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FINDING AN IMPARTIAL JURY: Attorneys explain difficulty after civil settlement for Floyd family

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Minnesota criminal defense attorney Thomas K. Hagen

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- How much does that announcement of the city of Minneapolis' settlement with George Floyd's family impact a potential juror's ability to be impartial?

Rochester defense attorneys say they understand Derek Chauvin's attorneys' concerns about the timing of the settlement annoucement.

They explain, jury selection involves finding out if any potential jurors have preconceived ideas about the case and if those ideas will impact their judgement. Finding fair jurors with an open mind is now harder according to the local lawyers for a few reasons.

"The overriding problem is that once the news hits that a settlement took place, people believe that's an admission of guilt by Mr. Chauvin. That's not the case. That's the city settling. Once you taint the jury a little bit, it's hard to get it back," said criminal defense attorney Thomas K. Hagen.

"It could cut the other way I expect. Maybe you'll have potential jurors that think Mr. Floyd's family has been made whole," said criminal defense attorney Jim McGeeney. "I don't know what amount of money makes a family whole after losing a loved one. People might think now they've received their money, they've received their justice."

Judge Peter Cahill is expected to make a decision about separate motions to postpone and move the trial by Friday.

Hagen believes moving the trial could help Chauvin's case while McGeeney believes it would be hard to find an impartial jury, regardless of the location.

Alex Tejada

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