The move comes two weeks after Chauvin was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter;in the killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd.
In a document filed to District Court Judge, Peter Cahill, Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson said the ex-officer;was deprived of a fair trial, citing alleged prosecutorial and jury misconduct, errors of law at the trial;and that the verdict was contrary to law.
Nelson also said Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the trial, had abused his discretion when he denied an earlier request for a new trial based on publicity during the proceedings, which Nelson said threatened the fairness of the trial.
“The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial;that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings”.
Nelson also pointed out Cahill’s refusal to “sequester the jury” for the trial or caution them to avoid all media.. He further mentioned the Judge’s refusal to allow a man who was with Floyd at the time of his arrest to testify.
Chauvin’s conviction on April 20, had been;welcomed;by activists as well as US politicians, including President Joe Biden, who said;it was an important step forward in the fight for racial justice in the US.
Floyd’s murder on May 25 last year, was;captured;on camera and led to mass protests across the US and around the world, with thousands taking to the streets to demand an end to police violence against Black people.
Standard motion following conviction
Reports of the request for a new trial for Chauvin triggered angry reactions from the general public.
After news broke, Floyd family lawyer, Ben Crump also tweeted, “No. No. No. Guilty. Guilty.”
However, legal experts have pointed out that requests for a new trial after a conviction is a routine procedure.
In an interview, Mary Moriarty, a former chief public defender in Minneapolis who now teaches at the University of Minnesota Law School, noted the grounds cited;by Chauvin’s lawyers were vague.
She also pointed out that the defence had asked for more time to develop their points on alleged juror misconduct.
“This is a standard motion that defence lawyers would typically make after a conviction in a trial”.
In a separate interview, Mike Brandt, a Minneapolis defense attorney who has been closely following the case also intimated;that a request for a new trial is routine following a guilty verdict and often mirrors issues that will be raised on appeal
“If this request is denied, it can add another layer of decisions for Nelson to appeal”.
Brandt also noted that Nelson will likely file more detailed written arguments on these issues. According to him, the purpose of holding a hearing to impeach the verdict would be to develop a factual record and present evidence that could determine whether the verdict was compromised.
However, Brandt added that he believed;Chauvin’s convictions are unlikely to be overturned.
Chauvin, who was;filmed with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, faces at least 75 years in prison. His sentencing has been set for June.