Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin says he will appeal his convictions in the case of George Floyd.
In April, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison. A recent state court decision is likely to vacate the third-degree murder charge, but that will not alter Chauvin’s sentence.
Chauvin told the court he is broke and “unrepresented by legal counsel in connection with the appeal,” according to WCCO-TV.
Chauvin said he was denied representation by a public defender and has sought to have that rejection reviewed in court. The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis no longer will represent him because of his conviction.
Attorney Joe Tamburino said it was odd that Eric Nelson, who represents Chauvin in an ongoing civil rights suit and represented him at his trial, would not file the appeal.
“He’s been denied a public defender. He’s in prison. He’s in Oak Park Heights for the next 22-plus years,” Tamburino said. “I don’t know why that was denied.”
In his filing, Chauvin listed 14 points of appeal.
Several of the points focus on requests that were denied, including a change of venue, sequestration of the jury for the entire trial, a continuance, and a new trial.
The document also said Chauvin has grounds for an appeal because of its admittance of past incidents involving the use of force and for allowing biased jurors to serve. Chauvin is also alleging “prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct” by state prosecutors.
In April, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill rejected one motion for a mistrial that involved Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California.
Waters had made an appearance prior to the verdict in which she said, “We’re looking for a guilty verdict. And if we don’t, we cannot go away, we’ve got to get more confrontational.”
At the time, Cahill rejected a request for a mistrial but said the comment could come back to haunt the prosecution.
“I will give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” he said.
Chauvin had 90 days from his sentencing in June to file his appeal, and just made the deadline with his filing.
Chauvin’s appeal said he is appealing the addition of the third-degree murder charge, which is expected to be dropped due to a court ruling in a similar case.
Joseph Daly, emeritus professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, said Chauvin could argue that the charge impacted the jury, according to Yahoo.
“By having that charge, it so confused the jurors it violated his due process rights,” Daly said an argument could claim. “I think that’s a valid argument. Whether the court will [buy] it, I doubt it, because [jurors] did find him guilty of the higher crime.”
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