DENVER (CBS4) – Legal expert and Denver’s former chief prosecutor Karen Steinhauser joined CBS4 This Morning to share some insight into the Derek Chauvin murder trial and conviction. He was found guilty on three counts including the death of George Floyd. Depending on your perspective, Steinhauser explains the jury’s deliberation was either extremely quick or slow.
“It’s clear the jury took their time. They had three separate charges with different elements to consider. They had to determine whether the prosecution met the high burden of proof of proving each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Steinhauser went on to explain that in a criminal trial the sole burden is on the prosecution, which in this instance called 45 witnesses and raised issues about what the cause of Floyd’s death was. They had to prove that the defendant Chauvin committed a crime and in the process of that crime caused the death of Floyd.
CBS4’s Britt Moreno asked Steinhauser about the three other officers who will face trial in August and are charged with aiding and abetting the murder of Floyd.
“A jury is going to decide whether this should raise questions about what officers should have done, what could they have done,” she said.
Moreno also asked if a case of this magnitude could instill a change of policing.
“I think the message has to be it doesn’t matter if you are a police officer, it doesn’t matter who you are, your actions have to be accountable and held accountable when those actions are unreasonable or cross a line. Just because you are an officer doesn’t mean you have a pass,” Steinhauser said.
Many people are calling this verdict a new beginning, a thought Steinhauser echoes with a caveat: “Even as this trial is taking place so many things have to change not just about the system of justice. It’s about racism in this country about everything. We have a long way to go to address all the things this case, this murder has brought up” she admits.
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