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28 Apr, 2021 19:33

Juror in Chauvin trial goes on cable news tour, says jury felt ‘no pressure’ to arrive at guilty verdict

Juror in Chauvin trial goes on cable news tour, says jury felt ‘no pressure’ to arrive at guilty verdict

A juror in the trial of Derek Chauvin has spoken out about his experience on the high-profile case. Brandon Mitchell, 31, said the jury felt no public pressure to convict the ex-cop for the murder of George Floyd.

Mitchell, who was juror 52, went on a cable news tour Wednesday, making appearances on CNN, ABC News’ Good Morning America and CBS’ This Morning. He told CBS’ Gayle King that he and his fellow jurors felt no outside pressure to arrive at guilty verdicts for Chauvin.

“I don’t think any of us felt like that. I for sure did not,” he said, adding that “the pressure more so came from just being in the room and being under stress.”

“But it wasn’t pressure to come to a guilty verdict,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the most stressful part of the experience was having to repeatedly watch footage of Floyd’s death. “Every day we had to come in and watch a black man die,” he said, adding that “anything outside of that was secondary just because as a human it’s natural to feel some kind of way as you’re watching someone in agony.”

Asked if there was one piece of testimony that was particularly convincing, Mitchel pointed to the testimony of Irish pulmonologist Dr. Martin Tobin, saying he was the “most influential” person on the stand in helping jurors decide the verdict. 

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Mitchell also revealed there was one juror initially unsure of handing down a verdict on the manslaughter charge, their hesitancy primarily due to the intricacies of legal terminology.

Chauvin was ultimately swiftly and unanimously convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after a three-week trial.

Mitchell told CNN the trial felt “like a funeral” and a “dark space” each day, where you could “feel the energy” was not pleasant. He also used the media appearances to send regards to Floyd’s family.

Some on social media were quick to criticize Mitchell for going on a media tour so soon after Chauvin was convicted. One accused him of “trying to get famous” while another said he should “write a book instead.”

Others worried by revealing his name and face, Mitchell had made himself a "target."

“As a juror, I’m not sure if I would have come out to the media just yet or if at all to discuss this case especially before sentencing,” one person wrote.

Another suggested that while it was odd to see him do interviews so quickly, he might have wanted to counter those who speculated that the jury convicted Chauvin because they were “scared” about potential civil unrest if they did not.

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