Derek Chauvin guilty verdict may be thrown out because of Biden and Maxine Waters’ intervention, experts say

KILLER cop Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict in the death of George Floyd could be thrown out because of comments made by Joe Biden and Rep. Maxine Waters, experts say.

Chauvin, 45, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in a historic verdict yesterday – however his lawyers may have grounds to appeal his trial was unfair.

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Those grounds partially stem from comments made by Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters who told activists over the weekend to get "confrontational" if Chauvin was found not guilty by the jury.

Remarks made by President Biden that he was "praying" for Chauvin's conviction, adding that the evidence against him was "overwhelming", may also prove troublesome.

For his part, Biden waited until the jury had been sequestered to let his opinions of the case be known.

However Biden, as a former lawyer, will be aware sequestration does not necessarily make jurors impervious to prejudicial materials or publicity.

Both Waters and Biden have come under fire for their remarks, with the congresswoman being accused of "inciting violence" and the president accused of "politicizing" the murder trial.

The judge presiding over Chauvin's trial, Peter Cahill, also admonished Waters for her remarks, warning they could result in the "entire case being overturned".

Speaking in court on Monday while dismissing the defense's motion for a mistrial, Cahill said: "I'll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned."

Cahill said he was aware of Waters' comments about "the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction and talk about being confrontational."

"I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function," Cahill added later.

"I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution, to respect a coequal branch of government."

The fallout from the Democrats' comments may be used by Chauvin's defense attorney, Eric Nelson, to appeal their client was denied his right to a fair trial.

Other points of contention likely to be raised by the defense on appeal is pre-trial publicity and the failure to move the venue of the trial out of Minneapolis.

Randy Zelin, head of the criminal practice at Wilk Auslander LLP, said the defense will also bring up the fact that jury members saw the video of Floyd's arrest before it was introduced into evidence.

They will additionally add that members of the jury were unfairly burdened by the idea that Minnesota would "burn to the ground" if Chauvin was not convicted – because of Biden's and Waters' comments.

"There’s so much and so many different directions for the defense to go," Zelin told Fox News.

Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson, when arguing in court, called the outside commentary of lawmakers "mind-boggling" when motioning for a mistrial.

"And now that we have U.S. representatives … threatening acts of violence in relation to this specific case, it's mind boggling," Nelson told Judge Cahill.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pointed to comments from both Biden and Waters as proof that a fair trial is sometimes "difficult" to carry out.

"It is certainly not helpful for a member of Congress, and even the president of the U.S. to appear to be weighing in in public, while the jury is trying to sort through this significant case," he said.

An appeal in the case is a virtual certainty, however, around 90 percent of appeals are denied in courts across the US.

Jon J. Lee, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, told USA Today that Waters' and Biden's comments could play a key role in any appeal because of the jury wasn't bared from using social media during the trial.

“Part of the concern here,” Lee said, “is that the judge has instructed the jury not to listen to the news. But as Chauvin’s attorney has argued, the collective media coverage of this trial extends well beyond news coverage, and in particular in light of the shooting in Brooklyn Center.

"I think that was difficult to avoid hearing about for [juror] residents in the area.”

The first step for the defense will be to file post-trial motions with the trial judge to have the case thrown out, which are typically denied.

Next comes the sentencing process, which is due to take place after eight weeks.

Once concluded, the appeals process can begin.

Chauvin is currently facing a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison for the death of George Floyd, after kneeling down on his neck for nearly ten minutes during an arrest on Memorial Day, 2020.

The state has sought to have an aggravated sentence arguing there were aggravating circumstances in the case – including the arrest taking place in front of a nine-year-old child.

It is unclear whether the judge is likely to impose concurrent (served at the same time) or consecutive (served one after the other) sentences for each count. 

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