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Chauvin Juror: Here's Why It Took Us as Long as It Did

Brandon Mitchell says most of the deliberation time was spent going over terminology
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2021 10:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – A juror who cast one of the unanimous votes to convict a white former Minneapolis police officer of killing George Floyd said deliberations were primarily spent trying to convince one person who was uncertain about part of the jury instructions. Brandon Mitchell is the first juror that deliberated in Derek Chauvin's trial to talk publicly about his experience, which he did Wednesday in various media appearances. "I felt like it should have been 20 minutes," Mitchell, 31, said of the deliberations, which led to Chauvin's conviction April 20 on all counts: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Mitchell, who is Black, said that much of the time in deliberations was spent going over terminology and "making sure we understood what exactly was being asked," per the AP.

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"I think the one juror that was kind of—I wouldn't say slowing us down—but was being delicate with the process, more so, was just kind of hung up with a few words in the instructions. They wanted to make sure they got it right," Mitchell said. He told Good Morning America that he didn't think the jury was affected by tensions in Minneapolis or concerns about what effect their verdicts would have. "We weren't watching the news, so we don't know what was going on. We were really just locked in on the case. There was so much stress coming through the case. Those things are so secondary because you're literally, throughout the trial you're watching someone die on a daily basis. That stress alone is enough to take your mind away from whatever's going on outside of the four walls of the courtroom," he said. Mitchell also said he thought Chauvin hurt himself by choosing not to testify "because people were curious on what his thoughts were throughout the entire incident."

(Read more Derek Chauvin stories.)

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