WATCH: Daniel Medwed on his predictions in the Chauvin trial The prosecutor`s office and defense released their closing arguments this week in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd last year, and jurors were sent to deliberate until they reached a verdict. Daniel Medwed, a legal analyst at GBH News and a Professor of Northeast Law, joined Joe Mathieu in the morning edition of GBH to discuss the latest developments in the case. The following transcript has been edited for clarity. RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Legal analyst Todd Stone has joined CBS 6`s extensive coverage of Derek Chauvin`s trial. Daniel Medwed: On the one hand, as expected, prosecutors looked at the most important evidence. After all, they presented mountain evidence and 38 witnesses, and they must show that they bore their guilt. But one thing they relied on when they looked at their case was naturally video evidence. „Believe your eyes,“ one of the prosecutors concluded, using your common sense. In a sense, prosecutors tried to remind jurors not to get too overwhelmed by the details, technical details, legal language and to trust your eyes. On the other hand, the defense team appeared to present a more technical conclusion aimed at not focusing jurors on the viewers` video or the image of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd`s neck, but focusing their attention on a few legal elements: that the cause of death has not been proven beyond any doubt and that, although tragic, Chauvin did not violate the standard of „reasonable policeman.“ „The case is in your hands“: the judge seizes the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin Medwed: I think it is much, much too early to say. Many right-wing commentators like to advance theories about what it means if a jury doesn`t come back quickly, often that it indicates they`re fighting or that there`s resistance. I don`t really attribute to these theories.
In a case like this, where three serious charges are at stake, including second-degree murder, and weeks of testimony to settle, jurors could take the time to understand the evidence. They know that the eyes of the world are on them, and I suspect they take their task seriously. And that means taking the time to go through everything. We might have more insight if we learn some of the notes they send to the judge to clarify the law, but until then, I think we just have to wait and hold a verdict. „I suspect that his decision and his lawyer`s decision was based on the fact that if the jury were found guilty, they basically already made these results because they have already been presented at trial, so they would have very little chance of getting the jury to disagree with these facts,“ Moran said. „The reality is that it`s more about efficiency than anything else. Sometimes you get to a point where there is such a simple and undisputed fact that you don`t bother to go through the more complicated process. „Candace BurnsWhat do you think this means for officers who still need to be tried, other officers?“ I think if we don`t have a verdict by Wednesday afternoon at the latest, the state would start to worry about whether there are any significant disagreements that could lead to a suspended jury,“ Moran said. Moran said the state is reasonably effective with its rebuttal. Medwed: Yes. I found it interesting that both used a tactic known as „delay,“ which is an attempt by lawyers to define the period of a criminal event. For the prosecution, the key period was the 9 minutes and 29 seconds of the videotape, and that`s what she urged the jury to focus on.
For the defense, Eric Nelson urged jurors to consider a broader spectrum of time — the recording in conjunction with the 16 minutes and 59 seconds before it, events that gave Chauvin reason to believe from the defense`s perspective that Floyd resisted and laid the groundwork for his death. It is very common for lawyers to use this tactic – to extend or shorten the duration of an event – in order to conform to their theory of the case. Todd Stone, like the guidelines, as they do in Minnesota, the guidelines would suggest the sentence between 11 and 15 years to serve. But if there are particularly aggravating factors, such as the commission of the crime in front of minors, there is one called special cruelty. Therefore, if the court finds that any of these factors are, it is my understanding that the court is concerned with Chauvin above that reference range of up to the legal maximum of 40 years. „They were able to reject some of Mr. Nelson`s arguments,“ she said. „It`s always nice to have the last word.“ If the jury convicts Chauvin, the state seeks a higher sentence due to a number of factors, including the fact that Floyd was in a vulnerable position and that children were at the scene.
Moran said it could take hours or days to render judgment on all three counts. Bill FitzgeraldWe understand that one of the aggravating factors could be the fact that minors were actually present when this murder was committed. Joe Mathieu is the host and editor-in-chief of the morning edition of WGBH. Prior to joining WGBH Radio, Joe worked for six years as a morning host at WBZ NewsRadio in Boston, where he was part of the team that received a Peabody Award for reporting on the Boston Marathon bombings. Joe also received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Program in a Major Market. The jury is tasked with determining whether Chauvin is guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Todd StoneNun, this is unfortunately very important.
And I say that because I think we`ve really set the bar very low. You know, let`s keep that in mind, it has nothing to do with race and the elements of these offenses. It is murder. It is a simple murder. You saw the evidence, it was televised, you know, the jury did what it was supposed to do, they applied the facts of this case to the law and found him guilty.