( Reuters) – An independent autopsy that discovered George Floyd died exclusively from asphyxiation might actually bolster the defense of the former Minneapolis law enforcement officer charged with killing him, legal specialists said.
FILE IMAGE: Terrence Floyd visits the site near where his sibling George was taken in Minneapolis authorities custody and later on died, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. June 1,2020 REUTERS/Eric Miller/File Picture
The autopsy launched on Monday stated Floyd’s death, which triggered nationwide protests, was a murder which he had no underlying medical conditions.
Later Monday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner launched information of its autopsy findings that also said Floyd’s death was a homicide triggered by asphyxiation however that he had possible underlying health conditions and intoxicants in his body that might have been contributing consider his death.
On the surface area, the independent autopsy would appear to boost the prosecution’s case against Derek Chauvin, the policeman who knelt on Floyd’s neck for numerous minutes prior to he died last week.
But legal experts said it might do the opposite by creating confusion in the mind of the jury.
” It will become part of the defense strategy to state they can’t even get the cause of death right,” said Gerald Lefcourt, a criminal defense lawyer.
The independent report was gotten ready for the Floyd household by Dr. Allecia Wilson of the University of Michigan and Dr. Michael Baden, who has dealt with numerous prominent murder cases.
Graphic video footage revealed Chauvin, who is white, pushing his knee into Floyd’s neck. Floyd, a 46- year-old black male, gasped for air and consistently groaned: “Please, I can’t breathe,” while onlookers screamed at cops to let him up.
Chauvin was charged on Friday with third-degree murder and murder. He has been fired from the Minneapolis cops department.
The video reignited a profusion of rage that civil liberties activists stated has actually long simmered in cities throughout the nation over consistent racial bias in the U.S. criminal justice system.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is leading the prosecution, is not obliged to use the independent autopsy or present it as proof at trial.
Dan Alonso, a former chief assistant district lawyer in Manhattan, said the prosecution “would not be doing their job if they ignored it.”
Former district attorneys and defense lawyer informed Reuters that Chauvin faced an extremely hard case offered the strong video proof.
If prosecutors introduce the independent report, the defense could take on the clashing autopsies to produce concerns in the jury’s mind about the cause of death.
SUBMIT PHOTO: A cyclist passes a poster showing previous Minneapolis law enforcement officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd, as protesters march during a rally against the death of Floyd, in Denver, Colorado, U.S., Might 31,2020 REUTERS/Alyson Mcclaran/File Photo
Under U.S. law, district attorneys should prove guilt beyond an affordable doubt.
Introducing the report would also allow the defense team to cross-examine Baden and utilize his long history of operate in celeb trials to cast him as a hired gun, according to defense attorneys.
” This report developed a lot of ammo for a defense group to use in a criminal case or a subsequent civil case,” said Paul Callan, a previous New york city district attorney.
Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Peter Cooney