THOUGHTS ON THE CHAUVIN APPEAL

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John Kass
Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass

When I wrote here about former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s conviction for murder in the death of George Floyd, I mentioned that I thought the defense had established reasonable doubt.  Many here agreed, but some did not.

John Kass, my favorite columnist in the Chicago Tribune, feels Chauvin was guilty.  But he also questions whether the man got a fair trial, here.

Over at lawofselfdefense.com, my good friend Andrew Branca analyzes the defense’s appeal, here.

Among other grounds for appeal, I think too many jurors who had clearly expressed hostility and apre-formed opinion of guilt during jury selection were wrongly allowed on the jury simply because they said in essence, “Sure, I can set aside an already-formed opinion and hostility toward the defendant.”

Whether Derek Chauvin is guilty or not is an entirely different question from whether or not he received a fair trial…and a precedent of an unfair verdict threatens the rights of all Americans.

Law-abiding armed Americans should be more concerned than most.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Chauvin might have handled the medical situation somewhat better, but I cannot fault him for nor recognizing the problem. Chavin is not guilty nor did he receive a fair trial.

  2. Kass’s article is excellent.

    Without discussing Chauvin’s actual guilt or innocence, his trial has made a mockery of our (clearly former) justice system.

  3. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote about the Marxist Revolution and his Gulag experience, SO IS America now in the age of “Extra-judicial Reprisal” and “Social Prophylaxis”.
    Yes, we should be very concerned and be prepared. This is not a drill………..
    Jen

  4. Whether Chauvin is a thug or not, and that is a possibility, I don’t think he could have had a fair trial anywhere in North America. There was too much animosity flying around in every state. For a fair trial, you would need to canvass the Appalachian mountains for homes without radio and TV to find jurors that were not biased. Based on what little I know and have been able to observe, I don’t think Chauvin is guilty of anything more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I also think you will see a mass exodus of decent police officers from all of those so called “democratic” cities. South Dakota, here they come.

  5. Retrial for sure. My question is why was the jury not sequestered. Would that have made a difference in the verdict? Maybe maybe not. Impartial jury I think not. Might as well been the old west and just hang him

  6. “Ladies and gentleman of the jury, in the case of the State vs. Mr. Normal law abiding citizen who we’ve charged with violating our arbitrary and non criminal effecting , 2nd Ammendment violating laws, how do you find?”

    “Got a problem, Your Honor. Some Neanderthals will not vote guilty, no matter how much virtue signalling, propaganda, lies, and c’me on, man!s we throw at them. In the name of settled science and man made climate catastrophe, make them!

    Hopefully, former Officer Chauvin will get a new, fair trial, and be judged under the law. This time, I hope he will testify.

  7. I’m concerned…”woke” is just another term for Marxist-like abolition of the First Amendment. The Second Amendmentis is up for grabs with SCOTUS. The “Patriot Act” destroyed the Fourth Amendment. Fair trials have always been a coin toss, based on my participation in only six unpleasant court appearances. If hyperinflation comes, a possibility according to even a big bank, ensuing chaos will set the stage for an authoritarian strong man. The future is pretty grim IMO and there’s no where to hide or even go. Franklin’s quotation about keeping the Republic was pretty prescient but who would have thought bankers would bring us down, though they have done so with many other empires. Congress should all be tarred and feathered but the elite always do just fine. They did get a few in the French Revolution.

  8. No way Chauvin received a fair trial: the massive media storm assuming his guilt, biased jurors who pretended to be unbiased, comments by President Biden and the always-despicable Maxine Waters, the very genuine threat that any juror voting to acquit would face retaliation from the BLM mob, the city of Minneapolis giving Floyd’s “family” $27 million in what seems to be an admission of guilt.

    Whether appeals Courts will recognize that, and grant him another trial, would seem to be a real-life test of whether our Judiciary is still functioning as it should; or whether it’s been irredeemably politicized.

  9. The American Left knows, very well, that they railroaded Derek Chauvin into prison. They know that they pulled strings and applied pressure to “put their thumb” on the scales of Justice. Anyone who is capable of critical thinking (not totally indoctrinated and brainwashed by left-wing propaganda) knows that this particular trial will ultimately go down in history as a “Show Trial” rather than a “Fair Trial”.

    Since the Left has, on average, had poor luck with a lot of their past show trial efforts, they want to “hedge their bet” to keep the Chauvin Show Trial in the “WIN” column. Therefore, they are seeking to “pile on” additional Federal Charges. See this link:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/derek-chauvin-three-other-ex-minneapolis-police-officers-indicted-federal-n1266671

    Yes Sir, after all the trouble they stirred up (and the mileage that they gained) from politicizing the death of George Floyd, they cannot afford to relax regarding Derek Chauvin. His scalp must (and will) hang on the Left’s “Lodge Pole”.

    Even if Chauvin wins an appeal on the State charges, and receives a new trial that makes a true effort at fairness, the Left will still have their Federal charges as a back-up plan.

    I do not own a crystal ball. Nevertheless, I can predict that, with the entire force of the Left’s malice arrayed against him, Derek Chauvin will spend many decades in prison. That is assuming, of course, that he does not suffer a mysterious “Suicide” while awaiting the next trial in his series.

    • Your assessment is right on. And a “suicide” would simplify things for the Left and
      let them keep their win. Personally, I think he is getting closer to a “suicide” every
      day. Either a “mistake” will puts him in General Population where another inmate
      can shank him. He’s a marked man in my opinion.
      Dano

    • As I noted above, the forces of the American Left really do intend to hang Derek Chauvin’s scalp on their lodge pole. Their propaganda campaign demands it. They must demonstrate that all of their rioting, looting and burning was justified. See this story:

      https://currently.att.yahoo.com/att/cm/judges-ruling-allows-longer-sentence-151603253.html

      It may well be that Chauvin’s death, via “mysterious suicide” or being “shanked” by another inmate, will be his ultimate release from the malice of the American Left. It may take the “Grim Reaper” to arrange his release from their dungeons!

  10. No, it wasn’t fair (denial of relocating trial plus one juror shown with BLM bias outright). But that won’t matter, his life is thoroughly destroyed, whether he lives in prison or the prison of public opinion (good sheep!) matters not. And now the feds want to pick over the remains as well. Remember, defund the police and ACAB, not a career I would recommend to anyone.

    • This is not about Derek Chauvin. This is about putting the fear of God into cops everywhere, pushing them to quit, retire, or stop doing their job. This will spike the crime rate through the roof, which will cause the public to agree to anything to stop being prey for the Democrat protected criminal class. Further, with all the new hiring, they can hire brainwashed storm troopers, who will ignore real crime, and come after political opponents who are preventing the left from taking power.

      We’re heading toward South Africa and Venezuela.

  11. Simply, he did not receive a fair trial. Jurors were prejudiced against him. And the threat of political violence hovered over this trail.
    Those who think they have triumphed here should take note. They will be next, and it will be their own who will consume them. Remember the Stalinist Purge Trials and the action of the Maoist Red Guards.

  12. Fear of the Mob concerns me more than the facts presented in the trial or fairness of the jury. If government cannot perform their core duty of keeping citizens safe they should resign or the localities involved should demand a complete recall election. It was absolutely sickening to see city, county, and state governments sit on their hands and watch an unruly mob of terrorists destroy American cities with no resistance yet prohibit federal assistance in the case of Portland. Law enforcement was hobbled by our own government in the name of social justice, whatever that is. Ask any businessman if they welcome their businesses to be destroyed for that cause. You won’t find any.

    If a jury can be swayed by the threat of impending violence when the Mob doesn’t get their way, we have much more to fear than a single unconstitutional trial.

  13. So, I’m not very clear on the actual cause of death. It was my understanding it was a drug overdose.

    Is this not the case?

    • The autopsy report of George Floyd, performed and taken at hospital shortly after his demise, included a toxicology panel. The actual concentratioins of various substances in his bllood were carefully measured, and recorded. The amount of fentanly in his blood was some number, generally held by medical experts to be three to four TIMES a lethal dose. He also had methamphetamines in his blood, at a level considered to be twice the lethal dose. Other substances, both controlled and not, were also found, but are generally considered to be of minor signficance. This report, with the tox panel, is available publically at the Minneapolis website, or perhaps the hospital. I have raed it…

      Additionally, the report stated absolutely there was NO trauma to the neck, trachea (windpipe), venis or arteries, no structural damage to the cerviccal spine, no trauma to the skin or any of the musculature in the shoulderneck area. In other words, he was NOT asphyxiated as the rabble rousers out there maintain.
      The report gave cause of death, but I do not remember specifically. It had to do with heart failure consistent wiht a long standing heart condition, along wiht the effects of the illegal drugs he had ingested and their operation in reducing the blood’s ability to transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide… the underlying cause of his “I can’t breathe” pleas. Of COURSE he could not breathe.. he had taken so mych fantanyl and meth his blood could not hold enough oxygen to keep his heart and brain functioning. This is a classic symptom of fentanyl/meth overdose patients.
      Chauvin had in fact identified this situatioin, called immediately for medics, advising them of this guy’s very likely overdose on fentanyl or other opiates. They did not arrive before Floyd took his last breath.

      • They needed a scapegoat to keep the cities from burning, and they needed a guilty verdict to push their vile political agenda.

  14. Of course it wasn’t a fair trial, with riots in the streets for the preceding half-year and the city burning. Another question: How is it that THIS trial got done so quickly when so many of the gang and thug trials we see take years to seat a jury?

  15. This farce has only served to confirm that the Department of Justice has been anything but for at least a dozen years. It has been turned to INjustice by liberalism that will continue to prove to be the bain of civilization until it is eradicated.

  16. I live in MN, thankfully SE not near the Twin Cities. Chauvin did not receive a fair trial, he didn’t stand a chance.

    When I don’t understand is how he could be convicted of second degree murder, manslaughter and third degree murder.

    (Meanwhile across the U.S. Criminals are heralded, held up as heroes while police are criminalized. Bizarro world!)

  17. This is what happens when you have a gutless Mayor, pandering Governor and a Marxist Attorney General. Now he is up on charges for a 2017 arrest in addition to the Federal charges.

    Atlanta is next though they were forced to reinstate the officer. The Mayor admitted to firing him just to appease the mob. If I see frickin Geraldo on FOX saying that taking away that officer’s job & indicting him for defending himself is no big deal again I may puke.

  18. Both articles were excellent.

    I wonder if it is time to do away with jury trials. Juries are often stupid, and the lawyers want them to be stupid and malleable. If I’m not mistaken, the French don’t have jury trials. All trials are bench trials where three judges sit.

    I suppose three centuries ago jury trials made some sense. Judges were probably appointed by kings, and whether they were appointed by kings or not, they would be afraid to offend a king. Of course, judges have always been subject to bribes. Even the Old Testament warns against that. Juries in the 1700s were more educated than they are today. They were not more schooled, but they were better educated than government schools can do today.

    Judges certainly have the training to decide trials better than any jury could. The only concern would be to make sure judges themselves were being fair, just and not subject to bribery. Let’s face it, the American people are too dumbed-down to decide what is right and what is wrong, even in simply cases. Of course, I have no faith in human nature, I am simply stating that I believe judges can do a better job of deciding right and wrong than juries can. Is any system involving humans safe from corruption? Not in this world.

    • There’s no good option on that question.

      On one hand, one lawyers’ description of a jury is, “Twelve people too stupid to get out of jury duty.”

      On the other hand, a jury is also, “A twelve-headed beast, with upwards of 200 years of collective adult life experience, and a dozen independently-functioning bullsh!t detectors, any of which may be operating at any given time.” (Yes, Mas, I paraphrased those from one of your videos. 😉 )

      The reason we have a right to jury trials is to mitigate the effect of partisan judges loyal to the government/president/Party/whatever and not justice and the Constitution. But a good “jury of one’s peers” isn’t just random people from the area; it requires a modicum of education — both institutional and “real-world” — the ability to think critically, and a large dose of common sense.

      Those last — critical thinking and common sense — are hardly common these days, even among the highly educated and experienced (like judges), and EVERYTHING has been politicized to a shocking extent. Ergo, depending on where you live a jury may or may not get you a dozen well-tuned bullsh!t detectors, but a bench trial also may or may not get you a non-partisan judge. It’s a coin toss either way.

      I don’t know the path forward from here, but I don’t believe that doing away with jury trials is the right answer.

      (And I agree, no system that requires human involvement or intervention is safe from corruption. The rules — in the form of the Constitution, the Rules of Order, etc. — are in place to mitigate that, but the rules are only effective if they’re followed, and these days it seems the rules are ignored almost as often as they’re followed.)

      • RE: A “jury of one’s peers”:

        In a lot of cases, I believe that defining a “jury of one’s peers” as “twelve people from the same county as the defendant” is far too broad a pool.

        For example, if you’re looking at a case of medical malpractice in which the defendant is a doctor, a jury consisting of two retail clerks, a mechanic, a city sanitation worker, and eight baristas, is hardly a “jury of peers” reasonably aware of how medicine should be practiced (and thus, able to detect malpractice). It doesn’t have to be a jury of all doctors, but others involved in medicine in some capacity who know the industry.

        Likewise, Chauvin could not get a fair trial, partly because of all the outside influences, but also partly because the jury was 12 random citizens (and two alternates) who individually have almost no involvement or knowledge of police training, procedures, or protocols. They didn’t have a reasonable background to tell if Chauvin’s actions — based on what he knew at the time (that’s important) — were out-of-bounds.

        Does that mean that every cop on trial should have a jury of all cops? No; the “thin blue line” is a real thing, and plenty will vote to acquit just to keep a fellow cop out of jail, regardless of the evidence (and even if they wouldn’t, the optics are just terrible). But insisting on at least a few people with real-world experience working with police might help keep officers from being constantly railroaded for political gain.

        I suspect the lack of real “peers” on juries is why we see so many defendants opting for bench trials and the inherent risk if a partisan jurist. Again, I don’t know the way forward from here; I’m open to other points of view on this one.

      • Archer,

        Thanks for what you wrote. Your ideas sound good to me. It looks like there are two hurdles to overcome. One is the complexity of trials nowadays. My guess is six or twelve judges would make a better jury than twelve random citizens, because the judges are so educated, especially in the law. As we increase the number of judges in a jury, I think we could lessen the amount of corruption. A few judges may be corrupt, but they are certainly not all corrupt, so more judges may result in fairer trials. Complex cases call for experts to educate both juries and judges on what happened in these cases. So, as long as experts can do a good job explaining things to jurors, the current system still seems workable to me. Although, experts may be better able to educate judges on complex matters, than they can educate your average juror on complex matters.

        The other hurdle is to make sure jurors are free from undue bias, manipulation and intimidation. In other words, they have to have good character and courage.

        Maybe the best way to improve juries would be to improve parenting and the education of children. The best juror would be one who is virtuous and smart.

      • The “jury of peers” thing goes back to the Magna Carta and the formal establishment of English Common Law… which the Colonies operated under at the time of the Revolution, and became American law.

        Formerly, trials of the nobility were decided by the monarch. After the Magna Carta, they were settled by the nobles’ own courts. “Noble” and “peer” are effectively interchangeable there.

        The peers, in turn, dispensed justice to the merchant and peasant classes, who were obviously too brutish to be able to handle such things on their own.

        The American government abolished the peerage as an institution; there’s no person whose birth sets them above any other person. So “jury of one’s peers” has had linguistic drift; we’re all peers now, so “peers” means “the adult citizenry not otherwise unable to perform that duty.”

        [some streamlining has been done to fit 800+ years of law and culture spread across two substantially different polities]

      • TRX,

        Thanks, TRX. We have wonderful, educated, informative discussions on this blog. It’s easy to learn when you hang out with learned people.

  19. So what do we do? We are still in the majority, but too many of us are afraid to even speak out. I tried to fundraise $20 from my neighbors to give to the local cops to let them have a lunch paid by supporters, and everyone was too afraid to contribute or refused.

    If we stage a rally, the thugs will show up, wreak havoc, and we’ll get blamed. Plus, we’ll likely get hurt. A massive phone call campaign to our leaders? Or maybe just vote them out?

    Too many of our fellow Americans are too apathetic, and lazy to even see what’s going on under their noses.

    • Larry Hartman,

      You are correct, of course. What do we do? I have two ideas to think about. One idea makes perfect sense, and has been done successfully in the past. The second idea is a little bit “out there.” I don’t feel comfortable sharing either idea on the Internet.

  20. I recently read Black’s Law by Roy Black-good read and education on the justice system by the way-and was struck by some parallels between the Chauvin trial and the long ago Alverez trial in terms of media coverage and pandering officials. The major difference being that Alverez was pretty much a tempest in a local tea pot, Chauvin was a nationwide extravaganza of political posturing.

    Other differences included a sequestered jury. Given the circumstances, I don’t think Black would have prevailed in Minnesota.

    Going strictly by the law, I’d expect a new trial on numerous grounds. But, given the political stakes and the likely impossibility of finding a neutral jury I tend to doubt if there is a new trial, the results will be different. I’ve already made some comments about what the judge might have been thinking.

  21. In his books the blog owner has written about other cases (in Florida) in which the authorities decided that their losses would be minimized by sacrificing a police officer. (In the cases I recall, the state did not succeed as they did this time.)

    That’s not to say that Chauvin was not guilty of _something_. But that kind of charge would not have appeased the mob.

  22. The weapons of the American Left are fear, propaganda, and indoctrination. However, FEAR is their primary weapon. They constantly stoke fear to keep themselves in power. They have many flavors of fear at their command.

    Fear of being railroaded into prison like Derek Chauvin. They can use the power of prosecution to go after just about anyone who appears on their radar. Anyone who opposes them or who is a good vehicle for their propaganda. Even if their target wins in court, like George Zimmerman, they can still ruin his life, trash his reputation, and bankrupt him with attorney fees.

    Fear of being cancelled and silenced. They can use boycotts against businesses and get people fired. Again, they can trash their target’s reputation and attack them economically.

    Fear of their mobs. Fear that they will sic their rabid, criminal followers on you to burn you out or loot your business.

    Fear of peer pressure. How many people will meekly voice “Politically Correct” horse-manure out of fear? Not because they believe in this nonsense but because they fear the attacks and social shaming that (at a minimum) will fall upon them if they dare to speak the truth. So, people voice and repeat the lies of the Left because they FEAR to speak the TRUTH.

    Fear of Covid-19 and its possible mutations. They force people to wear masks and take vaccines out of fear. This disease has a mortality rate only slightly greater than the seasonal flu. Yet the Left has people cowering in fear as if it were the “Black Death” all over again. The Left has people afraid to visit friends and relatives. They have people afraid to go to Church. When the People cower in their HOMES in FEAR, the American Left REJOICES because it is then that they know they have the upper hand.

    They have people afraid to exercise their 1st Amendment Right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” People FEAR that if they protest the POWER of the Ruling Class, then the American Left will send in their “Brown Shirts” to stir up trouble. Trouble that will be blamed upon the petitioners who will then be falsely labeled as being involved in an “insurrection” and then hunted down and prosecuted for it.

    FDR was a Left-Wing zealot himself who did a lot of harm to America. However, FDR is famous for making one truthful statement:

    “This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. “ (FDR’s First Inaugural Speech – March 4, 1933)

    From the mouth of a historical Leftist, we find the “Action Plan” needed to deal with our current crop of Left-Wing totalitarians.

    If the American People will just “wake up” and find the courage to vanquish FEAR, then very soon, it would be the totalitarians (who fancy themselves as our masters and our rulers) who would be AFRAID. However, as long as we yield to our fears, the American Left will have an effective weapon to use against the American People in perpetuity.

    • It is a bit off-topic. Nevertheless, I would like to strongly recommend that the readers of this blog read and review the information contained in the following article:

      https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

      I have noted the Left’s use of Covid-19 in their fear-mongering. The above story provides valuable information as to the origin of this disease. Including the role of various U.S. agencies in funding what should have been illegal experiments. However, they were experiments that were allowed to go forward with the personal approval of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

      This information gives a new spin to Dr. Fauci’s role in Covid-19 doesn’t it? Perhaps Dr. Anthony Fauci will (eventually) go down in history books alongside his medical predecessor, Dr. Josef Mengele? Certainly, the victims of Dr. Fauci likely greatly outnumber the totals racked up by Little Josef!

      • Maybe Doctor Fauci should change his name to Faust, since like many of his liberal megalomaniacs, may have been in cahoots with Satan and also the CCP.

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