MINNEAPOLIS (TUSEN) – The judge who oversaw the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin said Monday he would release the names of 15 jurors and deputies who sat in the courtroom next week.
Judge Peter Cahill’s order said he will release the jury roll on November 1. The written questionnaires of the 109 potential jurors who were formally assessed will also be made public.
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Chauvin, who is white, was convicted in April of second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter on the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. He was sentenced to 22 and a half years for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 9½ minutes as the black man said he couldn’t breathe.
Cahill initially kept the names of the jurors sealed, citing the high-profile nature of the case, and had ordered their identities to be kept secret for at least 180 days after the verdict. A media coalition, which includes the The US Express News, had asked Cahill to disclose the identity of the jurors, saying the media and the public have a right to information and that there was no known threat to the jury. jurors’ security that would justify keeping their names sealed.
Prosecutors had asked the court to keep the names a secret, saying their release could subject jurors to harassment and make it more difficult to sit a jury for the trial of Chauvin’s three co-defendants next year.
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Cahill admitted that jurors were called to serve in a case that “unfolded in a scene of unprecedented public interest and media coverage following enormous social upheaval and civic unrest” in Minneapolis and beyond.
But he said the law presumes the names and questionnaires of jurors will be made available, absent a valid reason. At this point, he said, there is no serious reason to believe that jurors need to be protected from external security treatment, or that disclosure of their names would interfere with the fair and impartial administration of justice.
Two Chauvin jurors and a deputy have identified and stepped forward to tell their story since the trial, while the other 10 jurors and two deputies did not.
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