Has the Chauvin Trial Been Delayed???? 

On February 11, the Hennepin County District Court denied the State’s motion to amend its complaints against the four defendants in the George Floyd criminal cases to assert third-degree murder charges.[1]

On February 22, the State appealed that decision to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. A prime basis for the appeal is that appellate court’s recent ruling that sustained a third-degree murder charge against another former Minneapolis policeman, Mohamed Noor. But that decision will soon go into hibernation when Noor files an expected appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.[2]

Immediately after the filing of this appeal in the Floyd cases, the Court of Appeals ordered the District Court to “FORWARD THE FILE, EXHIBITS, AND ALL TRANSCRIPTS [in the Chauvin case] TO THIS OFFICE WITHIN 10 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS NOTICE.”  [3]

Moreover, the District Court was ordered to “include a numbered itemized list of all documents, transcripts, and exhibits contained in the record, identifying each with reasonable definiteness; each document and exhibit having endorsed thereon the appellate court file number and corresponding number from the itemized list. A copy of this list shall also be sent to all parties of record.”

Finally the Court of Appeals stated, “Physical records submitted to the appellate courts will be returned to your office upon entry of judgment or dismissal order, and not before the 30 days allowed for filing a petition for further review in the Supreme Court has expired.”

Compliance with this appellate order should make it impossible for the trial court to finish its final two weeks of preparation for the commencement of the Chauvin trail on March 8 and to conduct the trial when its entire record id being prepared to be sent to the Court of Appeals.

Any reason to doubt this conclusion?


[1] Court Denies Third-Degree Murder Charges for George Floyd Killing, dwkcommentaries.com Feb. 12, 2021).

[2] Xiong, Third-degree murder charges against George Floyd cops sought again, StarTribune (Feb. 22, 2021).

[3] Letter, Clerk of the Minnesota Appellate Courts to Hennepin County District Court  Administrator (Feb. 23, 2021). This letter is publicly available on the District Court’s website, https://www.mncourts.gov/media/StateofMinnesotavDerekChauvin.


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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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