Daniel Medwed Featured in The Washington Post: The Jurors who will Decide Derek Chauvin’s Fate
Two weeks of jury selection in Chauvin’s murder trial recently whittled a pool of more than 300 potential jurors down to 12 with three alternates, one of whom is expected to be released Monday. There is one Black woman, two multiracial women, three White men, three Black men and six White women. Seven are under 40 years old.
The jurors are charged with deciding one of the highest-profile cases in recent memory, set to begin Monday in a downtown courtroom a few miles from where Floyd was filmed facedown on a Minneapolis street. Their decision will reverberate across the country, setting off renewed debates about race, policing and accountability.
Prospective jurors are already loaded with information about what happened, which can make it hard to find people who appear open to hearing the facts in court and changing their minds.
“Unless you’re living under a rock, there’s no one in Minneapolis, and probably no one in the United States, who’s not familiar with George Floyd’s death,” said Daniel S. Medwed, a law professor at Northeastern University. “You want people who have heard of the case but are willing to put aside any preexisting biases or any initial opinions about guilt or innocence.”
But knowledge of the case is not a dealbreaker, experts said. “You’re looking for a fair and impartial jury, not an oblivious jury,” Medwed said.