On November 18, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson mailed questionnaires to prospective jurors ordering them to report to the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis on January 20, 2022, and be ready to serve from mid-January to mid-February on the federal criminal cases against Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.
The Judge’s letter said, “In trials of this nature, the Court and the attorneys need to ask probing questions of prospective jurors, including questions about their views on law enforcement, various interest groups, and events that have taken place over the past year-and-a-half. We do this not because we wish to pry into the private lives of prospective jurors, but because we are obligated to ensure that the jurors who hear the case will be fair and impartial.”
The Judge also asked those responding to the questionnaire to avoid media coverage related to this case.
This development looks as if it will interfere with the commencement of the state criminal trial of J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, previously scheduled to start on March 7, 2022.
1/ Mannix, Federal civil rights trial for ex-Minneapolis-cops in George Floyd killing on track for mid-January, StarTribune (11/30/21).
2/ Xiong, State trial postponed to March 2022 for ex-officers charged with aiding and abetting murder in George Floyd death, StarTribune (May 13, 2021).