(TheIndependentStar.com) – In a swift rejection, the Supreme Court decided not to review the appeal of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted in the 2020 murder of George Floyd.
This decision leaves Chauvin’s 22.5-year prison sentence, handed down in April 2021 for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, intact.
Chauvin’s case gained national attention and ignited widespread protests in May 2020 after a video emerged showing him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes. Chauvin appealed his conviction on the grounds that his right to a fair trial had been compromised.
One significant contention in his appeal was the trial court’s rejection of his motion to change the venue of the trial. Chauvin’s legal team argued that the court should have granted this request due to the extensive pretrial publicity, which they asserted was “relentless and demonized Mr. Chauvin.”
In their petition to the Supreme Court, Chauvin’s lawyers emphasized the challenges trial courts face in ensuring an impartial jury in highly charged cases. They argued, “Mr. Chauvin’s case shows the profound difficulties trial courts have to ensure a criminal defendant’s right to an impartial jury consistently when extreme cases arise. This was particularly true here when the jurors themselves had a vested interest in finding Mr. Chauvin guilty in order to avoid further rioting in the community in which they lived and the possible threat of physical harm to them or their families.”
Despite these arguments, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Chauvin’s conviction in April, as reported by CBS News.
The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear his appeal signifies a decisive conclusion to Chauvin’s legal challenge, cementing the 22.5-year sentence he previously received.