Chauvin and Ex-Wife Plead Not Guilty to Tax Evasion Charges 

As a previous  post reported, on July 22, 2020, Derek Chauvin and his then wife Kellie Chauvin were charged with Minnesota felony tax crimes dating back to 2014 for alleged failure to report more than $400,000 in income  and resulting failure to pay $21,853 in Minnesota taxes which  with interest and late filing and fraud penalties then amounted to $37,868. This was done in Minnesota District Court for Washington County, where they then lived. [1]

On November 5, 2021, a Washington County District Court Judge entered pleas of not guilty for the pair after each waived a pretrial hearing in two brief remote court sessions. The next date for a court hearing in the case was set for January 21, 2022.[2]

============================

[1]  Chauvin and Wife Now Charged with Minnesota Tax Crimes, dwkcommentaries.com (July 22, 2020).

[2]  Olson, Derek Chauvin and his ex-wife plead not guilty to tax evasion, StarTribune (Nov. 5, 2021); Karnowski (AP), Chauvin, ex-wife plead not guilty to tax evasion charges, StarTribune (Nov. 5, 2021).

More Criticism of U.S. Means of Addressing Immigration Needs of Afghan Evacuees  

This blog previously discussed the complexity of meeting the U.S. immigration needs of Afghan evacuees, estimated at 65,000 to 199,000 less than two weeks ago.[1] This analysis has been underscored by John T. Medeiros, an experienced U.S. immigration attorney and the Chair of the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.[2]

According to Medeiros, this subject was the focus of a recent conference call with nearly 100 immigration lawyers across the U.S.

He noted that he and many other immigration lawyers have been focused on assisting “family members and friends of Afghan allies in applying for humanitarian parole, which the federal Immigration Service says “is used to bring someone who is otherwise inadmissible to the United States for a temporary period of time due to an emergency.”

This conference call emphasized the following current status of this situation:

  • “Within the past two months there have been over 17,000 applications for humanitarian parole filed with the USCIS.”
  • “Each application includes a filing fee of $575; in the past two months the USCIS has received an estimated $9.8 million in fees.”
  • “While there is an option to request a fee waiver, almost all applications filed with a fee waiver have been rejected by the USCIS.”
  • “For the pending 17,000 applications there are a total of six USCIS adjudicators.”
  • “Since Sept. 1, USCIS has not processed any applications for individuals still in Afghanistan.”
  • “Since that same date, USCIS has processed ‘a handful of applications’ for Afghan nationals displaced in a third country.”
  • “USCIS is expected to soon announce its plans to adjudicate those applications that remain pending, with priority given to individuals who are not physically in Afghanistan. The rationale for this decision is that third-country nationals would be able to obtain the required travel permission in the form of a visa at a U.S. consular post in the third country, while visa services have been suspended within Afghanistan.”
  • “It is unclear if [U.S.] visas will be issued to displaced Afghan nationals who are not in possession of a valid passport.”

This horrible situation, said Medeiros, caused the participants in this conference call to demand the following actions:

“[We] call on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to immediately allocate sufficient resources to the USCIS for the swift adjudication of the pending 17,000 applications for humanitarian parole and to approve applications for fee waivers for applicants who meet the eligibility criteria.”

“After these applications have been approved, we call on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to expedite the vetting process and the issuance of visas to displaced Afghan nationals, including those who are not in possession of a valid passport.”

“[We] call on the office of the White House to authorize the U.S. Department of Defense to send military flights to countries with concentrations of displaced Afghan nationals, and evacuate those with valid claims to asylum, Special Immigrant Visas or any other immigration benefit.”

“[We] call on Congress to swiftly pass the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would provide a path to permanent residence for those Afghan evacuees who have risked their lives in support of U.S. military efforts. It is the least we can do to honor the sacrifices our Afghan allies have made for the benefit of American democracy.”

Conclusion

These recommendations are endorsed by this blogger, who is a retired lawyer who did not specialize in immigration law, but who in the mid-1980s learned certain aspects of immigration and asylum law and then served as a pro bono lawyer for asylum seekers from El Salvador and other countries.[3]

This endorsement is also buttressed by my current service on the Refugee Co-Sponsorship Team at Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church, which is now co-sponsoring an Afghan family with the assistance of the Minnesota Council of Churches. [4]

===============================

[1]  Immense Problems Hampering U.S. Efforts To Resettle Afghans, dwkcommentaries.com (Oct. 22, 2021).

[2] Medeiros, We’re still failing Afghan allies. Why no outrage?, StarTribune (Nov. 2, 2021); John t. Medeiros [Biography];  American Immigration Lawyers Association, Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter.

[3]  Becoming a Pro Bono Asylum Lawyer, dwkcommentareis.com (May 24, 2011); My Pilgrimage to El Salvador, April 1989, dwkcommentaries.com (May 25,  2011); Teaching the International Human Rights Course, dwkcommentaries.com (July 1, 2011).

[4]  Schulze, Campbell & Krohnke, Our Sojourners Have Arrived, Westminster News, p.7  (Nov. 2021).

More Details on Jurors’ Comments on Derek Chauvin Trial 

The blog previously has discussed the court’s decision last week to release on November 1 certain information about the jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial and the October 28th Don Lemon program on CNN  with seven of the 14  jurors (including two alternates). [1] Now additional details about this development have been reported by the Washington Post, New York Times and StarTribune. [2]

The Washington Post has reported the following:

  • Several jurors said their views on race did not factor into the verdict. According to Juror Nicole Deters, ““We got here because of systemic racism within the system, right, because of what’s been going on. That’s how we got to a courtroom in the first place. But when it came down to all three verdicts, it was based on the evidence and the facts one hundred percent.”
  • Several jurors said “they probably would have come to the same verdicts if Chauvin had testified in his defense, but they said they would have liked to hear what he was thinking. Videos of the killing, recorded by bystanders and others, factored into the jurors’ decision-making, they said.”
  • Juror Sheri Belton Hardeman said, “The camera doesn’t lie. And it was in slow motion at times while you were sitting there in court. … So it was hard. It played a huge role though. It truly did.”
  • Juror Jodi Doud told CNN the video “bothered me so much. How could somebody do that to someone else? And it was a slow death. It wasn’t just a gunshot and they’re dead.”

The New York Times added the following report:

  • Half of the 12 jurors declined to comment or could not be reached on November 1st after their names had been publicly released. At the home of one of them, this sign was posted on the front door: “Please, no press no soliciting” while a “Black Lives Matter” poster was prominently displayed in a window.
  • Juror Brandon Mitchell, who previously had made public comments on the trial, said on November 1, , 2021, that all of the jurors have been keeping in touch on an email chain since the trial. “They’re scared of the unknown and of becoming a public figure instead of spending their lives in peace.”
  • Juror Jodi Doud had said on the CNN program, “This is not what he [Chauvin] did, but more or less what he didn’t do. He did not provide lifesaving measures for George Floyd when he knew that the guy was in pain or needed medical attention.”

The Times article also reported that the prospective jurors questionnaires “reveal a diverse range of opinions from the jurors, who were from throughout Hennepin County and ranged in age from their 20s to their 60s. Four of the jurors were Black, six were white and two were multiracial; seven of the 12 were women.”

The StarTribune noted that two jurors and an alternate previously had made the following public comments about the trial:

  • “25-year-old Journee Howard, of Minneapolis, said she was especially swayed by the testimony of Dr. Martin Tobin, who bolstered the prosecution’s contention that Floyd died from asphyxiation as a direct result of being pinned face down on the pavement at 38th and Chicago for more than nine minutes by Chauvin and two other officers.”
  • Brandon Mitchell said the jury deliberations were “smooth” with a strong focus on the evidence and the terminology of the law, but did not include discussions about race or the broader issue of police killing civilians.
  • Alternate Lisa Christensen, 56, of Brooklyn Center, said she was “sad and disappointed” when she was excused before deliberations began but agreed with the verdicts.

The StarTribune also added that a jury questionnaire disclosed that the jury foreperson was a 31-year-old man from Minneapolis, who was engaged at the time of the trial, has degrees in accounting from the University of St. Thomas, and works as an audit manager and that almost all of the  responses to the questionnaire said the prospective jurors disagreed with the statement that “the police treated white and Black people equally” while all agreed that “Police in my community make me feel safe.”

=============================

[1]  Judge Orders Release of Jurors Names in Derek Chauvin Trial, dwkcommentaries.com (Oct. 28, 2021); Discussion of Derek Chauvin Trial By Seven of Its Jurors, dwkcommentaries.com (Oct. 30, 2021).

[2]  Shammas & lati, Race was not part of Chauvin jurors’ decision, they say, Wash. Post (Nov. 1, 2021); Bogel-Burroughs, Jurors Who Convicted Derek Chauvin Are Identified for First Time, N.Y. Times (Nov. 1, 2021); Walsh, More than 6 months after verdicts, court releases names of jurors in Derek Chauvin trial, StarTribune (Nov. 1, 2021).

 

 

 

Discussion of Derek Chauvin Trail by Seven of its Jurors  

On October 28, seven of the 12 jurors in the trial of Derek Chauvin who delivered the guilty verdict on all three counts were interviewed by CNN’s Don Lemon. [1]

Theses jurors all provided intelligent comments and conveyed a great sense of the jury’s seriousness, cooperation and appreciation for one another.

Most importantly, they said a very important piece of evidence  was the Minneapolis Police Department motto, “In our custody, in our care.” Clearly, they said, George Floyd was in the custody of the four policemen, but they did nothing to provide care to him when his pain and loss of breathe were obvious.  That observation made the guilty verdict obvious, they said.

Now on November 1, most of the trial evidence will be made public at the Hennepin County Government Center.[2]

============================

[1]  Sanchez, Exclusive: Derek Chauvin jurors speak out for the first time, recalling ‘traumatic experience’ and that light-bulb moment, CNN (Oct. 28, 2021).

[2]  Judge Orders Release of Jurors Names in Derek Chauvin Trial, dwkcommentareis.com (Oct. 28, 2021).

Judge Orders Release of Jurors Names in Derek Chauvin Trial

On October 25, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill ordered the release on November 1 of the names of the 12 jurors who signed the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin earlier this year plus (a) the names of the two alternate jurors who were excused before jury deliberations commenced; (b) the names of the other 109 prospective jurors; (c) the questionnaires filled out by all of these individuals; and (d) the original jury verdict form signed by the jury foreperson. [1]

The Order had the following limitations: (a) the addresses and other contact information for the 14 sworn and alternate jurors will not be made public; (b) the Court reserves the right to redact from the completed juror questionnaires certain information, consistent with discussions with some of the jurors during voire dire, from the copy of the questionnaires publicly filed pursuant to this order; and (c) the information and documents being made public will only be available for inspection and copying at the Hennepin County Government Center; no remote access.

The Judge’s 31-page Order and Memorandum, which was soundly reasoned and well written, provided the background and reasons for this order. It set forth with abundant legal citations the Court’s legal conclusion:

  • “Although there is no absolute right of the press or public to access all records and information contained in court records in criminal cases, judicial records are presumptively public under Minnesota’s applicable court rules and the common law, warranting granting public access to some of the requested juror information sought by the Media Coalition in light of the present facts and circumstances of this case.”

This legal conclusion was based upon the Court’s balancing “on a case-by-case basis . . . [of the following] competing considerations . . . the defendant’s constitutional rights to a public trial before a fair and impartial jury, the public interest in access to open judicial proceedings to monitor the manner in which justice is being administered, the press’ First Amendment rights, and jurors’ privacy interests and rights.”

This Order was prompted by a motion for such disclosure submitted by the Media Coalition of 16 local and national media organizations.

==============================

[1]  Olson, & Xiong. Court order: Chauvin jurors’ names to be released Nov. 1 at courthouse, StarTribune (Oct. 25, 2021); Assoc. Press, Judge in Chauvin trial to release names of Jurors on Nov. 1, StarTribune (Oct. 25, 2021); Order and Memorandum Opinion on Media Coalition Motion To Unseal Juror Names and Associated Juror Information, State v. Chauvin, Henn. County Dist. Ct. File No. 20-12646 (Oct 25, 2021).

 

 

 

Immense Problems Hampering U.S. Efforts To Resettle Afghans   

Since the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan on  August 31, 2021, the U.S. has been engaged in the complicated task of resettling an anticipated 65,000 to 100,000 Afghans in the U.S. Now the U.S. Government is admitting that its initial goal of completing these resettlements by the end of this year cannot be achieved and that it will take through March 2022 if not longer. [1]

 Locations of Afghans Evacuated by U.S.

The only somewhat comprehensive accounting of where these people are today that this blogger has been able to find is a Wall Street Journal article vaguely describing Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s October 8 written responses to written questions from Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Here are those approximate numbers:

  • During August 2021, 124,000 people were evacuated from that country by the U.S., 85% or 105,400 of whom were Afghans.
  • Approximately 53,000 of these Afghan  evacuees were living at eight U.S. military bases in this country; 34%  were male adults, 22% were female adults and 44% were children.
  • Other Afghan evacuees (perhaps 6,000 to 10,000) were at U.S. military installations in Germany, Spain, Italy and Kosovo.
  • Another 6,000 have been resettled in the U.S.
  • Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates have provided temporary space for screening and vetting by Departments of Defense and State and other federal agencies..

U.S. Immigration Status of Afghan Evacuees.

  1. Humanitarian Parole

Most Afghan evacuees arrive in the U.S. as humanitarian parolees with eligibility to apply for work authorization. Such permits are granted on a case-by-case basis permitting them to stay for two years after appropriate screening and vetting and subject to medical screening and vaccination and reporting requirements. Failure to meet these conditions may be cause for denial of work authorization and potentially termination of the parole and initiation of detention and removal.

Moreover, “humanitarian parolees lack a path to legal U.S. residency and the benefits and services offered to traditional refugees, according to U.S. officials and aid groups working closely with the government.” Instead, “Afghan parolees who have arrived at U.S. military bases will be eligible for an ad hoc State Department program that provides limited assistance for up to 90 days, including a one-time $1,250 stipend. But they will not have the full range of medical, counseling and resettlement services available to immigrants who arrive through the U.S. refugee program.”

  1. Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs)

Some evacuees may qualify for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) by meeting the following requirements:

  • “Employment in Afghanistan for at least one year between October 7, 2001, and December 31, 2023, by or on behalf of the U.S. government or by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or a successor mission in a capacity that required the applicant to serve as an interpreter or translator for U.S. military personnel while traveling off-base with U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF or to perform activities for U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF; “and
  • “Have experienced or be experiencing an ongoing threat as a consequence of their employment.”

On October 21, U.S. Senators Inhofe (R-Okla.), Risch (R-Idaho) and Portman (R-Ohio) sent a letter requesting a joint review and audit of the SIV program to the inspectors general of the Departments of State, Defense and Homeland Security and the U.S. Agency for international Development. These Senators contend that in the “chaotic and haphazard U.S. withdrawal” from Afghanistan  “thousands of SIV applicants were shamefully left behind,[putting them] at great risk, vulnerable to retaliation from the Taliban due to their association with the [U.S.].”

The same day (October 21), Senator Inhofe stated that a classified briefing on security in Afghanistan confirmed that after the U.S. withdrawal the U.S. “is now less safe” and that the “Taliban can’t—and won’t –do anything to prevent al-Qaeda from training or launching attacks from Afghanistan” and in fact will only “enable al-Qaeda.” These issues will be probed in an upcoming hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

  1. Priority 2 (P-2) Designations

Other evacuees may be eligible for Priority 2 (P-2) designation  granting U.S. Refugee Admissions Program access for Afghans and their eligible family members by satisfying on of the following conditions;

  • “Afghans who do not meet the minimum time-in-service for a SIV but who work or worked as employees of contractors, locally-employed staff, interpreters/translators for the U.S. government, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOXRX-A), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or Resolute Support;”
  • “Afghans who work or worked for a U.S. government-funded program or project in Afghanistan supported through a U.S. government grant or cooperative agreement;” or
  • “Afghans who are or were employed in Afghanistan by a U.S.-based media organization or non-governmental organization.”
  1. Priority 1 (P-1) Designations

Afghans also could be eligible for “the Priority (P-1) program by virtue of their circumstances and apparent need for resettlement who are referred to the P-1 program . . .  by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a U.S. embassy, or a designated NGO.”

  1. Asylum Applicants

Another option for the parolees is to apply for asylum on proof of “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” Such a claim realistically requires the services of a U.S. attorney knowledgeable about asylum law and procedures, preferably a pro bono attorney who serves without a fee. The current horrible backlog in immigration courts makes this a very challenging undertaking.

  1. Green Card Proposal

On September 7, President Biden submitted to Congress a request for authorization of green cards for Afghan s after a year in the U.S. This was part of a request for $6.4 billion for the Afghan resettlement effort.

Other Practical Problems

Another problem causing delays is an outbreak of measles in the Afghan evacuees that prompted military base officials to carry out a broad vaccination effort against measles, Covid-19 and polio.

Yet another problem causing delays in Afghan resettlement is the current U.S. housing shortage coupled with soaring rents and the resulting reluctance of landlords to take on potential tenants with no existing income or credit scores. Moreover, initially the Afghans had to live within a hundred miles of a resettlement agency, the number of which shrunk as a result of the Trump Administration reducing the number of refugees the us. would accept for resettlement.

Resettling them in places that have sizable existing Afghan communities would make a lot of sense except that many of those places like California and northern Virginia are particularly expensive.

There also have been other practical problems. Some of the living facilities on U.S. military bases at least initially were inadequate in many ways, and warmer clothing for the Afghans was in short supply. In addition, travel for the Afghans from military bases to their final destinations was organized by the International Organization for Migration, a U.N. agency that has been understaffed in the U.S.

Conclusion

The issues presented by resettlement of Afghan evacuees are very complex, and this blogger would greatly appreciate comments correcting or amplifying this post’s discussion.

====================

 

[1] U.S. Dep’t Homeland Security, Fact Sheet on Operation Allies Welcome; Friedman, U.S. Housing Market Needs 5.5 Million More Units, Says New report, W.S.J. (June 16, 2021); Parti & Hackman, Biden Administration Proposes Asylum Overhaul to Reduce Backlog, Speed Deportations, W.S.J. (Aug. 18, 2021); Hackman, U.S. Refugee Organizations Race to Prepare for Influx of Afghans, W.S.J. (Aug. 31, 2021); Hackman & Hughes, Biden Administration Seeks New Law to Ease Afghan Refugees‘ Path to Green Cards, W.S.J. (Sept. 8, 2021); U.S. Resettlement of Refugees and Recent Afghan Evacuees, dwkcommentaries.con (Sept. 8, 2021); McBride & iddiqui, U.S. Suspends Flights of Afghans After Four Test Positive for Measles, W.S. J. (Sept. 10, 2021); Parker, Soaring Rents Makes It a Very Good time to Own an Apartment  Building, W. S. J. (Sept. 14, 2021);  Hackman, Afghan Refugees in the U.S.: How They’re Vetted, Where They’re Going and How to Help, W.S.J. (Sept. 15, 2021); Kesling,  A U.S. Military Base  Needs to Make 13,000 Afghan Evacuees Feel at Home, W.S.J. (Oct. 1, 2021); George & Mehrdad, Routes out of Afghanistan dwindle as Pakistan cancels flights, Wash. Post (Oct. 14, 2021); Kesling & Hackman, U.S. Afghan Resettlements Slowed by Housing  Shortage, Old Technology, W.S.J. (Oct. 17, 2021); Youssef, Almost Half of Afghan Evacuees at U.S.Bases Are Children, Pentagon Says, W.S.J. (Oct. 20, 2021); Sen. Inhofe Press Release, Inhofe, Risch, Portman request Investigation of SIV Program Shortcomings Amid Afghanistan Withdrawal (Oct. 21, 2021); Sen. Inhofe Press Release, Inhofe Statement on Afghanistan Security Briefing (Oct. 21, 2021).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Derek Chauvin Has Attorney for Appeal 

On October 15, William F. Mohrman, a Minneapolis attorney, filed a notice in the Minnesota Court of Appeals that he shall appear as counsel of record for Chauvin.[1]

Mohrman is a partner in the Minneapolis law firm of Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A. and previously was an associate attorney with the Minneapolis office of Faegre & Benson and a trial attorney with the Minneapolis law firm of Felharber Larson Fenlon & Vogt. He also has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis and was awarded “Attorney of the Year” by the Minnesota Lawyer publication. [2]

Mohrman has a J.D. degree with an Order of the Coif for academic excellence from the University of Colorado Law School and an undergraduate degree, cum laude, from the University of Colorado and bar admissions in the state and federal courts in that state and Minnesota  as well as the federal court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now Mohrman will be remedying Chauvin’s various failures to abide by rules regarding his appeal. [3]

================================

[1]  [Notice of Appearance], State v. Chauvin, Minnesota Court of Appeals # A21-1218 (Oct. 15, 2021).

[2]  Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A. 

[3]  Minnesota Supreme Court Denies Chauvin’s Request for Public Defender, dwkcommentaries.com (Oct. 8, 2021); Derek Chauvin Faces Roadblocks in Appealing His Conviction and Sentencing for Second-Degree Murder of George Floyd, dwkcommentaries.com (Oct. 9, 2021).

Derek Chauvin Faces Roadblocks in Appealing His Conviction and Sentencing for Second-Degree Murder of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin is facing roadblocks to appealing his conviction and sentencing for second-degree murder of George Floyd that was commenced on September 20 with Chauvin’s notice of appeal, statement of the case, motion to proceed in forma pauperis (IPF) in the Minnesota Court of Appeals and motion to stay this appeal pending the Minnesota Supreme Court’s review of his ineligibility determination for a public defender by the Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender (OMAPD).[1]

The first roadblock occurred on September 24 when the clerk of the appellate courts directed Chauvin within 10 days to (1) pay the $550 filing fee; (2) provide proof of service of the notice of appeal on the district court administrator; and (3) provide proof of service of the appeal papers on the county attorney and attorney general.

The second roadblock was the Minnesota Supreme Court’s October 6th rejection of Chauvin’s appeal from OMAPD’s determination of his ineligibility for a Public Defender in this appeal.  [2] (The Court of Appeals in an  October 8th Order stated his request for the same relief was moot.)

That Court of Appeals’ Order also noted that Chauvin must submit a written request of transcripts within 30 days after the filing of the notice of appeal and that his appellate brief must be submitted within 60 days after the court reporter delivers the transcript.

That Court of Appeals’ Order further noted that because he was not represented by counsel, its rules provided that “the case will be submitted on the briefs and record without oral arguments by any party.” If, however, Chauvin subsequently obtains counsel, he may file a motion requesting oral argument.

These details were incorporated in the Court of Appeals’ Order as follows:

  1. On or before October 15 Chauvin “shall file proof of service of the notice of appeal on the Hennepin County District Court Administrator and proof of service of the notice of appeal and statement of the case on the Minnesota Attorney General.”
  2. Chauvin’s “motion to proceed IFP in this court is denied.”
  3. Chauvin’s “motion to stay this appeal is denied.”
  4. “On or before October 22, 2021, [Chauvin] shall pay the $550 filing fee.”
  5. “On or before October 22, 2021, [Chauvin] shall order a transcript of the district court proceedings from the court reporter and make financial arrangements for the court reporter to file a completed transcript certificate by November 12, 2021.”
  6. Chauvin’s “request for oral argument is denied without prejudice to a subsequent motion for oral argument filed by counsel.”

======================================

[1] Olson, Appeals Court: Derek Chauvin can’t make oral arguments unless he hires a lawyer, StarTribune (Oct. 8, 2021); Order, State v. Chauvin, Minn. Ct. App. #A21-1228 (Oct. 8, 2021).

[2] Minnesota Supreme Court Denies Chauvin’s Request for Public Defender, dwkcommentaries (Oct. 8, 2021).

Minnesota Supreme Court Denies Chauvin Request for Public Defender     

On October 6, 2021, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied Derek Chauvin’s request for appointment of a public defender for his appeal of his conviction and sentencing for second-degree murder of George Floyd.[1]

Chauvin’s request apparently was made on September 23, when he stated the following to the Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender (OMAPD):

  • “Due to my incarceration, I do not have the sufficient means to retain private counsel for the appeal.”
  • “I currently have no source of income, besides nominal prison wages, nor do I own any real property or vehicles. I am currently unmarried and have no dependents.”
  • “My only assets are two retirement accounts. I would face a significant penalty for early access to these retirement funds.”
  • “The district court case for which I intend to appeal was paid for by the Minneapolis Peace and Police Officer’s Association, and I have been informed that their obligation to pay for my representation terminated upon my conviction and sentencing,”

The OMAPD denied this request and the Supreme Court’s Order in effect affirmed the OMAPD’s conclusion  that Chauvin had not established that “through any combination of liquid assets and current income [he] would be unable to pay the reasonable costs charged by private counsel” for prosecution of this appeal. (Minn. Stat. sec. 611.17(a)(2).)

As the Court stated, “Having reviewed Chauvin’s request, the information provided regarding his assets and debts, and the OMAPD’s determination, we conclude that Chauvin has not established that he is entitled to appointed representation at this time.” (Unfortunately, this blogger was unable to obtain a copy of the OMAPD determination.)

However, the Supreme Court added that this denial “is without prejudice to a future application for such an appointment.”

===============================

[1]  AP, Minnesota court denies Chauvin’s request for public defender, Wash. Post (Oct. 6, 2021); Olson, Supreme Court denies Chauvin’s request for a public defender for appeals in Floyd murder, StarTribune (Oct. 6, 2021); Sarnoff, Derek Chauvin Appeal: Minnesota State Supreme Court Upholds Denial of Request for Public Defender, Law & Crime (Oct. 6, 2021); Order, In re Application of Derek Chauvin for relief from the Ineligibility Determination of the State Public Defender, Minn. Sup. Ct. # ADM08-8001 (Oct. 6, 2021). See generally List of Posts to dwkcommentaries—Topical: George Floyd Killing.

 

 

 

 

Derek Chauvin Appeals His Conviction and Sentencing for Second-Degree Murder of George Floyd         

On September 23, 2021, Derek Chauvin initiated his appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals from the Hennepin County District Court ‘s June 25th Sentencing Order and Memorandum Opinion holding him guilty of second-degree murder of George Floyd and sentencing Chauvin to 22.5 years imprisonment for that crime.[1]

The document initiating this appeal was Chauvin’s Statement of the Case of Appellant.[2] It stated the following issues for the appeal:

“(1) The District Court abused its discretion when it denied Appellant’s motion for change of venue or a new trial;

(2) The District Court abused its discretion when it denied Appellant’s motion for a continuance or a new trial;

(3) The District Court abused its discretion when it denied Appellant’s motions to sequester the jury throughout trial;

(4) The State committed prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct;

(5) The District Court prejudicially erred when it concluded that the testimony of Morries Hall, or in the alternative Mr. Hall’s statements to law enforcement, did not fall under Minn. R. Evid. 804(b)(3) and was not a violation Appellant’s constitutional confrontation rights;

(6) The District Court prejudicially erred when it permitted the State to present cumulative evidence with respect to use of force;

(7) The District Court abused its discretion when it ordered the State to lead witnesses on direct examination;

(8) The District Court abused its discretion when it failed to make an official record of the numerous sidebar conferences that occurred during trials;

(9) The District Court abused its discretion when it failed to allow Appellant to exercise several cause strikes for clearly biased jurors during voir dire;

(10) The District Court abused its discretion when it permitted the State of amend its complaint to add the charge of third-degree murder;

(11) The District Court abused its discretion when it strictly limited and undercut the admissibility of George Floyd’s May 6, 2019 arrest;

(12) The District Court abused its discretion when it submitted instructions to the jury that materially misstated the law;

(13) The District Court abused its discretion when it by denying Appellant’s motion for a Schwartz hearing;

(l4) The District Court abused its discretion when it denied Appellant’s post-verdict motion for a new trial due to juror misconduct.”

These issues will be presented and argued with citations to legal precedents and the trial record in the subsequent briefs and oral arguments of the parties.

However, a practical problem for Chauvin is the inability of his trial counsel, Eric Nelson, to represent him on this appeal because the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, which had paid Nelson’s attorneys’ fees for Chauvin’s pretrial and trial proceedings, does not pay such fees for appeals after conviction and Chauvin does not have the financial ability to pay for appellate counsel. As a result, on September 23, District Judge Peter Cahill entered an Order Granting In Forma Paupereris Application of Mr. Chauvin. Now Chauvin awaits the Minnesota Supreme Court’s action on his application to reverse its earlier decision denying him a public defender to represent him on this appeal.

===================================

[1] Derek Chauvin Trial: Chauvin Sentenced to 22.5 Years Imprisonment, dwkcommentaries.com (June 28, 2021); Forlitti (AP), Chauvin to appeal conviction, sentence in Floyd’s death, Wash. Post (Sept. 23, 2021); Chhith, Derek Chauvin appeals his conviction in George Floyd’s death, StarTribune (Sept. 23, 2021).

[2] Statement of the Case of Appellant, State v. Chauvin, Minnesota Court of Appeals Case No. A21-1228 (Sept. 23, 2021).