On Wednesday, William Mohrman, an attorney for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, argued before the Minnesota Court of Appeals that legal and procedural errors during Chauvin's trial hindered his chance at a fair trial.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison, and is currently serving a concurrent 21 years for a separate federal civil rights charge in Arizona, Fox News reported.
Mohrman argued in his brief to the appeals court that the pretrial publicity of Chauvin’s trial was more extensive than any trial in Minnesota history, and that the judge should have moved the trial elsewhere and sequestered the jury for the duration.
He argued that the publicity, combined with riots, the city's $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family announced during jury selection, the unrest over a police killing in a Minneapolis suburb during jury selection, and the unprecedented courthouse security all prejudiced Chauvin’s chance of a fair trial.
He also accused prosecutors of misconduct and claimed the judge improperly excluded evidence that could have been favorable to Chauvin.
In their brief, the prosecutors argued that pretrial publicity had blanketed the state, making a change of venue pointless, and that the judge took extensive steps to ensure the selection of impartial jurors and shield them from outside influences.
If Chauvin is successful in his appeal, his federal sentence will keep him in prison longer than his state sentence likely would, as he would qualify for parole earlier in the state system. The Minnesota Court of Appeals is expected to issue a response in writing within 90 days.