Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review his second-degree murder conviction in the killing of George Floyd, now that the Minnesota Supreme Court has declined to hear the case, his lawyer said Wednesday, according to the AP. The state’s highest court without comment denied Chauvin’s request in a one-page order dated Tuesday, upholding Chauvin’s conviction and 22 1/2-year sentence. Chauvin faces lengthy difficulties at the U.S. Supreme Court, which hears only 100 to 150 appeals of the more than 7,000 cases it is asked to review each year.
Chauvin’s attorney, William Mohrmann, told the AP they were “obviously disappointed” by the state court’s decision. He said the most important issue they appealed was whether holding the proceedings in Minneapolis in 2021 deprived Chauvin of his right to a fair trial because of “the largest amount of pretrial publicity in history” and concerns about violence in the event of an acquittal. The unrest “prompted jurors to express concerns for their safety should they acquit Mr. Chauvin, security concerns that were fully evidenced by surrounding the courthouse with barbed wire and National Guard troops during the trial and deploying the National Guard throughout Minneapolis prior to jury deliberations.”
Mohrmann asked the Minnesota Supreme Court in May to hear the case after the Minnesota Court of Appeals in April rejected his arguments that he had been denied a fair trial. The Minnesota attorney general’s office, in a response last month, asked the Supreme Court to uphold that decision. Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement that the state Supreme Court’s denial of review “means the Court of Appeals was correct in finding that his trial was conducted properly and that he was properly convicted under the law. This development definitively holds Chauvin accountable and closes this chapter of George Floyd’s murder.” (Read more Derek Chauvin stories.)