Criminal defense expert explains pressure on jury in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial

BOSTON — One can only imagine the pressure on the jury in Minnesota as they work to reach a verdict.

The jury in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial is weighing evidence and working to reach a verdict. Criminal defense expert Peter Elikann explained how crucial and difficult their job is going to be.

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“They are supposed to, theoretically, be locked like a laser just on the facts. Nothing outside, no publicity,” Elikann said.

Elikann said the underlying pressure, in this case, is very real. Going into this case, each juror knew how the country reacted to the murder seeing scenes like this fold in cities like Boston.

“I think, in their minds, they may know not just the country, but the entire world is just waiting to see what they do and the effects it will have on people,” Elikann said.

But when they went into the jury room Monday afternoon -- they have to put that all aside including, how it felt when they saw the video evidence in the case.

“Particularly when you see a videotape, you are not supposed to be looking at the video and get caught up in the emotion of it, which is very difficult to do,” Elikann said.

Typically jurors begin by familiarizing themselves with all the evidence in the case and then trying to determine if that evidence meets the burden of each element in the alleged crimes.

“That is all they are supposed to be focused on, [and] is where the elements of the offense met by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt,” Elikann said.

Reaching a verdict usually comes after extensive deliberations.

“Where the discussions go, it’s a free for all,” Elikann said.

While the jury in Minnesota continues to do their work, the city of Boston is bracing for any potential issues.

PREVIOUS: Acting Mayor Kim Janey to announce how city is preparing for Chauvin verdict

Boston 25 caught up with Boston Mayor Kim Janey as she was touring businesses in Roxbury. The mayor said the city and the police department have plans in place, including launching trauma response teams, so everyone has resources.

“I would certainly encourage anyone regardless of what that verdict is to stay engaged in the work even if justice is served. In this case, it does not mean the work is over,” Janey said.