Opinion: Derek Chauvin Did Not Receive A Fair Trial

Derek Chauvin was convicted on three charges on April 21st 2021 for the death of George Floyd. In my opinion, Chauvin was not given a fair trial as promised in the sixth amendment to the U.S. constitution. If he was, he would not have been found guilty on two out of three of the charges. 

I am in no way defending the actions of  Derek Chauvin or saying he deserved to be acquitted of the conviction. I am not here to pick the side of George Floyd or Derek Chauvin, but simply the side of our constitutional protections. My opinion is that if Chauvin received a fair trial, the outcome would have been different.

Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. I fully believe it is not possible to come to the conclusion beyond reasonable doubt as required in a criminal trial that Chauvin was guilty of second and third-degree murder. 

I do believe a case could be made for involuntary manslaughter, however. 

Third degree murder is essentially a charge for what is called depraved heart murder. An example of third degree murder would be shooting a gun into a crowd with no targeted person in mind, killing someone in the end. They are unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt Chauvin’s intentions were to kill. 

Second-degree murder is felony assault that turns into murder. An example would be you robbed a bank and your gun goes off unintentionally, consequently killing someone. This would mean there was a burden on proving Chauvin intended to commit a felony against George Floyd.

Involuntary manslaughter is the only charge that should have been on the docket. Involuntary manslaughter is reckless disregard. They could argue that even if Chauvin did not intend to kill Floyd, by not getting up sooner than he did, his recklessness led to Floyd’s death. 

Causation is the common denominator in all three charges, and although it is hard to argue across the board, the elements were clearly not met to convict Chauvin of second and third-degree murder. Was Floyd’s death a direct cause of Chauvin’s actions? There was no trauma to Floyd’s trachea, nor any trauma to his arteries that would have cut oxygen to the brain. There were signs of asphyxia, but Floyd’s system had three times the deadly level of Fentanyl as well as 75% arterial blockage which can cause chemical asphyxia (drug overdose). 

With all of this in mind, causation is extremely hard to prove with a fair trial. However, when given a bias jury, it is very easy. This is what I believe happened. This case reached national recognition. President Biden and Maxine Waters felt it was appropriate to comment on this case before a verdict was reached, yet somehow, we believe this wouldn’t sway the jury’s opinion?

People were threatening to riot if Chauvin was not convicted. The jury was fully aware if they did not convict Chauvin, there would be an uproar, and their names could be leaked, threatening their safety. The jury only had one option: to declare Chauvin guilty. Therefore, Chauvin did not receive a fair trial on the two counts.

Peyton MacKenzie is an Opinion Writer. Follow her on Twitter at @PeytMacK.

29 comments

  • 100% agree. Is there a petition . I will sign. Nobody cares what The facts are. It’s disgusting how people are acting and refusing to hear anything but what they want to believe. Or what they heard most didn’t even bother watching the trial, people have a reason to act like fools if all these people really cared about peoples rights And about justice being served then they would be deeply concerned about these guilty vertex I agree with what was sudden this post 100% and the reason why it’s because I actually paid attention to what happened originally I had jumped on that same train as everybody else thinking the same way everyone else did but when I actually listened to everything that was presented I knew I was watching a man being used as a sacrificial lamb in this so-called systemic racism and BLM movement. I hope everyone opens up their eyes because call it’s all fun and games until it happens to you or your family

    • Please stop this madness

      While I agree the jury should have been sequestered for a fair trial, if you think that would have changed any sane person’s opinion after watching that video you must be out of your mind.

      “Nobody cares what The facts are. It’s disgusting how people are acting and refusing to hear anything but what they want to believe. Or what they heard most didn’t even bother watching the trial, people have a reason to act like fools if all these people really cared about peoples rights.”

      You seriously don’t see the irony in you post? Seriously? Like, at all?”

      To quote Peyton MacKenzie.

      “There were signs of asphyxia….”

      You watched a video of someone kneeling on someone else’s neck – admitted there were signs of asphyxia – just to throw your hands up and say “…but Floyd’s system had three times the deadly level of Fentanyl as well as 75% arterial blockage which can cause chemical asphyxia (drug overdose)…causation is extremely hard to prove”

      The mental gymnastics you have to do to justify yourselves is absolutely astounding. You watched a video of Chauvin murdering Floyd, saw the autopsy report that confirmed asphyxia. You watched a man cry and beg for his life while another man – one who had sworn to serve and protect him – ended it. But it’s really George Floyd’s fault he died, right? Do you hear yourselves?

      And stop pretending like you actually paid attention to the trial. You didn’t. You parrot the talking points of your favorite Facebook posts or conservative media pundit. You just want to hear your ideas said by somebody else so you can feel special because actually thinking for yourself is too much work for you.

      And for the love of Jesus, please get help. Go to church, hire a therapist. Do SOMETHING. I mean, dear God, what have they done to your brain that you can’t even be bothered to believe what you see WITH YOUR OWN EYES. You watched a man murder another man and you SIDED WITH THE MURDERER. Can you not see how fucked up that is?

      “I hope everyone opens up their eyes because…it’s all fun and games until it happens to you or your family.”

      No shit. That’s why cops like Chauvin need to go to jail when they MURDER A CIVILLIAN.

      STOP. MAKING. EXCUSES. FOR. CRIMINAL. COPS.

      • Why was he yelling i can’t breathe 9 mins before he died?

      • The full body cam video clearly shows GF yelling “I can’t breathe” multiple times in the back of the cop car, long before he was put on the ground. I don’t feel that DC contributed to his inability to breathe. I feel that GF had a panic attack from the situation he found himself in while OD’ing on Fentanyl.
        I do believe that DC should have rolled him on his side once passed out.

      • very unfair……… involuntary manslaughter——- but not murder.

      • Did you see what happened with Floyd before Chavin pinned him down? It took several cops fighting like crazy to subdue Floyd. Not at all a minor altercation. Floyd kept getting away from the cops. Chauvin was going to make sure he didn’t do it again and start the fight again. Handcuffs did not slow Floyd down unfortunately. I have a very difficult time blaming Chauvin for what happened. I don’t think he intended to kill anyone or cause any severe injury. He just intended to hold this nut down and not let him get up and start up again. They should have at least put leg restraints on Floyd. Maybe they should have just beat him senseless which would have probably saved his life. What would you say if police start doing that now instead of trying to restrain an unruly arrestee?

      • DerekChauvinIsInnocent

        George Floyd had three times the lethal amount of fentanyl in his system, among other drugs. His oxygen levels were 97%. The police chief even admitted that his knee wasn’t on his neck. His police chief said the restraint, indicated by the white paper, was not in use in his jurisdiction. Lies. It was on white paper and though he did not directly receive the training through his department, based on experience and similar cases as well as cases that have been implemented at least 277 times in the past 2 years in Minneapolis, it was a reasonable position to take after his repeated attempts at resisting arrest and his obvious intoxication and erratic behavior: i.e. foaming at the mouth and kicking and screaming and claiming he can’t breath. He also had no petechial hemorrhaging: a universal sign of suffocation. In other words, no asphyxiation. He suffered cardiac arrest from a drug overdose. End of story. I hope he is released soon.

    • Gloria Lazure

      Let’s take a good look at the evidence given GF stated he had Covid then taken to the ground Off C decided to wait for the ambulance. No one in the entire would have given GF. CPR . He protected himself his co workers and the crowd Gf knew he had Covid walking into the store No one had masks total disregard for anyone Gf had a deadly virus. Covid

      • 1. The jury make up is very suspect, certainly leans toward conviction regardless of evidence

        2. A manslaughter conviction could be correct

        3. How can he be convicted of 3 felonies for one criminal act, the offenses are all included.

    • You are exactly righty he jury he’d to fin him guilty for 2 reasons. 1. This was mob rule and they feared for their own safety and life if they didn’t find him guilty. 2. If he was found not guilty of murder then the question would be….. what about all the rioting , looting and destruction. So he had to be found guilty. If you believe Chauvin was guilty then you should agree that O J was innocent

    • There was a petition for Derek Chauvin, it had 826 signatures in 2 days, but it was removed by change.org.

    • Its funny that there was grown man sitting on top of his body, and yet so many of you apologists want to state that it was the Fentanyl that caused asphyxia.

      Just wow. If you look at the autopsy, you can see that there were byproducts of Fentanyl (Norfentanyl) that were present. What does that mean? That his body had already started the process of breaking down that drug. Since it was present, meaning that Fentanyl could have been ingested up to 48 hours ago, ruling out OD’ing.

      I mean we can see the officer on top of him, cutting off his air, but it was the drugs that did it. Not the cop. It just happens to be the biggest coincidence in the world.

      • The problem with your reasoning is that the government has the burden of proof. The government must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the defendant does not have to prove anything. To prove a person guilty of a crime you must prove each and every element of the crime(s) charged beyond a reasonable doubt. The fentanyl argument creates reasonable doubt. That is all the defense must do to be entitled to a not guilty verdict, create reasonable doubt not prove any certain point. That is sometimes difficult for people to understand but that is the law.

  • Well said! Although the charges against him were questionable, there is absolutely no doubt that he was deprived of an “impartial jury” as the sixth amendment guarantees us. I am not very concerned with the results of the trial, but how the results were attained blatantly violated Chauvin’s constitutional rights. That is what concerns me. This is a prime example of how the media and public opinion can infringe on people’s rights. Who does the law protect when public opinion can override it?

  • Gloria Lazure

    GF knew he had the deadly Covid. GF had total disregard for anyone in the store knowing he had Covid
    Police Officers were called to assist. A resisting GF tells officers “I got Covid Man” Officer DC slightly pulls away from GF in the Video. Then GF was taking down. No one had masks or protection. Off DC
    decided to wait for the ambulance. DC protected himself, fellow officers, and the yelling crowd from Covid. GF contributed to his own unfortunate and unforeseen death1-an underlying medical condition and 2- ingested drugs. The restraint used was allowed only to be banned after GF died. Mineappolis accepted their responsibility in a settlement to GF’s family Impending and unlawful rioting and the burning of their city was expected if DC was found not guilty. The jurers were afraid. Now we have a police officer in a maximum prison for putting on his uniform facing dangers everyday during the 18 years he upheld the law. Two paths collided that day: One of Law and Order the other called “Blameless” Really is that the truth or a misconception. Shame on You!!Fear of the impending violence put Officer DC in jail Manslaugher yes but murder No

  • Gloria Lazure

    No one had masks or protection. GF stated he had Covid Off DC decided to wait for the ambulance. DC protected himself, fellow officers, and the yelling crowd from Covid. GF contributed to his own unfortunate and unforeseen death1-an underlying medical condition and 2- ingested drugs. The restraint used was allowed only to be banned after GF died. Mineappolis accepted their responsibility in a settlement to GF’s family Impending and unlawful rioting and the burning of their city was expected if DC was found not guilty. The jurers were afraid. Now we have a police officer in a maximum prison for putting on his uniform facing dangers everyday during the 18 years he upheld the law. Two paths collided that day: One of Law and Order the other called “Blameless” Really is that the truth or a misconception. Shame on You!!Fear of the impending violence put Officer DC in jail Manslaugher yes but murder No

  • Gloria Lazure

    Take a look at the video at the very beginning. GF walks in the store knowing he had the deadly virus
    Covid. He had total disregard for anyone in the store. After ingesting drugs was he really trying to change his life around. He contributed to his own unfortunate and unforeseen demise. Those officers were afraid for their lives. Covid? come on now. I don’t think anyone in the entire world for that matter would have given CPR knowing he had Covid. The only one equipped for Covid at the time was medical personnel. A decision was made to wait for the ambulance after GF was resisting. The police were called to assist other Officers with a combative GF. The MN police restraint used was used in prior incidents over 200 times No one asked the Chief When did they stop using it. Only after GF died.

  • Gloria Lazure

    Yes, That Day was unfortunate. Unlawful rioters destroyed their city, burned buildings and stole from the stores. The Victim Mentality was given as an excuse. The city prepared for more rioting waiting for a verdict. Afterwards there was a sigh of relief For what? For further impending violence not for the verdict. No celebrations. Our nation now accepts violence as an expression to decide the fate of Police Officers doing their job. Now as a result the police don’t have clear direction on how to handle dangerous situations. We are letting the road to destruction, which is wide, become a way to decide what is right and what is wrong. I read in a book that the cause for violence has no excuse!! I hope people realize somethings very wrong here. I believe that ALL Peoples of All Colors Matter….

  • I feel Mr Chauvin was unfairly punished. I was working at UPS when this started and the news spread like wildfire as Under Paid Slaves already hate cops. Mr Chauvin served his community for 18 long, hard years cleaning up the messes that absent fathers create. What was Mr Floyd’s contributions to American society? Why could that man not stay home with his daughter? People die every day. And finally, If God forgave Saul who became Paul does that mean all black folks are entitled to free cigarettes?

  • I absolutely agree with what has been said here. There is evidence for a manslaughter charge because Chauvin did not take enough care after Floyd passed out, even turning him on a side would have/could have helped, but the fact is that he was following a police protocol. I don’t understand why the people who put these protocols in place are not taking any responsibility for what has happened. Besides the discussion that should have taken place but never has, regarding the morality of Chauvin’s knee, he has been charged with two counts of murder when there is no evidence of this taking place. My feeling is that many people didn’t ever consider other material aside for the infamous video and this whole situation is an emotional euphoria based of a very serious collective mental heath problem that Chauvin’s murder conviction certainly is not going to cure.

  • I hope he is granted a new trial as his lawyer has requested. I hope that if possible he opts for a non-jury trial. Bring in the army to deal with the consequences of an acquittal.

  • Why can’t the whole thing be dismissed at the state level and tried at the federal level which could be anywhere far away from people?

  • I’m from Canada but I pay attention to my neighbor down south a lot. I my opinion Derek could never have received a fair trial in his home state. The question is then why was he not tried in a different state. Had this been considered then we could say that there’s some semblance to a fair trial. Now it looks like there was not even an effort in giving him a fair trial.

  • Thank you for your bravery

    GF already complained about not able to breathe, perhaps from Fentanyl OD and/or blocked arteries. Did Chauvin hear him complain about that before he put his knee on him? It is royally stupid to hold your knee on someone’s neck like that after they can be seen having trouble breathing and complaining verbally about it. I think we all can agree on that in retrospect. Did Chauvin do you it on purpose? Did he do it because he hates blacks? Or did he do it cause he is a moron or made a genuine mistake? I am no lawyer but I think the answer to that question is where you will find the difference between “second-degree murder, third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter”, no?

  • Do you beleive that DC decided in that fateful moment that he was going to throw away his 18 year exemplary career and have his life destroyed by the media circus and grasping politicians? Or on the other hand do you beleive that a career criminal thug who had inserted a deadly drug into his rectum and who resisted arrest was in some way responsible for his own demise? That’s what the jury should have considered.

  • What people who are not in law enforcement don’t understand is that the person being arrested often says they are having a heart attack, can’t breathe, etc because no one wants to be arrested! Cops hear this BS so much and it usually IS just that-BS. But this time it wasn’t. So now this guy is being slaughtered because he followed the training his department gave him, and YES, he did follow their training. These are the reasons no one wants to be a cop anymore. The Floyd situation is tragic, but don’t think for a minute the drugs in his system (and there were many) didn’t contribute in a big way to his death. If you really enlarge the video, Chauvin’s knee is more on Floyd’s shoulder than it is his neck. Floyd was a muscular man and the muscle that goes from the shoulder to the neck was where the knee was.

  • this was not murder ………..Mr. Chauvin did not plan to kill G F……….the most he should have
    been guilty of is manslaugher not murder . we all know why he got 22 1/2 years ??
    Hope he gets a new trial..
    by the way what about rioters who burn and destroyed their city..???

    ??

    • Don’t ask these questions. This is what you get with mob rule. Problem is the public will get tired of mob rule and then deal with the mob in a fashion that you will not think is very pleasant.

  • If the system drained all the blood out of D Chauvin and cut off his head it still would not be
    enough for you know who……! sentence very unfair …

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