In an unusual move, one of the jurors from the Derek Chauvin trial has voluntarily come forward to talk about the process.
Brandon Mitchell was interviewed in CNN about his experiences throughout the trial.
He said that the jury deliberated for four hours. It might have been quicker, however one juror was uncertain and needed to be convinced of Chauvin’s guilt.
Mr Mitchell said: “It was just dark. It felt like every day was a funeral and watching someone die every day.”
The jury had to go through a lot.
He said they were shown the video of George Floyd’s death five to six times a day. The trial lasted for three weeks.
The decision was made in around four hours, however, Mr Mitchell feels the deliberation could have been much shorter.
“I felt like it should have been 20 minutes.”
He told ABC’s Good Morning America: “The deliberation room was straight forward. There [were] a few hiccups with terminology… there wasn’t too much back and forth,”
One juror wanted further clarifications because of some of the wording used for the charges.
He said: “We deliberated for four hours. We were going over the terminology so we understood exactly what was being asked.
“The one juror that was, I wouldn’t say slowing us down, was being delicate with the process more so… hung up on a few words.”
Despite the hold up, they eventually found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder.
The phrase “guilty, guilty, guilty” was soon trending on social media.
As you might expect, it was a stressful process.
“It was tense every day. I wasn’t nervous, but it was stressful. It was a lot of pressure.”
The jury was made up of six white people, four black people, and two multiracial people.
Mr Mitchell’s interview was unusual as the judge ruled that the names of the jurors shouldn’t be made public for at least six months.
He said he “didn’t see any remorse” from Chauvin.
“Once Dr Tobin was finished with his testimony, I felt like the trial was done. He spoke everything in laymen’s terms, and it made sense,” Mr Mitchell said.
Dr Tobin’s testimony lasted for hours.
He also used graphics and bodycam video that depicted the officers’ positions on Floyd. He used these to explain to jurors the impact those forces had on George Floyd.
Before jury selection began they had to fill out a questionnaire to avoid as much bias as possible.
Mr Mitchell said he wrote on the questionnaire that he wanted to be part of the case because it was likely to be the most ‘historic’ of his lifetime.
He said: ‘We haven’t seen an outcome like this on a case. I really think this is a start and I think it’s a good start.
‘And then, all the attention that it is still getting. Just keeping that magnifying glass there has to spark some kind of change.’
Another potential juror who was on standby told the press last week that she would have convicted Chauvin too if she had been called to serve.
Lisa Christensen sat through the trial, ready to step in. There was one other alternate juror who had been selected.
She agreed with Mitchell and said it was Dr Tobin that sealed her decision.
Lisa told CBS This Morning: ‘I felt he was guilty. I didn’t know if it was going to be guilty on all counts, but I would have said guilty.’
In the UK, jurors are under strict instructions of what they can and can’t talk about.
Jurors are told: “After the trial you must not talk about what happened in the deliberation room, even with family members. You can talk about what happened in the courtroom.”
It’s actually an offence in the UK to discuss what went on. Jurors can find themselves punished with a fine or imprisonment if they tell anyone about any statements, opinions, arguments or votes made by jury members while they are considering the case.
Are you surprised?
Images via Alamy