No Win Situation
Nobody likes jury duty. People will do unimaginable things to get out of it actually. I know people who have lied, feigned illness and even forged documents to get out of sitting in the courthouse all day.
I consider myself a moral person. I try to do the right thing. But I can’t tell you how many times I would have lied and how many other crimes I would have commited to get out of being a juror in the Derek Chauvin case in Minneapolis.
If you haven’t heard about the George Floyd case, I don’t know what you are doing. To quote a great man, you could turn on your toaster and hear about this case. Former police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with the death of George Floyd. The allegations are of excessive force. The defense says that Floyd had a lethal dose of Fentanyl in his system and that’s what killed him.
I’m not here to make a judgement on the case. I am not a medical examiner or a lawyer. I didn’t watch the 24 hour coverage because me watching wouldn’t do anything but take my time. I’ll just say this, I think Chauvin did something wrong and should be punished. I also think having that much Fentanyl in your system is problematic.
Yesterday, closing arguments wrapped up and the jury was excused to deliberate. These 12 people have a tremendous amount of pressure on them. The entire country is waiting. A great number of people are even waiting literally outside of the courthouse. What they decide could shape their lives, and the lives of many across the country forever.
One of my first questions is how did these 12 get selected? How is it possible that these folks had no knowledge of the case? It was everywhere. And they must live in the area, so they must have heard. Now I’m sure it is possible to get someone who hasn’t heard of the case. Perhaps they were out of the country or something. But what are the odds of finding 12 of those? Also, it is possible to find someone like me, who really doesn’t have an opinion on the case and could look at it objectively. Again, with this being such a public and divisive topic, that’s hard to believe as well. That goes both ways by the way.
But these jurors have way more than just someone’s guilt or innocence on their minds.
Take a look at what happened after the original incident. The black community was understandably angry. We all saw the video. It looked terrible. That sparked a summer of looting and rioting in many cities. Portland saw an unprecedented amount of violence that lasted for months. I would even argue that it indirectly led to the storming of the Capitol. All of this after the incident happened without many facts and before proper procedures had a chance to happen.
Not only that, it led otherwise reasonable people to defend Chauvin, who by all accounts is not a good person. He had a history of violence and shouldn’t have been an officer at that point. I respect all police officers, but this guy just wasn’t good. I know we like to have a good guy and a bad guy in every situation. Unfortunately in this case, both sides aren’t great.
So look at all that and then tell me that someone can be impartial. No matter what they do, these 12 people are going to be vilified by someone.
Let’s say they convict Chauvin on all charges. Nobody can reasonably say that the verdict was coerced by pressure from somewhere. That will be the argument made by the defense. And any person with a logical mind would have to say that’s a good possibility. That means there will be an appeal process that could last years and perhaps a new trial. Not to mention the fact that the right wing media will find out who the jurors are, and do nothing but ask them if they were threatened or influenced in any way.
Maybe it goes the other way. Maybe a not guilty verdict comes out. The amount of unrest that will occur in the streets will be unmatched. The city of Minneapolis will become a war zone for months to come. More death will occur and we will stay in this cycle for years to come. The real victims will become the innocent folks that are in the city, or get caught up in the riots. The business owners, the employees of the businesses and the police officers that will be forced to respond are not in an enviable position. The left wing folks are already preparing for it. Congressperson Maxine Waters already said that the verdict has to be guilty or even more unrest will occur.
Then comes the lives of the jurors. If they weren’t threatened by the extremists on both sides, they certainly will be. In the riots last summer, homes were burned down and people were assaulted in the streets. A juror is going to look at that and think, “that could be me if I don’t do what they want.” Not sure about you, but the imminent threat to my home and family may be enough to sway my vote. I bet there is at least one juror who feels the same.
If one of the jurors is reading this, I have one piece of advice. Regardless of the verdict, move. Move as far away as possible. Change your name. Do anything you can. As the kids say, GTFO. Get the fuck out of Minneapolis. Nothing good is going to happen.
Let’s just hope people on both sides can be adults and keep things civil. The fate of Minneapolis shouldn’t be on the line. If you’re in the city now, follow my advice for the jurors, get out if you can.