A Question of Willfulness: The Trial of “Other” Officers in the Floyd Case Is No Slam Dunk

Below is my column in USA Today  on the trial of the three former officers involved in the killing of George Floyd. The federal trial court seated the jury last week. There is still a preliminary hearing scheduled on some evidence, but that hearing may be opened to the media after recent filings by the parties. The case is no slam dunk. Indeed, the jury may find the inclusion of one officer (Lane) particularly jarring given his attempted intervention with the absent fourth officer, Derek Chauvin.

Here is the column:

The federal trial of former officers involved with the death of George Floyd started Thursday. And it returns the nation to a terrible scene that traumatized us all: the image of Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck. As with the earlier trial, that film will inevitably be a focal point for the jury. However, the most important factor in the federal trial could be the one thing missing: Chauvin.

In the trial of J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, the prosecutors are facing a trial shaped by a Keyser Söze figure – the omnipresent but elusive villain from the movie “The Usual Suspects.” The guilt of the officers is derivative of Chauvin, who is sitting 26 miles away maximum security prison in Minnesota

Chauvin has already pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights. These officers will face the same underlying charge of denying Floyd his constitutional rights while acting under government authority.

Ironically, in state court the prosecutors made the case for the defense of the three officers. In arguing for the conviction of Chauvin, prosecutor Steve Schleicher seemed to exonerate the other three officers. In his closing argument, Schleicher declared that Chauvin “had the power, and the other officers, the bystanders, were powerless.”

If convicted on the indictment, a civil rights violation that results in death is punishable by life in prison or even the death penalty.

Because this is a federal prosecution, the admission of the state prosecutors is not likely to be heard by the jury. Yet the issue of culpability will loom over the trial as the defense highlights the authority and unilateral actions of Chauvin. The more evil Chauvin appears, the less culpable these officers may appear by comparison.

The most difficult case to make is against Lane, who had only four days on the force and can be heard trying to deescalate the situation. When Floyd pleaded, “Please don’t shoot me, man,” Lane replied, “I’m not shooting you, man.” When Floyd struggled not to get into a police car and said he could not breathe, it was Lane who offered to roll down the windows and turn on the air conditioning. It also was Lane who urged Chauvin to move Floyd from the knee-restraint position. He asked Chauvin to roll Floyd to his side.

Thao and Kueng are charged with willfully violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure because they didn’t intervene. Notably, Lane is not mentioned in that count. All three officers are charged with willfully depriving Floyd of liberty without due process, in this case related to Floyd’s medical needs. The theory is that they could see Floyd was in distress but did not help him.

The defense is likely to emphasize that the fatal period lasted just nine minutes and 29 seconds in which Chauvin entirely or partially blocked the complete view of the officers. The officers can be heard calling for an ambulance.

The outcome of the trial may turn on one element of the crime under 18 U.S.C. 242. The criminal conduct by all three officers must be “willful.” In the 1945 case Screws v. U.S., the Supreme Court sought to define that term as meaning a “specific intent to deprive a person” of constitutional rights or with “open defiance or in reckless disregard of a constitutional requirement.”

As shown by the King case in 1991 and the Floyd case in 2020, we are still grappling with how to address excessive force. Not much has changed. Jurors must draw a line between the tragically negligent and the criminally willful for periods as short as 90 seconds (the King video) and more than nine minutes (Floyd). The legal standards have remained the same, and the ultimate culpability rests with the jury.

Notably, there were four officers tried for beating King, and other officers stood by. He suffered, among other things, multiple skull fractures and brain damage. However, only two officers were convicted. And one of those actively beat King.

In Minneapolis, while these three officers still face state charges for their actions on that day, they are facing federal charges for what they failed to do – stop Chauvin from asphyxiating a man who simply tried to pass a $20 bill that the cashier thought was fake.

It is often more difficult to prove criminal nonfeasance (the failure or omission to perform an obligatory duty) as opposed to misfeasance (wrongful performance of a lawful act) or malfeasance (intentional conduct that is wrongful or unlawful).

The failure to take further action has to be a willful decision that is not merely bad judgment or a negligent response from the officers. They had to also know that what they were doing – or more accurately what they were not doing – was wrong.

They must show that these three officers were not “bystanders” or “powerless” in the face of Chauvin’s crime.

Whatever the outcome, the country must reinforce the power of police officers to do the right thing in such circumstances. Officers are already expected to refuse to carry out unlawful orders. However, some cities have made such duties explicit or passed provisions protecting officers from retaliation if they do protect the rights of the suspect.

Such reforms and policies are not on trial in Minnesota. Neither is Chauvin. The jury will be left with a nine-minute-29-second video, three officers and a question of willfulness.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley

107 thoughts on “A Question of Willfulness: The Trial of “Other” Officers in the Floyd Case Is No Slam Dunk”

  1. Can’, can’t, can’t we all just get back to mothers lil helpers? 😉

    (BTW what the hell kinda dope are those Rollin Stone Zombie on anyway???)

  2. As someone who lives in a city that is > 50% black, it is always instructive how some people cry racism when outliers of police brutality occur, while ignoring the extinction of black families. Chauvin was a pig. You dont have to be a physician to recognize Floyd was under the influence, and hence placing a knee to his neck excessive. It may have been a usual practice under some legitimate cases, but with Floyd screaming for his mother, grandmother and foaming at the mouth, it becomes clear on bodycam that Chauvin took was drunk with power and took advantage of a psychotic, muscular 6’4” tall mall not withstanding. There was nothing usual about Floyd’s behavior. A knee to the neck was outrageous on a man screaming for his grandmother.

    As the incidence of black violence soars and the literal disappearance of black families becomes the norm, crickets are heard from Democrats (while Republicans gleefully smack their chops).The Democrat talking points always comes down to dishonest grandstanding (much like Chauvin) ala race card theatrics, while none of these “outraged” activists pretend to rescue the fading black family. George Floyd heroically and valiantly removed himself from Texas after a long history of criminal behaviors. He attempted a new life in Minneapolis, a father of 2 children, mid 40s, giving encouraging talks to groups to break the cycle of crime and drugs. And yet despite his best intentions of reforming himself, his autopsy report reflects large amounts of opiates, methamphetamine and more. Plus he had sickle cell disease, cardiomegaly, and positive for COVID. He was destructive of his own health. So young, such a loss. Where were his family, friends, “activist” brothers when Floyd needed them? Small comfort they pound their chests once he died, and wreak violence and injury to thousands of Americans in 2020. Like Chauvin, they too were opportunists to look powerful, righteous, justified.

    Autopsy report:


    Floyd should never have died at the hands of first responders. Children to blacks in Chicago, Baltimore, NYC, et al, should not be victims of homicides, but where is the outrage by Democrats? They have no solutions because they do not want to acknowledge, as Daniel Moynihan did in the 1960s, the problem that is cannibalizing blacks. Democrats just want the votes of their welfare plantation slaves so as to keep them drunk with power, just like Chauvin. Democrats have not changed since Jefferson Davis.

    Homicides top cause of ‘unexpected’ childhood deaths in Baltimore, report finds

    Baltimore Sun | Jan 21, 2022

    The leading cause of “unexpected or unusual” death among children in Baltimore is homicide, a tragic conclusion of the latest five-year report from city officials that explores how children die. There were 208 such deaths among children under age 18 in the latest period ending in 2020, and the majority were among Black residents and other nonwhite groups, according to the Child Fatality Review Report.

    1. Estovir: “placing a knee to his neck excessive”


      Thats the CNN version. I think even the prosecutors admitted that the knee was on Floyd’s back, not his neck. The autopsy does not indicate that Floyd died from asphyxiation or from having his neck compressed.

      Under any other less volatile circumstances his death would have been attributed to his Covid and drug overdose. He nearly died from a drug overdose once before this incident.

      1. Thats the CNN version.

        That is the video version. Did Gatewaypundit not provide it?

        Here is an ultra far left, bat sheet crazy liberal outlet that you might have missed, known as the Daily Mail, truly fringe progressive:

        EXCLUSIVE: Police bodycam footage shows moment-by-moment arrest of George Floyd for the first time – from terror on his face when officer points gun at his head, sobbing before he’s shoved into squad car and begging to breathe as his life drains away

        Floyd died after Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25


        It is possible that left wing Daily Mail photoshopped the video and photos of Chauvin’s knee to Floyd’s neck, but …

        Under any other less volatile circumstances his death would have been attributed to his Covid and drug overdose.

        Actually, no. He was doing fine before Chauvin placed his hands on him. Chauvin’s manhandling him escalated his death on top of his obvious drug behavior. Drug behaviors come under two categories: aggressive and depressed. From the moment Chauvin placed his hands on Floyd while sitting in his vehicle, Floyd acted like a pathetic, weepy man. At 6’4”, 225 lbs, muscular, mid-40s, that is not the type of behavior when under the influence of stimulants. The logical conclusion for the police officer, who is trained on these matters, is that he was on a CNS depressant, either alcohol, barbiturates or more likely opiates. Foaming at the mouth is not a good sign.

        Central respiratory centers within the medulla contain both mu and delta opioid receptors. Opioid action within the respiratory center results in decreased respiratory rate, as well as decreased tidal volumes, both of which can result in decreased minute ventilation. These effects also appear to be dose-dependent, with low doses of opiates decreasing tidal volume, while high doses decrease both tidal volume and respiratory rate

        Radke, J.B., Owen, K.P., Sutter, M.E. et al. The Effects of Opioids on the Lung. Clinic Rev Allerg Immunol 46, 54–64 (2014). doi.org/10.1007/s12016-013-8373-z

        1. Estovir, I don’t care whether you cite left wing or right wing media; it is still media and often wrong.

          In court where the prosecution would have loved to say Chauvin kneed his neck they grudgingly allowed that the knee was on his back.

          You let yourself get caught up in the outrage whipped up by the media. Even Trump did. They did the same in the Duke LaCrosse case, the Zimmerman case, the Ferguson case and several others. Where a white cop hurts a black criminal they almost always lie.

          Wait for actual evidence.

            1. Come out of your right wing bubble and get involved with people on the street who are unlike you. You might learn something even at your late age.

              1. “get involved with people on the street who are unlike you”

                Everyone is unlike me.

          1. Estovir, I don’t care whether you cite left wing or right wing media; it is still media and often wrong.

            Translation: videos and photos of Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck are “often wrong” because they are reported by liberal CNN right wing Daily Mail, unless of course if Gateway Pundit echoes your opinions, then it becomes germane.

            As for evidence, I have provided links to videos, photos and scientific articles on the effects of opiates, while you have provided bluster. No surprise there

          2. Young:
            “Estovir, I don’t care whether you cite left wing or right wing media; it is still media and often wrong.”
            Here’s my take on the media as expressed by avowed liberal but damn good line reader, Paul Newman:

            1. Mespo,

              Great clip and exactly on point. Don’t try cases or settle science in the media. They aren’t very bright and they often have an agenda. If a knee was actually on Floyd’s neck and caused his death it would have shown in the autopsy and the prosectors would have danced the Tango with it to the jury.

              1. If a knee was actually on Floyd’s neck and caused his death it would have shown in the autopsy and the prosectors would have danced the Tango with it to the jury.

                You don’t understand autopsy reports.

                Here are 2 good reviews written by forensic pathologists.

                Forensic Pathologist Details George Floyd Autopsy Report

                Forensic Pathologist Breaks Down George Floyd’s Death

                1. First you accused me of using CNN’s photos/video versions
                2. When I provided Daily Mail’s link, you pivoted to “media can’t be trusted”. As I have shown, you quote the news media all the time, but only agencies to your liking.
                3. Then you pivoted to the autopsy report as the definitive answer, but you don’t understand those instruments.
                4. Now you resort to Gell-Mann Amnesia.

                I provided a scientific paper on MOA of opiates, predating Floyd’s death, but once again you cherry pick what you wish to discuss when I have made it abundantly clear Floyd’s behavior, prior to Chauvin laying hands on him, indicated this 6’4″ 225, mid 40s muscular man was not acting in a capacity that was dangerous to anyone. Had he been cracked out, we would have seen far different behaviors on the videos, the same videos you choose to ignore on right-leaning Daily Mail.

                Remember Gell-Mann Amnesia.

                You’re a retired lawyer who recently complained about my discussing medical science wrt vaccines, arguing that the blog should instead focus on legal discussions. If that were the case with George Floyd’s death, you wouldn’t be referring to the forensic pathologist report. You’re changing the goal posts feverishly.

                No, Allan, there is no need for a better angle as it doesn’t matter if his knee was on C-1, C-2, C-4, C-7 or S2. Fact is, Chauvin’s intervention resulted in Floyd’s death. Handcuffed, behind the back, whipped around like a wet noodle, thrown to the floor, prone, none of these were necessary. keep in mind I was choked by a patient, as I stated a month ago, who was under the influence of alcohol and crack cocaine. I de-escalated the event. Chauvin did the opposite. Prior to Chauvin laying on Floyd, Floyd was acting incoherently, babbling, crying and showing no indication of having the mental or physical ability to suddenly rush and tackle anyone. Opiates do that.

                to be sure, Floyd is to blame for not self-regulating his behavior, and rectifying his life. He didn’t need to die though for stupidity. Otherwise, most of would have been dead a long time ago

                1. “No, Allan, there is no need for a better angle as it doesn’t matter if his knee was on C-1, C-2, C-4, C-7 or S2. Fact is, Chauvin’s intervention resulted in Floyd’s death.”

                  Estovir, I am not trying to litigate the case again. However, I believe Chauvin was overcharged, and the temperament at the time was too hot for a fair trial. I pointed out that from my perspective, the knee was on the chest, not the neck. That is a significant point proven here, how that was inflammatory, on this blog. Juries are susceptible to emotional appeals, and so are judges, especially when there are threats of riots. The erroneous portrayal by the media heightened emotions to all who were aware of the case.

                  Chauvin is not a likable guy, and as much as I respect your medical knowledge, I doubt your experience, including restraining criminals loaded with drugs and alcohol. Floyd was a big man, and police have been beaten and killed by those they never expected had the power to do so. Let’s understand who the criminal was. Let’s understand that the fact that Floyd was drugged up was Floyd’s fault, not the policeman’s. Let us not forget that Floyd was a criminal who just committed a criminal act. Floyd was like a gun pointed at someone’s head, but until after the fact, no one could know if the gun was loaded or not. Don’t pile on blame because Floyd was treated like a loaded gun.

                  PS, though you may have been attacked and were able to deescalate the situation, many others have not. In part, you were lucky and skilled or as horrible an incident it was, you weren’t facing one of those that would have no problem killing you.

                2. Estovir,

                  You are letting your confirmation bias blind you.

                  I scanned the first autopsy analysis you linked above and it is not helpful.

                  He admits that the autopsy did not find physical evidence that the restraint caused Floyd’s death. That legally settles the issue.

                  To come to the view that the restraint might have caused Floyd’s death he garbles.

                  He says at one point that multiple officers leaned on Floyd’s neck. Obviously false.

                  He says that putting a knee on Floyd’s neck could have caused death. But it was already established in court that the knee was on Floyd’s back and not on his neck. Shooting Floyd could cause his death, too, but he wasn’t shot. Same as the knee on neck argument. The knee wasn’t on his neck. Stupid analysis.

                  Mostly he does what CNN bobble heads do and relies on video and emotions…as you seem to be doing.

                  I am not sure why you put the vaccine comment in, but mounting evidence indicates that the vaccines are dangerous. I used to tell people I had no comment on whether they should get it. Do your on research. Now I say getting it is probably a bad decision and I am approaching saying “a very bad decision.”

                  1. I imagine Lucy Van Pelt, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty and Alex Jones too, albeit Jones might be post-concussive disorder since his wife beat him up due to her “chemical imbalance”. What. Was. That. Diagnosis! Lol

                    So what were your scholarly critiques of the two forensic pathologist reports I provided, the scientific article on mechanism of action of opiates and the clinical effects therein? Too dry and cerebral? Or were you chasing dopamine hits by viewing more of those unreliable right wing news outlets you care not to trust, given your proclivities of being a data hound? Because everyone knows Alex Berenson’s Bachelor Degree in History is far more impressive than that of two forensic pathologists. Plus, Alex was a NYT reporter so what more bona fides can a guy want?

                    Carry on, Young. Alex Jones needs you to buy his testosterone booster supplements to keep his wife’s chemistry balanced.

                    1. Ask your Doc if the Phama Drug Dealer’s SSRIs are right for you.

                      How many Americans are PH’d up on that SSRI Poison anyway? lol’)

                      Is that why their Trans, Globalist Homos & the Frogs Are Gay?

                    2. Estovir: “So what were your scholarly critiques of the two forensic pathologist reports I provided, the scientific article on mechanism of action of opiates and the clinical effects therein? Too dry and cerebral?”


                      You still don’t get it. The state needs to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

                      At a minimum, to do that they need to show that Chauvin’s acts caused Floyd’s death.

                      The autopsy did not show that the knee on Floyd’s back caused his death.

                      The chain of causality is broken and the state cannot legally prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

                      I looked at only one of the pathologists’ comments you provided. He had the basic evidence wrong. He said there were multiple officers were on Floyd’s neck. Nobody testified that anyone but Chauvin put a knee on Floyd. He said that Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck. No state or defense testimony said that Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck. It was on his back in an approved police procedure.

                      Having basic facts wrong at the start makes his entire comment nonsense.

                      As for the articles on the mechanism of opiates, who cares? Nobody said Chauvin caused Floyd’s death by giving him an overdose of drugs.

                      The only value of a discussion of opiates is that the defense can present a plausible explanation for Floyd’s death that has nothing to do with any action of Chauvin’s. Of course Covid, and his multiple medical problems also provide alternate explanations.

                      When you have two or more plausible non-criminal explanations for his death it is absurd to say that he was killed by a department approved restraint procedure that did not leave any traces of injury in the autopsy.

                      Maybe you are tired, but you really are beginning to sound a little bit like Natacha on this issue as someone else pointed out.

                    3. “Alex Berenson’s Bachelor Degree in History is far more impressive than that of two forensic pathologists.”

                      Berenson’s comment is about the vaccines, not the pathologist’s reports.

                      And he was for some 10 years the *science* reporter at the NYT. He is very knowledgeable about those vaccines, and about the related public policies.

                  2. I see now why that last post didn’t post here. Anyway, is Estovir the real life House, inquiring minds would like to know.


                    Can’, can’t, can’t we all just get back to mothers lil helpers? 😉

                    (BTW what the hell kinda dope are those Rollin Stone Zombie on anyway???)

                3. Estorvir,

                  “Handcuffed, behind the back, whipped around like a wet noodle, thrown to the floor, prone, none of these were necessary. keep in mind I was choked by a patient, as I stated a month ago, who was under the influence of alcohol and crack cocaine. I de-escalated the event. ”

                  Is I move through tonight turning stuff I a remember you saying this a month back & thought the same as tonight. I’m glad you were able to de-escalate that event.

                  I suggest you never let anyone get a hold of your neck again as a seasoned street punk or others could have taken you out just as quick.

                  Epstein didn’t kill himself you may recall.

        2. Estovir, the video of 3 min 23 seconds seems to show the knee high on the upper back (labelled C-Span). It’s difficult to see looking from legs to head. Do you have one at a better angle?

  3. Last night I entered a clarification of a comment I made regarding the admissibility of prior prosecutorial statements in the present case. NOTWITHSTANDING my admittedly erroneous assumption (made without reading the good professor”s article) that the present trial involved violation of commonly-cited Section 1983, I still stand by my belief that the prosecutor’s statements in opening/closing argument may still be admissible. This all came to light after running across a comment by “Young” (while looking for someone else’s comment) about calling the earlier prosecutor as an expert witness in the present trial. However, now that I have fully reviewed the professor’s original article, I DO still believe that the prosecutor’s prior statements could be admissible as statements against interest/representative admissions under Fed.R.Evid. 801(d)(2), whether or not using a tactic proposed by Young .

    1. (caveat: different tribunals (state v. federal). However, the potential admission of state’s closing arguments in federal court might be premised on the purpose for admission, i.e., not for truthfulness of matter asserted, but rather, in recognition of an “adversarial system.”

  4. 33 Minute Body Cam Video Plays Like A Horror Show.. From Kueng And Lane’s Perspective

    The ‘liberal’ Washington Post released a 33 minute video recorded by Officer Kueng’s body cam. Unfortunately the video was released 2 months ‘after’ George Floyd’s death. Had this video been available in the immediate aftermath, public perception might have been much different.

    Kueng and Lane were both absolute rookies just days into their ill-fated police careers. Why 2 rookies were paired as partners is something of a mystery. Yet Kueng and Lane come across as remarkably professional for such novices. In fact, it is heartbreaking to watch this video knowing these rookies will face prosecution.

    George Floyd, however, distinguishes himself as the idiot from hell. An oversized, babbling spastic incapable of ‘any’ lucidity. From the moment Kueng and Lane approach, Floyd starts bawling uncontrollably. How he expected to ‘drive’ that borrowed SUV is another mystery.

    Yet there Floyd was, in the driver’s seat, just hanging with 2 friends. Lingering outside the store even ‘after’ he was accused of passing a counterfeit. Apparently Floyd never thought of exiting the scene. He was either innocent of passing the counterfeit, or just too stupid to leave. Yet sitting in the driver’s seat, under the influence of substances, Floyd exposed himself to a DUI if nothing else. For a Black, ex-convict that was mindless, to say the least.

    The body cam video establishes that first-responders Kueng and Lane were totally reasonable in their dealings with Floyd. But the latter keeps flopping around, like a beached wale, while screaming incessantly. In fact Floyd’s behavior would have strained the patients of ‘any’ veteran cop. Which brings us to our veteran.

    Officer Chauvin arrives at the scene like a man of action who knows just what to do. Then he promptly carries out what is basically a slow-motion murder while bystanders record with phone cameras. In this sense Chauvin is the false hero of a horror show who turns out to be another monster. One can only pity the other 3 cops for their misfortune of being there; caught between the idiot from hell and a demonic superior.


    1. The full body cam footage gives a different perspective on the Floyd case. And how Thao, the officer who was controlling the bystanders, was charged, I don’t get. He was paying attention to the crowd, not Floyd.

  5. If I am talked into providing transportation (my car as a getaway car) for two friends intent on robbing a convenience store – and they end up killing the clerk – I get charged along with them even though I stayed in the car. The legal theory is that if I had not supplied the car, the murder wouldn’t have happened therefore I have culpability.

    When it comes to the George Floyds of the world, they are almost NEVER held accountable for their actions leading to the deadly encounter with the police. Without Floyd’s actions leading up to his being restrained, he likely never would have been “killed by Derek Chauvin.”

    To fail to consider the victim’s action as contributory to their eventual demise is a de facto subsidization of that behavior. Criminals learn from this. Notice the many other subsequent arrests where the arrestee claimed “I can’t breathe!”

    Our society’s values have really gotten inverted.


    What kind of society remains after its police are imprisoned for the crimes of its dreggs.

    If you can’t survive the police detention procedure, don’t do the crime.

    The criminal must have been prepared to sustain the fullest force of any police response.

    No other person ever died from neck restraint procedures by Minneapolis police in 237 previous incidents.

    The police officers committed no act that would be terminal to a human being.

    At worst, the police officers did not perform their duties optimally and require supplemental training.

    The criminal stopped breathing because of self-induced, decimated poor health.

    Police neutralize threats to Americans; police are not paramedics, doctors or nurses, and they are distinctly not babysitters.

    At this rate, there will soon be no police on the streets, only criminals lurking where good Americans dare not tread.

    1. Remember brotha michael bryd, effeminate, dastardly coward, misogynist, murderer of unarmed innocents and anti-American, corrupt, deep deep state assassin.

  7. Enigma says: “” And it returns the nation to a terrible scene that traumatized us all” Turley must not read the comments in his own blog. Many people were not the least bit traumatized and were in favor of everything Chauvin did,”


    Once the facts in the autopsy and police procedure manual were seen the national trauma came about because of the kangaroo, Kafkaesque trial of Chauvin. It appears to have been a judicial lynching under threat of mob violence.

    Nothing in the chain of events or the results of the autopsy showed that Chauvin’s use of an approved police procedure caused Floyd’s death. In addition, there were multiple other factors such a Covid and severe drug abuse and medical problems which more likely caused his death.

    I don’t think the judge was a Judge Freisler or Judge Jeffries; I think he was a Judge ‘Scaredy Cat’. The courthouse looked like a lone fire base deep in hostile territory.

    The mob seems to have included at least one BLM juror who may have been less than candid during voir dire.

    I think another part of the mob was the collection of private attorneys who joined the prosecution. Chauvin already had the entire weight and assets of the state against him together with a hostile media and hostile population yet these carpetbaggers thought they also needed to pit their skills against the lone, exhausted, over-worked defense attorney? That dumps ordure on the reputation of American lawyers. I used to reflect with pride upon John Adam’s strong defense of the soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre. The prosecutor was a close friend before and after the trial, but Adams held back nothing despite the unpopularity of his charge. And he won. Compare that brave defense to the grubby, self-seeking attorneys who voluntarily joined the Chauvin prosecution. It made an already rotten prosecution reek even more.

    Next time they build a statue of Floyd, make one of him shoving a pistol into the stomach of the terrified pregnant woman he robbed. Some saint. That would be a nice display for Black History Month along with a diorama of burning and looted cites, murders, and random assaults on whites, Asians and Hispanics. Put some history in Black History Month.

  8. But the other officers did try to help Floyd. They called an ambulance. Lane made suggestions to his superior officer to roll Floyd to his side, get off him, etc.

    These other officers appear to be over charged in order to appease the mob.

  9. All three officers are charged with willfully depriving Floyd of liberty without due process, in this case related to Floyd’s medical needs. The theory is that they could see Floyd was in distress but did not help him.
    That;s preposterous. There’s no way they could have addressed any medical issues.

  10. I think there is a strong case for “failure to stop an assault in progress” (which importantly establishes that a police officer in commission of a crime needs to be challenged and arrested by other officers on the scene).

    Having watched the Chauvin trial, I think there is a strong case of reckless homicide, based on the video evidence that the first officers to arrive left their Cruiser running its internal combustion engine, and Floyd was forcibly held down with his head about 12″ from the exhaust tailpipe for 9 minutes. His pleas “I can’t breathe” were responding to inhaling carbon monoxide, not compression of his windpipe. Lane and Koeng are most responsible for this aspect of Floyd’s death, having failed to turn off the engine, nor insisting on moving Floyd to a safe area.

    In the Chauvin trial, the State’s pulmonary expert, Dr. Martin Tobin, lied on the stand in the final moments of rebuttal, to the effect that Floyd couldn’t have died from CO2 poisoning since his arterial blood gasses drawn in the ER didn’t indicate it. As a forensic expert, Tobin had to have known that heroic mechanical respiration w/ CPR still works to re-oxygenate the blood of a person who has died within the past hour. Tobin confused the jury by omitting this fact, and the defense never challenged the omission, likely because CO2 poisoning would yet lay another reckless homicide element on Chauvin.

    1. pbinca: “I think there is a strong case for “failure to stop an assault in progress”


      There wasn’t an assault in progress. There was an arrest of a resisting criminal in progress. Floyd passed phony money, he intimidated the clerk, he got behind the wheel of an automobile while heavily intoxicated with drugs. Any one of those merited his arrest. They couldn’t let him drive away.

      By the way, there is no such thing as CO2 poisoning. Carbon dioxide is not poisonous. It is neutral, like nitrogen which is close to 80% of the atmosphere. If you are a plant, carbon dioxide is good for you. If you are a person who is hyperventilating in panic a bag over your head to increase carbon dioxide inhalation is good for you. It isn’t a poison.

      1. I believe the writer confused CO2 with CO, the latter of which corresponds to carbon monoxide. Regarding CO2 poisoning, you are correct that it is not a poison, but inhaling too much carbon dioxide can be dangerous only because of lack of oxygen (O2). If someone unknowingly jumps down into a pit where a high concentration of CO2 has accumulated, driving out the (lighter) O2, that person can rather rapidly pass out and die from anoxia. But I think it unlikely that the exhaust from a car outside in the open air would be sufficient to kill someone unless already severely encumbered by existing co-morbidities.

    2. te it. As a forensic expert, Tobin had to have known that heroic mechanical respiration w/ CPR still works to re-oxygenate the blood of a person who has died within the past hour.”

      Pbianca, If the person dies with high CO2, it will be reflected in the blood gasses. CO2 is not the killer. Lack of oxygen is.

      Let’s try and work this out. If the man is dead, then the heart and circulation have stopped. How can further mechanical ventilation change the oxygen level if the blood is not moving through the lungs?

  11. Dear Mr. Hanna: I was about to write that the words of the state prosecutor do not constitute an admission or constitute evidence in the federal prosecution until I scrolled down and saw your comment. You are exactly right. Arguments of counsel in the state case could not be used in the federal case. In fact, if Chauvin had been tried for the federal offense and the prosecutor made that statement to the jury, it still couldn’t have been used against the other three officers in their trial. Arguments don’t “estop” (for you non-lawyers out there, bar a party from alleging or denying a fact because of ones own admission to the contrary) the prosecutors here from presenting and arguing the contrary–that the three officers did have the power to affect Chauvin’s actions and contributed to the denial of George Floyd’s civil rights. It may appear unseemly that the prosecutors seem to be arguing out of both sides of their mouths but that’s why we have mouths.

    1. Arguments by the state do not estop the feds, but arguments by the state do in fact bind and estop the state,

  12. ” And it returns the nation to a terrible scene that traumatized us all”
    Turley must not read the comments in his own blog. Many people were not the least bit traumatized and were in favor of everything Chauvin did,

    1. If Chauvin had been black and Floyd white this never would have been an issue much less a trial.

        1. “Traumatized”? No. Saddened, yes. Both that someone would do that much harm to themselves, and that someone else who encountered them committing a crime had to pay for it. It’s fairly obvious Floyd was likely going to die in that time period anyway, due to the substances he’d ingested and pre-existing health conditions he had.

          I’ll just note that someone saying ‘I can’t breath’ is, in fact, breathing. That’s how they’re talking.

          1. “ I’ll just note that someone saying ‘I can’t breath’ is, in fact, breathing. That’s how they’re talking.”

            That’s quite the statement to make. Just because one can say something doesn’t mean they can take enough of a breath to sustain their health. Struggling to breathe means you’re not getting enough oxygen to fully sustain consciousness.

            1. The restraint procedure restrains, it does not block the airway.

              That same procedure was used 237 times previously and resulted in no causalities or deaths.

              The perp didn’t care in the least about himself and had destroyed his own general health, with emphasis on his heart.

              The perp brought the procedure on himself, of his own volition.

              The police, at worst, needed supplemental training.

              You cowardly milquetoasts are intimidated and brought to your knees by phantom guilt regarding a bunch of freeloading dependent parasites, frauds and charlatans (Marty Kink was fraud, plagiarist, lying philanderer, pagan who defrauded God and his own congregation and who defrauded his own family about everything).

              The Israelite slaves were out of Egypt before the ink was dry on their release papers, but then, they had the capacity and acumen sufficient to the task.

              Why didn’t the great black leader lead his people to the promised land: Liberia?

              These folks have had enough charity, generational welfare, affirmative action, enough alms from the taxpayer, and enough forgiveness for the inordinate, endless crimes they commit.

              Indeed, George Floyd was not a hero, good citizen or pillar of any community.

              Murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom

              Why weren’t the brutal murders of two innocent, peaceful, young white people by four heinous murders and —-bags, Letalvis Darnell Cobbins, Lemaricus Devall Davidson, George Geovonni
              Thomas, and Vanessa Lynn Coleman, reported by the dastardly, liberal mainstream media? Because they want to maintain the false public “image”.

              To wit,

              On Saturday, January 6, 2007, Christian and Newsom planned to go out for dinner together and then attend a friend’s party. That afternoon, Christian went to a friend’s apartment to get ready. At around 8:00 pm, Christian’s friend went to the party and Christian stayed behind and waited for Newsom to pick her up. Newsom arrived and he and Christian went to the apartment complex parking lot.

              The assailants observed Christian and Newsom standing close to Christian’s vehicle in an embrace.[38] They then decided to attack the couple. Both were forced into the backseat of Christian’s SUV at gunpoint, had their hands tied behind their backs, and were taken to Davidson’s house at 2316 Chipman Street.[3][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47]

              Both Christian and Newsom were raped. Newsom is believed to have been raped inside Davidson’s house. According to the testimony of the Knox County Acting Medical Examiner, Newsom was sodomized with an object and raped by a minimum of one of the perpetrators.[48][49][50][51] He was then taken to a set of railroad tracks where he was forced to walk barefoot to the location where he was murdered. Prosecutors believe a mangled dog leash found on a hillside leading up to the railroad tracks was used to force Newsom to walk to his death.[48] When Newsom was murdered, his hands were bound behind his back and his feet were bound together. He was blindfolded with a bandana and gagged with a sock. He wore only a shirt and underwear. Newsom was shot in his neck and the back. Newsom was still alive, and after a while they shot him in the back of his head. The fatal shot was fired with the muzzle of the gun against his head above his right ear and it severed his brain stem. After killing Newsom, the assailants set his body on fire.[50][51][52][53][54][55]

              Christian was held prisoner inside Davidson’s house, mostly in the north bedroom.[3][50][56] Prosecutors believe that Coleman held Christian captive while the male offenders were murdering Newsom.[57] After murdering Newsom, the assailants returned to Davidson’s house where they beat and repeatedly raped Christian.[41] The medical examiner testified that Christian died after hours of sexual torture, sustaining severe head injuries and suffering severe injuries to her vagina, anus, and mouth due to sexual assaults.[49][54][55][58] Her injuries were consistent with being raped with an object.[54][59] According to the medical examiner, the sexual attack Christian endured was “extreme” and “much more than a simple sexual assault.”[54] Prosecutors believe that Christian was tied to a chair and orally raped by Davidson and Cobbins.[48][49][50] Christian was also anally and vaginally raped. She was also beaten and kicked in her vagina and beaten on the head. Christian suffered extensive hemorrhaging to her head and vaginal area. Additionally, Christian suffered bruises and carpet burns on much of her body.[48][49][50][51][60][61] According to Davidson’s confession, during Christian’s captivity, she said she “didn’t want to die.”[62]

              Before killing her, in an effort to remove DNA evidence, Christian’s attackers poured bleach down her throat and scrubbed her body, including her bleeding and battered genital area with it. Christian was bound in a hog-tied fashion with curtains and strips of bedding. Her face was tightly covered with a small trash bag and her body was stashed in five large trash bags.[46][54][63] Christian, who was naked except for her camisole and sweater, was tied in a fetal position and placed inside a residential waste disposal unit, and covered with sheets. The medical examiner testified at trial that there was evidence that Christian slowly suffocated to death.[46][54][64] Christian died between the afternoon of January 7 and the afternoon of January 8.[43] As Christian was suffocating to death, Davidson left to spend time with his girlfriend and gave her Christian’s personal items. Davidson also used Newsom’s cellphone and was seen wearing Newsom’s shoes.[41]

              – Wiki

        2. enigm – Traumatized by rioting, looting and arson by the lawless? How about the families of a young girl stabbed to death doing nothing more then working, another pushed in front of a train or so many run down by a “red SUV” while enjoying a holiday event? Can you imagine the terror the victims were put through before they died? They weren’t even passing bad money. How about 2 NYPD officers, one dead one critical ambushed for answering a call for help? Oh, the trauma of it all. How many riots, lootings or arsons as a have there been as a result? NONE, because that’s how civilized Americans act. Will their families receive millions?

                1. If we’ve read the article, we’ll already know whether he was wrong. We won’t need (or be interested in) your opinion.

                  1. Naw, he says a lot of things you would like to be true so you accept them, maybe even pass them along. He says a lot of good things too, when he talks about the law he’s usually on point. When he tells you that “Democrats” do this when one person did it, that’s a stretch. When he tells you who isn’t racist, or how even-handed the Supreme Court is based on a couple examples, he’s usually wrong. Turley is as partisan as they come but usually says things in a nicer way. It’s true you won’t be interested, that won’t make me wrong.

                    1. From the Liberal NYT, Dec 2019

                      “Mr. Turley is a civil libertarian and a skeptic of executive power who also has a history of sometimes making arguments that please Republicans and irritate Democrats — while emphasizing that he personally agrees with liberals on policy matters.

                      More than 20 years ago, he was the subject of a Washington Post profile … he was a liberal Democrat who voted for Mr. Clinton in 1992 and Ralph Nader in 1996 — appalling his solidly Democratic family.”


                    2. From time to time he points out some minor disagreement with Trump on tone but he constantly condemns “Democrats” as a group and never does the same for Republicans. To my knowledge he hasn’t said a word about Republican attempts to replace certified electrode from states Biden won. He leads the way in explaining away bad behavior from Republicans when he doesn’t ignore it entirely. He may have been different 20 years ago as were Lindsey Graham and dozens of others now in lockstep with Trumpers. Many people here do criticize Turley claiming he’s a liberal. He plays both sides from time to time yet he’s clearly one-sided on every major issue. One example is his constant harping on alleged Democratic attempts to “stack the court” when a mere few are advocating it. He said nothing to my knowledge to Mitch McConnell actually stacking the court and blocking Democratic nominations during the Obama years to radically shape the courts.

                    3. Enigma, Turley is first and foremost a civil libertarian. You assess people based on where they stand compared to you. By that criteria, JFK would have been a right-wing nut.

    2. Enigma, I don’t think that everything you say here is true. I don’t think people liked Chauvin nor approved of how Floyd was managed, but one has to recognize that Chauvin was trained to do what he did and much of that was in the training manual. I personally think Chauvin was overcharged and convicted even though I don’t like him and might convict him on other charges.

        1. That is true, Enigma. There are racists, but when you said it, you sounded more inclusive. Now that you said it again I understand that you recognize that only a very few would feel that way. Those subject to Racism and anti-Semitism, etc., all face problems, but most of those problems need to be lived with and understood. Human nature isn’t going to change. Don’t spin your wheels.

          1. I didn’t say a percentage, I don’t take it to be a very few either. Read the comments, they speak for themselves. I am saying that Turley’s comment that “everyone wasn’t traumatized” makes it seem like we are a different country than we are and isn’t true.

            1. Enigma, I think you ought to take it up with those when they make those comments. I have seen comments that are true, yet some might feel are racist. Education is a way of solving racism while facing the truth. Teaching white privilege teaches racism.

              1. I started with the man (Turley) who made the false comment. I’m not trying to change the minds and hearts of the commenters. Just acknowledging who they are.

                1. Turley’s comment, which you call false, wasn’t true, but it wasn’t a falsehood that one should use on their resume if they discover it. It was more of an inconsequential statement of politeness, like saying good morning to someone you hate. If you parse someone’s comments to that extent, there would be no end to the insignificance of what is being said. You would be forcing op-ed’s to be written in legalese, destroying normal discussion.

                  It would have been better to make your point without the accompanying criticism.

                    1. Enigma, It’s not lying. It’s a phrase meant to be polite like good morning. This type of nitpicking is beneath you. It is pettiness we learn to rid ourselves of as teenagers. I guess in order not to lie, when you meet a woman who isn’t good looking, instead of saying you look good today, you advocate saying, you look ugly like you always do.

                      Is that the type of world you wish to live in?

                    2. Enigmain,

                      Sorry, it’s just easier to learn German if your Blond & Blue eyes w/teats & they call you Racist every time they disagree with you.

                      Hell, buy a Blonde Wig & a Guy Bra? lol;)


                      How to Say “Good Morning” in German

                2. “Just acknowledging who they are.”

                  Too clever by half.

                  The fact remains: Those who squeal “racist” (even by innuendo) at every disagreement, are the racists.

                    1. Enigma, you realize, I hope, that racism is everywhere, even in your community. When you add anti-Semitism, racism increases there dramatically.

                      When you try and make every little detail a racist act, you condemn your own community.

                    2. “They are self-identifying.”

                      Your “self-identifying” is projection — as in: Since I see everything through the lens of race, so do others.

                      The racist mindset has no capacity to see that there might be facts, arguments, reasons for one’s convictions.

                    3. It’s the constant ignoring, justifying, and redefining the definitions of racism that allow it to flourish. People shout out their reasons why something isn’t racist and say nothing in its presence.

                    4. I notice George made a post responding to me where he self-identified heavily. Despite this blogs policy of free speech, it was removed. I would rather have it stand and speak for itself.

                  1. “. . . definitions of racism . . .”

                    Since you claim to understand racism, what is the proper definition of “racism?”

                    1. “Since you claim to understand racism, what is the proper definition of “racism?””

                      Crickets — as I suspected.

      1. Floyd is novel in that he is one of the very few people sick with Covid and multiple comorbidities and excess dangerous and illegal drugs that the media and various agencies and governments refuse to say died of Covid.

        In other instances if a man is positive for Covid when hit by a train they will say he died of Covid.

        1. There are financial bonus’s when the word Covid is used. Hospitals get higher reimbursements and if the patient dies and the death certificate says the cause was Covid, I think they get another $3,000.

          We have incentivized “the spread” of Covid with financial incentives and are hurting the nation in the process.

        2. My thoughts, too. His breathing was probably highly impaired by the Covid in his chest, something none of the officers could have possibly been aware of. It was an ugly situation all the way around.

    3. Wait. “Crazy Abe” Lincoln would like to say a few words on the subject.

      Abe, go ahead, Abe.


      “If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” “…he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”

      Thank you, Abe, and rest in pieces.

      1. Goerge, you should read the full text of the Lincoln’Douglas debates. You would be pleased with Abe. I always wondered why those debates have been held up as a model but you never see them reenacted on television or in movies. It was two men trying to appeal most to racists.

        1. The only thing material to Americans regarding the historical anomaly and tragedy that was Abraham Lincoln is the letter below which revealed the true man – the communist. That is all Americans need to know, oh, and that the Israelite leader led his people to the promised land, not to the land of supplication, embarrassment, dependency and parasitism. Whatever will you do as free men, free from generational welfare and affirmative action?


          Note The Signature Below: Corresponding Secretary for France; Karl Marx

          The International Workingmen’s Association 1864
          Address of the International Working Men’s Association to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America
          Presented to U.S. Ambassador Charles Francis Adams
          January 28, 1865 [A]


          We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority. If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant war cry of your re-election is Death to Slavery.

          From the commencement of the titanic American strife the workingmen of Europe felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the dire epopee, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labor of the emigrant or prostituted by the tramp of the slave driver?

          When an oligarchy of 300,000 slaveholders dared to inscribe, for the first time in the annals of the world, “slavery” on the banner of Armed Revolt, when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first Declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the eighteenth century; when on those very spots counterrevolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding “the ideas entertained at the time of the formation of the old constitution”, and maintained slavery to be “a beneficent institution”, indeed, the old solution of the great problem of “the relation of capital to labor”, and cynically proclaimed property in man “the cornerstone of the new edifice” — then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slaveholders’ rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labor, and that for the men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the proslavery intervention of their betters — and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause.

          While the workingmen, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.

          The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world. [B]

          Signed on behalf of the International Workingmen’s Association, the Central Council:

          Longmaid, Worley, Whitlock, Fox, Blackmore, Hartwell, Pidgeon, Lucraft, Weston, Dell, Nieass, Shaw, Lake, Buckley, Osbourne, Howell, Carter, Wheeler, Stainsby, Morgan, Grossmith, Dick, Denoual, Jourdain, Morrissot, Leroux, Bordage, Bocquet, Talandier, Dupont, L.Wolff, Aldovrandi, Lama, Solustri, Nusperli, Eccarius, Wolff, Lessner, Pfander, Lochner, Kaub, Bolleter, Rybczinski, Hansen, Schantzenbach, Smales, Cornelius, Petersen, Otto, Bagnagatti, Setacci;

          George Odger, President of the Council; P.V. Lubez, Corresponding Secretary for France; Karl Marx, Corresponding Secretary for Germany; G.P. Fontana, Corresponding Secretary for Italy; J.E. Holtorp, Corresponding Secretary for Poland; H.F. Jung, Corresponding Secretary for Switzerland; William R. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary.

  13. Lesson learned: Run in the opposite direction of trouble. Where does that leave the innocent people that live there?

  14. After what happened to Kim Potter, including juror comments post trial, good luck finding a fair jury in that county

    1. The professor writes, “… In arguing for the conviction of Chauvin, prosecutor Steve Schleicher seemed to exonerate the other three officers. In his closing argument, Schleicher declared that Chauvin “had the power, and the other officers, the bystanders, were powerless.”

      Then the professor professes, “… the admission of the state prosecutors is not likely to be heard by the jury. …”

      Closing argument by prosecutors is not evidence. “Argument” by counsel is not evidence. It is not an admission. “Argument” cannot admitted into evidence.

      Evidence is what attorneys argue. Argument is trial attorneys advocating testimony, writings and other material which has been admitted into evidence which supports their legal pleadings, conclusions or interpretations.

      The aforementioned is true in Federal Courts, State Courts and any judicial proceedings where the rules of evidence apply.

      Professors, law professors, profess. Attorneys, particularly trial attorneys, practice law.

      dennis hanna

      1. Dear Mr. Hanna: I was about to write the same thing and then, when I scrolled down, I saw your comment. You are exactly right. Arguments of counsel are not evidence and are not legal admissions or concessions. Moreover, it was the state prosecutor, not a federal one representing a completely different sovereign, who made the argument; that could hardly “estop” (for you non-lawyers out there, to bar the alleging or denial of a assertion because of one’s own words to the contrary) the federal prosecutors. It may appear unseemly that the prosecutors are talking out of both sides of their mouths but that’s why we have mouths.

        1. I add that even if the Derek Chauvin had been tried on (instead of having pled guilty to) the federal charge, the argument of counsel at that trial–that the other three officers were mere bystanders–could not have been admitted at the trial of those three. The same principle obtains: that arguments of counsel constitute neither legal admissions nor evidence.

          1. I agree. however, what if opposing counsel calls upon and queries state prosecutors about what they had previously said in those earlier arguments? Their responses would then become NEW evidence in the present trial, but, as the good professor implied, such queries and responses would likely be stricken as prejudicial? Even when stricken, they would remain in the minds of jurors, which could set current prosecutors up for a motion for mistrial? So it will likely come up in pre-trial conference? your thoughts?

            1. Clarification: I was actually scanning this page for another comment, when I came across “nisquire”‘s comment. I had not read the professor’s post and just commented off the top of my head. I just assumed the three officers were on trial for S.1983 civil rights violations (depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights), which is why I referred to “opposing counsel” and “pretrial conference” (instead of “preliminary hearing”). I must have confused any lawyers reading that! Then I compounded the goof by unthinkingly saying “current prosecutors” instead of current counsel. NOW I read the professor’s post and see that it is a Section 242 criminal case. So, apologies for my confusing comment…(But I still believe there is a way to get the state attorneys’ prior stance and arguments in..).

        2. Arguments of counsel ARE legal admissions. If the other three three cops had been tried with Chauvin, the prosecution’s statement would have bound the state, and any evidence to the contrary would be of no legal effect.

          1. Hey there, gg: I don’t have time to spend on a lot of research, I agree with you that under 801(d), these could be admissible. But here, we have different tribunals (state v. fed), invoking considerations of whether state atty is “opposing party” under 801 and, of course, the hearsay objections. I didn’t follow the case, but I now see that Chauvin only pleaded guilty in federal court (no trial), but it was the state court’s arguments that is/was being discussed. I know that there is some case law out there that might support admission NOT for purposes of truth of matter asserted, but in recognition and support of a transparent “adversarial system.” which goes all the way back to my first comment. Clearly, if admitted, counsel would need to preserve a claim of error. Anyway, time for me to move on…

      2. I’m going to need some case cites before I accept what you’re saying. How are they not judicial admissions that would estop the state from claiming something contrary in another trial?

        1. The case law makes it clear that the common-law rule is that statements made during argument are judicial admissions binding at least in the case in which they are made.

      3. Hanna,

        You missed the qualifier in the professors statement: He said it was NOT LIKELY the prosecutor’s admission would be heard by the jury. That does not mean impossible.

        What if the defense calls the prosecutor as an expert [probably hostile] witness fully familiar with the law and the case to testify as to his expert assessment of the actions of the other policemen?

        He can either give an honest opinion or he can lie and be impeached with his earlier comment in court. But the jury will hear.

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