The fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has filed documents in court indicating that he is appealing his murder sentence and conviction in the death of George Floyd.
The Associated Press report that Chauvin is appealing on fourteen grounds, with one of them being that Judge Peter Cahill abused his discretion when he denied the former police officer’s request to move the trial out of Hennepin County due to pretrial publicity. He also is alleging that the judge abused his discretion when he denied a request to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, as well as when he denied requests to either postpone the trial or grant a new one.
Earlier this year, Chauvin was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison after being convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s 2020 death. This was a far higher sentence than the 12 ½ years after the judge agreed with prosecutors was appropriate prior to sentencing.
Chauvin was also charged with violating Floyd’s civil rights by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes as Floyd was face-down on the ground. He has since pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Chauvin said in his filing that he is out of money and “unrepresented by legal counsel in connection with the appeal.” Attorney Joe Tamburino told CBS News that it’s highly unusual that Chauvin wouldn’t have his trial attorney filing the appeal for him.
“He’s been denied a public defender. He’s in prison … for the next 22-plus years,” Tamburino said. “I don’t know why that was denied.”
Legal experts have previously told Insider that the chances of Chauvin getting his conviction overturned are slim.
“There is no question that Chauvin will appeal,” said Somil Trivedi, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union. “He has every statutory right to, and his lawyer would be sort of wrong not to as a matter of defense ethics and things of that nature. But from what I saw in the trial, I don’t see anything there.”
Mike Lawlor, an associate professor at the University of New Haven who is a nationally recognized expert on criminal-justice reform, said that Chauvin’s conviction will not be overturned unless something unlikely happens, such as a juror expressing bias in an interview.
“If you had one of the jurors give an interview now that says, ‘Look, I had my doubts, but I was afraid what would happen to me if I voted not guilty’?” Lawlor said. “I mean, if you’ve got that, you may not even need an appeal to get a new trial.”
It remains to be seen how Chauvin’s appeal will end up going.