The mechanics of jury deliberations

Jury chairs sit socially distanced in a court room.
Jury chairs sit spaced out inside of the Hennepin County courtroom on Feb. 19 where former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin's trial will take place.
Via Court TV

Jurors in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial will be sequestered beginning on Monday after closing arguments in the case against the former Minneapolis police officer.

Until this point, the jurors could go home after each day’s testimony, though the judge instructed them to avoid reading or listening to anything related to the trial.

The jurors will stay in hotels while they deliberate on whether Chauvin is guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder or second-degree manslaughter for his role in George Floyd’s death last May.

How do courts ensure that jurors remain impartial? What mechanisms are in place to check that a juror is unbiased? And what happens if jurors can’t all agree on a verdict? 

Friday, host Kerri Miller talked with two legal experts about the jury deliberation process. 

Guests:

  • Sonali Chakravarti is an associate professor of government at Wesleyan University and the  author of “Radical Enfranchisement in the Jury Room and Public Life.

  • Rick Petry is an adjunct law professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and former trial attorney.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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