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Justice and the George Floyd trial

 
 
maxdancona
 
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Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2021 07:55 pm
After watching the trial my guess is that the jury will return a guilty verdict for the second degree manslaughter, and find him not guilty of murder.

My guess is there will be some part of the jury that will refuse to return a verdict of murder. There will be another part of the jury that will refuse to let him Go free without any consequences. The defense was successful in injecting Reasonable Doubt in the medical part of the trial I think this would give the jury excuse enough to return with just the manslaughter conviction.

Several years ago I served on a jury for an attempted murder trial. When we were locked on in that little room things got heated pretty quickly. The prosecution was asking for attempted murder. We were given the option to return a verdict of armed robbery with no attempted murder. After days of heated argument it just became easier to return the Lesser charge.

From my experience I learned that a jury is just human beings. I actually hated this experience it was a miserable time. I wanted to be a fair juror to follow the instructions and carefully consider the evidence . We really just ended up yelling at each other. I don't envy the jury in this trial.
maxdancona
 
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Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2021 06:21 am
From watching much of the trial, and reading the legal analysis this is how I see it (assuming there is no suprise from closing arguments).

Facts that favor the prosecution
1. The video is pretty shocking. It was over 9 minutes and Floyd was clearly in distress.
2. The prone restraint was against police procedure. (I thought the use of force witness for the defense failed).
3. There was strong medical testimony that the positioning of the restraint caused Floyd's death.
4. They continued the restraint after Floyd lost consciousness and failed to provide medical care.

Facts that favor the defence
1. The medical witnesses for the prosecution contradicted each other (you will hear a lot about this in the closing arguments).
2. Floyd had a "lethal" amound of Fentanyl in his system when he died and was ingesting the street drug a very short time before he died.
3. Floyd had previous similar attempts (the jury was instructed to ignore the pattern of behavior, but that isn't how juries work).
4. Floyd was earlier resiting arrest, and started to shout "I can't breath" before while he was standing before the restraint was applied.
5. The scene was chaotic and even the prosecution witnesses (i.e. the EMT) testified that they were afraid of the crowd and didn't consider the scene safe.

I think this will end in a manslaughter conviction (without a murder conviction).
maxdancona
 
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Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2021 12:52 pm
@maxdancona,
Interesting, In closing arguments the defense is highlighting the "reasonable officer" narrative. They are pointing to the risk posed by the crowd and asking the jury to put themselves in the position of the officer. The defense played the video one more time to make this argument (which at least one analyst thought was a bad idea).

I don't know if this is a risky strategy. Maybe this argument raises the chance of a full acquittal (or a hung jury). Maybe this argument also raises the risk of a murder conviction rather than manslaughter.

I still think that a manslaugter conviction is the most likely result.

farmerman
 
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Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2021 05:27 pm
@maxdancona,
Im satisfied with the contents of the verdict. Having heard the defense's obtuse closing argument nd the reference to the"time before Mr Floyd was held down".
I think the jury could ask also, "What abut the 9 minutes in which the entire act played out?"
maxdancona
 
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Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2021 07:13 pm
@farmerman,
I am also satisfied with the verdict.

The jury has spoken. I am a little surprised, but obviously they felt the facts combined with the callous indifference showed by Chauvin justified a resounding guilty/guilty/guilty. I wonder if the defense had taken a different tack they might have gottent he manslaughter verdict, but that is just speculation.

Chauvin got a fair trial. I am glad that we are spared the outcome of a not-guilty verdict. I hope that we can move forward now.
Mame
 
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Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2021 08:20 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

The jury has spoken. I am a little surprised, but obviously they felt the facts combined with the callous indifference showed by Chauvin justified a resounding guilty/guilty/guilty. I wonder if the defense had taken a different tack they might have gottent he manslaughter verdict, but that is just speculation.

And what different tack would that have been?
[/quote]
maxdancona
 
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Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2021 08:36 pm
@Mame,
Who knows what might have worked for the defense?

As I said, I thought the focus of the closing argument was risky, It is possible that an "it wasn['t murder" argument might have worked (although given the speed that they reached the verdict, maybe nothing would have worked).

It is difficult to guess what the jury deliberation was like. Did they all walk into the room thinking "guilty" or did some of them have to be convinced? I know a few people who were thinking "manslaughter not murder", to get 12 people to all agree to a murder verdict so quickly is interesting.

0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
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Reply Wed 12 May, 2021 08:54 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Several years ago I served on a jury for an attempted murder trial. When we were locked on in that little room things got heated pretty quickly. The prosecution was asking for attempted murder. We were given the option to return a verdict of armed robbery with no attempted murder. After days of heated argument it just became easier to return the Lesser charge.

From my experience I learned that a jury is just human beings. I actually hated this experience it was a miserable time. I wanted to be a fair juror to follow the instructions and carefully consider the evidence . We really just ended up yelling at each other.

I'm glad I've never had to serve on a jury. I'd be terrified of returning an unjust verdict.

I'd be an interesting juror though despite my terror and unhappiness. I'm immune to buckling and settling for lesser charges in the interests of expediency. I'd relentlessly stick with the facts all the way to the end just like I do on a2k. Yelling at me wouldn't make a bit of difference (although I'd happily listen to facts and logic).
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 12 May, 2021 08:56 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
oralloy wrote:
I'm curious about something. (Note that I have not bothered to watch the infamous 9 minute video.)

Earlier discussion from some months ago made it sound like the guy was on his side and the knee pressing on the side of his neck.

Recent discussion made it sound like the guy was on his belly with the knee on the back of his neck.

Is it clear which of those scenarios is the case?

I'm not sure if it even matters. I've just noticed that recent discussion seems to describe things differently than what I had envisioned based on earlier discussion.

This is why we have a trial with an impartial jury.

Holding a jury trial just to answer a simple question of what is on the videos would be kind of expensive. If I cared that much about answering the question I'd just go watch the videos myself.
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oralloy
 
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Reply Wed 12 May, 2021 08:57 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
oralloy wrote:
So everyone stands around waiting for backup to arrive, and then they try again to put him in the car once there are a lot more officers on the scene??

If so, how do they keep him under control while everyone is standing around waiting for backup to arrive?

According to the testimony of the police lieutenant, an expert with actual experience being a police officer, the neck restraint was unnecessary, dangerous and against training. He testified that he had reviewed all of the tape from body cameras and fixed cameras, and he could see no threat that justified the neck restraint.

That is all I have to go on. As I said, it was damned powerful testimony for the prosecution.

I've had my question answered on a different message board. The police have leg restraints that go around the waist. The legs are bent at the knee so that the feet are chained up by the waist.

With both the legs and the hands restrained, there is no way for the perp to run away, and he lies on his side (not prone) until reinforcements arrive.
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