Derek Chauvin’s jury returned to 9 after two more panelists were seated
The jury for the upcoming murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with the death of George Floyd, has nine members again, after two more were selected on Wednesday. It replaces two more that were dropped earlier in the day.
The new jurors were dismissed just hours after two others selected last week were suddenly dismissed by Hennepin District Judge Peter Cahill after admitting a $ 27 million settlement on the death of Floyd’s family had changed their ability to be impartial.
Defense attorneys have argued that news of Friday’s large payout may have tainted the jury pool by pointing out that Chauvin is guilty.
However, the two new jurors selected on Wednesday – a black man and a white woman – said it wasn’t enough to sway them.
“I don’t think this explains guilt one way or the other,” one of the new jurors told the judge. “I think people settle for a lot of reasons.”
The committee now consists of three black men, three white women, two white men and one woman of mixed race – three more and two deputies have yet to be selected.
The case’s lawyers had interviewed 13 consecutive potential jurors since Monday, who were dismissed either by the judge or by lawyers on both sides before sitting the two new ones on Wednesday.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, is struggling to find jurors who he believes can be impartial. He used 12 of his 15 assigned challenges for Wednesday’s trial.
Prosecutors had burned six of their nine.
Chauvin is charged with second and third degree murder and second degree manslaughter in Floyd’s May 25th murder.
The opening arguments are currently scheduled for March 29th.
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