Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three counts after a brief trial, and I still don’t know if I’m surprised or not.
The reason is, I thought reasonable doubt was clear on the murder charges. But, I’m unsure where I land on a manslaughter charge.
However, it appeared clear that if this jury and judge did their jobs, he should walk out with manslaughter at worst.
I shouldn’t be surprised that justice in cases like these is hard to find in our country today. That’s not because the facts of the case are any harder to grapple with.
No, it’s because the politicization of this case made it impossible to exact proper justice. From the beginning, it was a polarizing issue with many Americans jumping on one side or the other.
That’s not the worst part.
Sacrificing Justice for our Preconceptions
What’s worse is that as new evidence came out, people were not open to changing their minds. They remained entrenched in the position they took a year ago after watching a couple minutes of video.
All the chaos that accompanied this case made it so a jury couldn’t come to an honest verdict.
And in the end, they didn’t.
Rather, the jury kowtowed to the mob of people and media coverage, as well as the threats of violence in their community. The judge who had the ability to protect the jury, didn’t do so.
This is what gave us the guilty verdict: a dereliction of duty stemming from a lack of courage.
And that’s what I fear most. Individuals will make mistakes, but the collusion between politicians, media, and activists to influence this decision worries me. That’s the real issue in this case, and the place where we need to focus our efforts.