The panel is blind but America is the jury

Kaicie Boeglin

Opinions Editor

Photo via startribune.com

The trial of Dereck Chauvin is a chance for the American justice system to prove it can work. The trial will be publicized on the media with a blind jury presiding. As George Floyd was murdered on film, his murderer deserves to lose his livelihood and have it streamed to the world. A blind jury to the public preserves the jurors safety and excludes them from media pressure.


The jurors’ identities will be kept anonymous throughout the trial, however the media knows some information. According to the court the jury consists of nine caucasian people, four African American people and two people who identify as more than one race. Publicizing this information validated the diversity of the jury. Hennepin County, Minneapolis is where Chauvin's trial is being held. Hennepin County is 17% Black or multiracial and is 74% white.


Juror selection wrapped up on March 24. Fifteen people were chosen for the trials opening statements on March 29. Twelve of the jurors will deliberate, two will serve as alternates and one will be dismissed if all the others show up for the opening statements. The panel of 15 included six jurors of color, including three Black men, one Black woman and two mixed-race women. Eight jurors and the 15th dismissable juror are all white. The ratio of six colored to nine white outraged citizens, however the 12 jurors that deliberate will be a split ratio of six to six. Conservatives question the choice of jury for being a split ratio as Hennepin County is majority white. Liberals argue that a split ratio allows George Floyd's existence to be accurately represented while offering Chauvin a chance at a fair trial.


One juror referred to only by his number, 76, was chosen then later dismissed for his personal output. This juror was the only person of color to speak with the media on experiences with racism. This person is a former soldier who had lived in the neighborhood where Floyd was killed. They said police in the area were known to antagonize residents and they recounted seeing black acquaintances sentenced to prison for various crimes while white people often got a "slap on the wrist.”


Peter Cahill is the judge overseeing the murder trial of Derek Chauvin. Judge Cahill issued an order late Wednesday March 24, which allows prosecutors to present some of Chauvin’s prior police actions. Not all of Chauvin's prior police actions will be analyzed with the jury in the upcoming trial. Judge Cahill deemed that presenting all eight instances the prosecution desired would defame Chauvin's character outside the boundaries of the case. Social media has blown up with thoughts on Judge Cahill's decision. Neglecting to showcase all eight of his inexcusable police actions to the jury indicates a form of bias. If it has happened before it will happen again. Americans love the term “history repeats itself.” If Derek Chauvin had been reprimanded after any of the eight attempts before George Floyd's death then he would not be currently awaiting a trial for murder. All eight instances the prosecution wishes to show the jury need to be shown, regardless of public view.


George Gloyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin who knelt on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes. Floyd was visibly dead on camera and never resisted throughout the duration of the video. America's justice system needs to go all in on Dereck Chauvin and hold him accountable for murder. Chauvin worked for the Minneapolis justice system and made it an advantage to go all in on murdering a black man. The jury needs to know of all the instances where Chauvin broke police code of conduct. The public needs to watch this historic trial to see if the justice system holds all human lives to the same standard. The government needs to acknowledge a reform for police education and training. The trail of the State of Minnesota vs. Derek Chauvin needs to prove black lives matter.


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