO spoke again with Mitchell on Thursday. He says he wanted to help other jurors deal with the spotlight they are experiencing.
“I was there, helping put it together,” Mitchell said.
He says inside the courtroom, juries were so focused on the judge’s instruction that race was never the issue.
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“He gave us specific instructions on ‘just use facts, use facts, use evidence’, that’s it,” he said. “And I think we took this matter so seriously that we tried to stay within those guidelines.”
Mitchell says all jurors agreed that the verdicts were not based solely on what Chauvin did – but also on what he did not do.
“There was a knee in the neck, something was going on there, but also when this man is unconscious, the lack of care for this person, the lack of, there is no heart-lung rescue, there is nothing to revive this human being. said Mitchell.
Every member of the diverse group that sent Chauvin to prison for 22 years is nervous about their names and pictures being shared all over the globe.
“Some people really just want to be at peace with who they’ve been before the trial, and they just want to keep it that way,” Mitchell said. “Now that their names are coming out, it may be a little sticky, while now they are a public figure a little bit.”
Mitchell says he has spoken before about his experience and will continue to speak in hopes of being an example to others.
“I would like to see more black and colored people be on this type of jury and not necessarily try to avoid it, but to embrace it and get on these jury panels so that more changes can happen,” he said.
Mitchell says jurors did not know the whole world was watching until they had reached a verdict. He says the news and social media coverage that the trial received was above any of their expectations.
The juries convicted Chauvin of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. He was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison.
Chauvin has since appealed for his conviction. He is also facing a federal lawsuit on charges that he violated Floyd’s civil rights by squeezing him on the sidewalk with his knee.
Lemon’s interview with jurors will be broadcast at. 23 Thursday.
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