Just 3 jurors were seated Tuesday; 14 are required, including 2 alternates
One of the six jurors dismissed Tuesday in the trial for ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin had voiced concern in court that rioters could attack his home — or come after his wife and kids — should his name ever be released during proceedings in the death of George Floyd.
Jury selection for Derek Chauvin opened Tuesday, a grinding process during which Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, Special Attorney for the State Steven Schleicher and Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, asked the prospective jurors one by one whether they could keep an open mind, what they think of the criminal justice system, how they resolve conflicts and much more.
Just three in the pool were seated by the day’s end, and more will be questioned Wednesday despite the possibility that the Minnesota Court of Appeals could intervene at any moment to stop the trial if the state Supreme Court hands down a decision on whether or not to reinstate a third-degree murder charge.
The jurors seated so far include a woman of color and two White men, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Jury selection, a process expected to take three weeks, will end once 14 people — 12 jurors and two alternates — are seated. Opening statements are scheduled no sooner than March 29.
State prosecutors on Tuesday used their first peremptory strike on “Juror #8.”
While questioned by Nelson, Juror #8 appeared to express more concern about being on the jury for this high-profile case compared to those previously interviewed. On his questionnaire given to the pool of jurors in December, the man explained that his friends moved out of a condominium downtown as civil unrest consumed the streets following Floyd’s death.
The juror also said he and his wife actively avoid going downtown since then.