To centralize the pieces I’ve written on George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, the three other officers involved in the arrest, Excited Delirium, the Medical Examiners’ reports, and anything else that might prove worth writing about, I’ve created this post for a central place to link to each of the issues.
Feel free to share this link to direct all of your friends to LITERALLY the only person on Planet Earth who seems to have reported on what I have written. (But based on my stats, I don’t think I’m the only person who is thinking this way!)
Below, find the links to:
- The Overview of Video Evidence Regarding George Floyd’s Death (Including 911-call Transcript)
- The Overview of the Prosecution’s Problems with it’s Case Against Derek Chauvin (Including an identification of incorrect information provided by political leaders)
- A Plea to Heal Our Nation (Including an extended discussion of Excited Delirium, with a possible explanation for why George Floyd was restrained in the way he was restrained)
- A Review of the Statements of the Independent Medical Examiner’s Press Statements on the Death of George Floyd (Including discussion on the lack of evidence against Derek Chauvin that it reveals)
- A Review of the “Potential Intoxicants” Revealed by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner (And incorporating this information to what we know of the timeline of George Floyd’s Death)
- A Review of the Difficulties the Prosecution Faces in the Prosecution of the Three Additional Officers Involved with George Floyd’s Arrest (Including what the new Complaint documents reveal about evidence)
- A Review of Police Procedure and Medical Discussion of Individuals with Excited Delirium (Including how this training corresponds to what was done with George Floyd).
- A Review of the Motion to Dismiss Filed by Thomas K. Lane (Including the additional evidence we learn from the exhibits).
- A Review of the Motion to Dismiss Filed by Derek Chauvin (Including what it means for the rest of the prosecution).
- A Review of the Order on the Motion to Dismiss Filed by Derek Chauvin (Including a previous of Issues at Trial and What this Step in the Process Means)
- The Bizarre Attempt to Keep the Public from Viewing the George Floyd Trial (Including a review of the Orders and the State’s arguments).
- The State’s Strange Motion for a Continuance in the Derek Chauvin Trial (Including an insight into some of the discovery disputes which do not reflect very well on the prosecution).
- A Review of the Trial of Derek Chauvin (Summarizing a great deal of the evidence, as well as video excerpts of the relevant testimony).
Links to the relevant underlying documents are contained in each post. This post will be updated as new George Floyd posts are generated.
And of course, please subscribe.
For the information of the readers, I am an attorney licensed to practice law. I am not licensed to practice in Minnesota, and I have very limited experience in criminal law. However, I have general civil litigation experience that relates to issues like this one. All of the matters contained in this blog are intended to be news and editorial in nature, and none of the topics should be construed as legal advice.
However, if you need legal advice, I know a very good looking attorney licensed to practice law. I can hook you up.
8 Comments Add yours
What are your thoughts on John Lott’s article regarding the conduct of theDerek Chauvin trial?
At Townhall: The Derek Chauvin Trial Was A Travesty, Prosecutors Violated Rules That Protect Us All
22 APR , 2021
Dr. John Lott has a new piece at Townhall on how the Derek Chauvin trial was conducted.
The Derek Chauvin trial was a travesty. Prosecutors were allowed to break all the rules. Whether that was because Judge Peter Cahill is a Democrat in a heavily Democrat area and wanted to convict Chauvin or whether he didn’t want to take the heat for declaring a mistrial, prosecutors realized that they didn’t have to follow the standard rules. One can only hope that the appeals court judges have stiffer spines.
People focus on Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ calls for an anti-police crowd in Minneapolis “to get more confrontational” when violent riots were already taking place may have intimidated witnesses. And if the jurors heard of her comments, that would be concerning, and as Judge Cahill noted, could lead to a mistrial. But Cahill didn’t make the obvious response. He should have quizzed the jurors to see if they had heard anything and replaced those that had with alternates who hadn’t. That is common practice. Yet, no action was taken, making one wonder if Cahill thought that there was a chance that he would have to remove more jurors than there were alternates.
But there is a long list of other serious concerns that haven’t gotten news attention that should have resulted in a mistrial. Let’s go through a few of the abuses by prosecutors.
The prosecution dumped over 5,000 documents on the defense during the trial. I have no clue how many pages of documents we are talking about. The dumps of five or six hundred documents often occurred at 5 PM the day before they were relevant. The prosecution has had a year to put this case together, they have had a large team of lawyers and massive staff, and they had no excuse for this type of abuse. Anyone can surely forget to provide a few documents on time, maybe even a few dozen, but not many thousands. It was a clear abuse. Amazingly, Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney, was able to go through his ordinary preparations, look through the new material, and still function during his cross-examinations. Still, the wear on him showed as the trial went on, which was undoubtedly part of the prosecutors’ plan.
Despite waiting to the last minute to dump documents on the defense, the prosecution still managed not to provide key documents at all. Take the prosecution’s use of Dr. Martin Tobin, Physician in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, in the rebuttal to defense expert Dr. David Fowler, a forensic pathologist.
Back in February, Fowler had requested Floyd’s carbon monoxide blood concentration. The hospital had done a test on the carbon monoxide level of George Floyd’s blood, and, importantly, it looks as if Tobin had long known of the test, but the defense never received that evidence. Judge Cahill correctly ruled that Tobin could not reference this evidence, and it was clear that referencing it could cause a mistrial.
So what happened? Tobin came right out and referenced the blood gas data. Tobin said that the possibilities raised by Fowler of carbon monoxide poisoning were not reliable: “I base it on the arterial blood gas that was obtained when Mr. Floyd was in Hennepin County.”
But if you want a simple example of how far off the rails the prosecutors went, listen to the prosecutor Jerry Blackwell’s closing rebuttal. Prosecutors face real constraints in questioning the honesty of the defense lawyers. Nor are they allowed to belittle the defense lawyers’ arguments. Prosecutors are representing the state, and have a certain credibility and authority not had by defense attorneys. Blackwell flagrantly violated those rules.
We aren’t talking about two or three times, but probably at least 20 times. Time after time, Blackwell would say that the jurors “didn’t get the whole truth” from the defense. That statements from the defense were “either completely not true or the facts have been altered.” That the defense told “a story” when they should have been concerned with “the facts.”
The judge warned the prosecutor, but he kept doing it. Even part of this alone would, in most normal cases, be enough for a mistrial.
Another problem was the experts. A side in a case is allowed one or two experts to make a point, but the prosecution just piled on expert after expert who made the same points. What was highly unusual for such a high-profile trial is how many prosecutor’s experts had never previously been experts in a criminal case before. But the analysis of these experts would require another op-ed piece.
It is impossible to get in Judge Cahill’s mind and figure out why he let the prosecutors act the way they did. The bottom line is that these rules exist for a reason, and violating them made it so that Chauvin didn’t get a fair trial. That is something that should concern everyone.
John R. Lott, Jr., “The Derek Chauvin Trial Was a Travesty, Prosecutors Violated Rules That Protect Us All,” Townhall.com, April 22, 2021.