Two jurors have been dismissed from the trial of former Minneapolis Police Department Officer Derek Chauvin after being re-questioned earlier this week.
The process of re-questioning jurors began after the city reached a $27 million settlement with the family of George Floyd. Defense attorneys argued that the timing of the settlement being reached could influence potential jurors. Ultimately, Judge Peter Cahill agreed and allowed the re-questioning process to take place.
“The fact that this came in the exact middle of jury selection is perplexing to me, your honor."
During the re-questioning process, one juror said that the settlement "kind of confirms opinions that I already have." Another juror said that the amount of the settlement was shocking.
“It sent a message that the city of Minneapolis felt something was wrong,” one juror reportedly said.
“It kind of swayed me, yes."
With these two dismissals, the prosecution and defense are now down to five jurors. The two sides must find seven more jurors and two alternates. Initially, opening arguments were on track to begin in late March. However, these dismissals may set back the projected schedule of the trial.
Chauvin is currently facing second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. Cahill also reinstituted a third-degree manslaughter charge for the trial. Chauvin's former colleagues, Thomas Lane, J Alexander Keung and Tou Thao, will also face charges for aiding and abetting manslaughter and murder later this year.
In the meantime, both the defense and prosecution will continue to work towards finding suitable jurors for the trial of Derek Chauvin.
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