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Chauvin refuses to testify

Rogue Valley

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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, on trial for the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, told the judge that he is invoking his Fifth Amendment right to not testify.

I think this is the correct decision on Chauvin's part. The prosecution would eat him alive on the witness stand. I'm sure his attorney (Eric Nelson) advised him to not testify.

Police officers often testify on their behalf in compensatory arbitration hearings, but rarely (perhaps only 5%) in a criminal trial where they are the defendant.
 

ASHES

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Chauvin telling the judge he plans on invoking the 5th, and he wants the judge to read instructions that his refusing to testify cannot be used as evidence against him:
Screenshot_20210415-102211.png
 

Court Jester

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Chauvin is NOT REQUIRED to testify.
 

RabidAlpaca

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When you're guilty as sin and you know the facts won't support your acquittal, testifying under oath is the last thing you want to do.

Chauvin is NOT REQUIRED to testify.

Everyone here knows that and nobody said otherwise.
 
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Rogue Valley

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The trial judge today also refused to allow the prosecution to rebut the testimony yesterday by a pathologist who brought up the possibility that carbon monoxide from the police car exhaust may have contributed to Mr. Floyd's death. The judge is right here. It was a mistake by the prosecution to originally ignore this possibility and they cannot now try and correct that mistake. The judge however did allow the prosecution to recall witness Dr. Tobin who testified that medical records showed Floyd's oxygen saturation was 98% when he died. The logical conclusion here then is that only a maximum 2% level of carbon monoxide could have existed which is not a lethal level. The jury must have been a bit perplexed by this last minute prosecution testimony since they were not privy to the morning judge/prosecution/defense sidebar.

Closing arguments will be coming soon. There are 3 state charges against Chauvin. The prosecution must walk the jury through each charge and remind the jury of how the prosecution proved its case without doubt for each charge. Remind the jury of how Chauvin violated his police training, and ignored his a professional duty to immediately assist any prisoner in medical distress. Replay the 9.5 minute video which chronicles the depraved murder of Mr. Floyd.
 

Court Jester

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When you're guilty as sin and you know the facts won't support your acquittal, testifying under oath is the last thing you want to do.

You understand very little about how this works. Even if you are 100% certain in your own mind of your innocence, you still would not want to take the stand. Same way you should never talk to the police under any circumstances without a lawyer present. Juries may draw inferences from anything you say on the stand by the way a prosecution attorney may artfully frame the questions, and then require only a yes of no answer. A game you should NEVER put yourself into. Same way when being questioned by the police during and investigation. If you take the stand, even if you are 100% innocent, you are putting yourself at risk. Conversely, juries are specifically instructed that they MAY NOT draw any inferences or conclusions about a defendant who does not take the stand.


Everyone here knows that and nobody said otherwise.

I seriously doubt that "everyone" knows that, as many are already assuming his guilt is for certain, and just like you yourself just stated, he is "guilty as sin".

In this trial, the defense has already put this on the threshold of reasonable doubt for at least two of the charges (murder 2 and 3), so why risk having Chauvin on the stand to risk that if he doesn't come off the right way?
 

Rogue Valley

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In this trial, the defense has already put this on the threshold of reasonable doubt for at least two of the charges (murder 2 and 3), so why risk having Chauvin on the stand to risk that if he doesn't come off the right way?


I've watched the entire trial and have never inferred that the defense is winning on any level.

btw, The pathologist the defense hired as an expert witness (David Fowler) is being sued in Maryland in a case where 3 police officers held down a black teenager until he suffocated.

 

dirtpoorchris

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Of course hes refusing to answer yes or no questions. He would be forced to admit hes a murderer pretty damn quickly. He would have to answer why he ignored his fellow officers requests to reasses the suspect and why he kept his knee there long after life had left Floyd and people were begging him to stop.

If he answers 1 single yes or no question suddenly the prosecution gets to ask him anything they want. So he choses to answer zero questions.
 

Rogue Valley

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In a criminal trial with a police officer as defendant, the defendant only testifies in roughly 5% of such cases.

That Chauvin elected to not testify is no great surprise. It was expected.
 

d0gbreath

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Chauvin telling the judge he plans on invoking the 5th, and he wants the judge to read instructions that his refusing to testify cannot be used as evidence against him:
View attachment 67328726
He didn't have to ask the judge to read the instructions. They all do that like breathing. Even though the judge will instruct the jurors to not hold Chauvin's refusal to take the stand against him, they still do in the back of their minds.
 

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He didn't have to ask the judge to read the instructions. They all do that like breathing. Even though the judge will instruct the jurors to not hold Chauvin's refusal to take the stand against him, they still do in the back of their minds.
The judge gave Chauvin the choice of whether to have those instructions read to the jury or not, and Chauvin had to answer yes or no to having them read.
 

Mr Person

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You understand very little about how this works. Even if you are 100% certain in your own mind of your innocence, you still would not want to take the stand. Same way you should never talk to the police under any circumstances without a lawyer present. Juries may draw inferences from anything you say on the stand by the way a prosecution attorney may artfully frame the questions, and then require only a yes of no answer. A game you should NEVER put yourself into. Same way when being questioned by the police during and investigation. If you take the stand, even if you are 100% innocent, you are putting yourself at risk. Conversely, juries are specifically instructed that they MAY NOT draw any inferences or conclusions about a defendant who does not take the stand.


^^
RE: This, folks,

"Never" is false. There are cases where the only way to put the bare minimum evidence before the jury required for the judge to instruct the jury on your theory of defense is for the defendant to testify. For example, self-defense in a case where either there were no witnesses but D and V, or there were, but they're all for the government and don't testify to anything that supports an instruction on self-defense. Other considerations are how they present. While generally speaking it is true that even innocent defendants probably want to stay seated because even nervousness will likely end up being held against them (the jury thinking it looks like consciousness of guilt), some defendants really do present well and are very good at maintaining themselves.

I could go on. But basically, while you as a defendant should not testify in a strong majority of the cases, there are situations in which it is either advisable or necessary (unless you're just sort of praying for jury nullification, which really just refers to the fact that you can't appeal an acquittal and a jury could conspire to acquit simply because they think the defendant is "hot" or because they don't like the prosecutor's face).




Oh....right...and juries don't always follow instructions. Probably can't follow them completely fully even if they want to, thanks to human nature. You're on trial and a witness mentions that you previously did ten years for exactly the same crime. Because it falls under no exception to prohibition on prior bad act evidence, the judge excludes it at your lawyer's request and forcefully instructs the jury to strike it.

It's worse than asking you to under no circumstances imagine a pink elephant. Even if they all faithfully do not mention it in the jury room, it's still there in their heads.

The real function of cautionary instructions, ladies n' gents, is to protect the conviction on appeal. You see, appellate courts love to ramble on about whether or not the evidence was admissible, but quickly end with "but even if there was error, it did not prejudice the defendant. The judge struck the evidence and forcefully instructed the jury to put it from their minds. He repeated that admonishment in his final instructions". (You'll also note the inherent absurdity: if a juror really did put the evidence from their minds the first time, the repetition of the instruction in final instructions would put it right back in).

Don't testify? That's getting held against you.



I could now launch into a general diatribe about how the criminal courts system is almost entirely bullshit, except for the occasional flash of lightning, and that the appellate courts too often seem to be only about rubber-stamping convictions so we can tell ourselves the defendant had his appeal and we can stop caring about whether this all really adds up to justice.
 
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Court Jester

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"Never" is false. There are cases where the only way to put the bare minimum evidence before the jury required for the judge to instruct the jury on your theory of defense is for the defendant to testify. For example, self-defense in a case where either there were no witnesses

Fair enough, and for some charges like battery you are correct. Since self defense, or the defense of another is in fact required to possibly overcome a prosecutor/DA who failed to consider your right to self defense, then in that case it may be advisable for a defendant to take the stand. But it depends. Because if the defendant is not sympathetic; they have a past history of violence or other crimes, then it may not come across well with the jury. And if it turns out the tactic does not work, and the defendant convicted, then much harder to go back on appeal and change the outcome. Because he took his shot and introduced evidence which may not later be considered on appeal.

So then sure, maybe. If the defendant had no prior record of violence, aggression, or other similar history, and with enough character witnesses, then maybe a good idea. But anything in his past isn't good, he is now opened up to that.
 

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I'm conflicted on this.
While I don't think people should be forced to testify against themselves I think police officers who are supposed to uphold the law should be held to a higher standard.

I can see arguments for both sides on this, it's certainly not as easy a question to answer as some think.
 

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Having the defendent take the stand is like a Hail Mary.
The jurors would definitely give him 110% of their attention more than any of the expert witnesses.
But it is risky as hell. I saw a defendent snap at the prosecutor and revealed a side none of us had seen up to this point.
Have a feeling Chauvin would not do well at all.
 

Court Jester

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Excellent point. Likewise, just to make sure everyone is clear on this, apple pie SOMETIMES CONTAINS apples.

I picked up an "apple pie" at some fancy new store a year ago, but when I got home it had some other non fruit, no sugar/vegan non GMO concoction inside which meant no apples. Just some simulated apple flavor crap. Then I noticed that it didn't actually say a-p-p-l-e pie on the box, it was spelled "APPLEd PIE". What the hell is appled pie? Reminded me of the time I bought something called Krab Salad with 'k' instead of a C, and there was no CRAB meat in it.
 

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You understand very little about how this works. Even if you are 100% certain in your own mind of your innocence, you still would not want to take the stand. Same way you should never talk to the police under any circumstances without a lawyer present. Juries may draw inferences from anything you say on the stand by the way a prosecution attorney may artfully frame the questions, and then require only a yes of no answer. A game you should NEVER put yourself into. Same way when being questioned by the police during and investigation. If you take the stand, even if you are 100% innocent, you are putting yourself at risk. Conversely, juries are specifically instructed that they MAY NOT draw any inferences or conclusions about a defendant who does not take the stand.




I seriously doubt that "everyone" knows that, as many are already assuming his guilt is for certain, and just like you yourself just stated, he is "guilty as sin".

In this trial, the defense has already put this on the threshold of reasonable doubt for at least two of the charges (murder 2 and 3), so why risk having Chauvin on the stand to risk that if he doesn't come off the right way?
Let's be honest. Most prosecutors are not looking for justice, they are looking for a win and a way to advance their careers. How often do you hear about prosecutors withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense team, which is illegal.
 

Grizzly Adams

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I'm conflicted on this.
While I don't think people should be forced to testify against themselves I think police officers who are supposed to uphold the law should be held to a higher standard.

I can see arguments for both sides on this, it's certainly not as easy a question to answer as some think.
A criminal defendant is a criminal defendant. Their job before they were charged is 100% irrelevant as to their constitutional rights as a criminal defendant.
 

AGENT J

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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, on trial for the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, told the judge that he is invoking his Fifth Amendment right to not testify.

I think this is the correct decision on Chauvin's part. The prosecution would eat him alive on the witness stand. I'm sure his attorney (Eric Nelson) advised him to not testify.

Police officers often testify on their behalf in compensatory arbitration hearings, but rarely (perhaps only 5%) in a criminal trial where they are the defendant.


I mean . . i hope nobody out there thought he was going to testify? lol
I never expected he would, hell he was ready to plea earlier why the hell would he testify? so he can mess around and get the death plenty lol
 

Josie

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It's extremely rare for a defendant to testify in murder cases.
 

Court Jester

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Let's be honest. Most prosecutors are not looking for justice, they are looking for a win and a way to advance their careers. How often do you hear about prosecutors withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense team, which is illegal.

I agree, and it is a problem. A problem especially for the accused in the very immediate sense. Since most DAs are elected officials, politics creep into many decisions. The only check to that of course are the voters, but how does that help an accused person who has been overcharged, or who should have never been charged? But it works another way too, being that very bad guilty people are often given plea deals when the DA isn't willing to just let a jury decide. And why? They would rather dispose of a case in a deal rather than lose, often for someone who needs being put away.

Which again, gets us back to what I keep saying, and that is don't give the police/DA/government any invitation into your life. When you are accused, the ONLY friend you will have in the world will be your defense lawyer, nobody else.

NEVER talk to the police.
 

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who cares, when is the trial over and when are they declaring their ruling of guilty? why is there even a trial?
 

Rogue Valley

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Let's be honest. Most prosecutors are not looking for justice, they are looking for a win and a way to advance their careers. How often do you hear about prosecutors withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense team, which is illegal.

Lol. You watch too much TV.
 
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