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Derek Chauvin Is Denied a Public Defender

He filed an appeal in September, listing 14 issues with conviction
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2021 7:20 AM CDT
Updated Oct 7, 2021 10:10 AM CDT
Chauvin Files Appeal, Asks for Public Defender
In this June 25, 2021, image taken from video, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin addresses the court as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over his sentencing.   (Court TV via AP, Pool, File)

(Newser) Update: Derek Chauvin's request to have a public defender assist him with his appeal of George Floyd's murder has been shot down by the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Star Tribune reports Chief Justice Lorie Gildea said Chauvin failed to prove that, as the law requires, he cannot afford one "through any combination of liquid assets and current income." Chauvin's assets and debts weren't specified, but Gildea said that he isn't barred from applying for a public defender in the future, should his situation change. Our original story from Sept. 24 follows:

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Derek Chauvin filed to appeal his conviction and sentence just ahead of the 90-day deadline Thursday. The former Minneapolis police officer, who is now three months into a 22.5-year sentence for the murder of George Floyd, outlines 14 issues with his trial, the Star Tribune reports. He argues that Judge Peter Cahill abused his discretion when he refused requests for a delay to the trial and a change of venue, along with a request for jurors to be sequestered. Chauvin also argues that the judge refused to allow him to strike "clearly biased" jurors for cause, reports the AP.

Chauvin also argues that Cahill was wrong not to force Morries Hall, the man who was with Floyd on the day of his arrest, to testify. Hall invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he was called to testify for the defense. Chauvin also filed a motion asking for the appeals process to be put on hold until the state Supreme Court reviews a decision to deny him a public defender, reports Reuters.

Chauvin said he has no attorney and has no income apart from prison wages. His case was funded by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association’s legal defense fund, but their "obligation to pay for my representation terminated upon my conviction and sentencing," he wrote. The Star Tribune notes that the murder conviction of former Minneapolis officer Mohamed Noor was reversed last week, making Chauvin the only officer in Minnesota convicted of an on-duty murder. (Read more Derek Chauvin stories.)

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