The names of jurors who convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd should be publicly released alongside other related information, a coalition of media outlets argued Wednesday.
The coalition asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill in a motion to release juror names, profiles and questionnaires, as well as the original verdict forms and list of prospective jurors.
The coalition said court rules, common law and the Constitution call for making that information public.
"As this Court has recognized, our legal system is an open one; and it cannot keep juror identities a secret forever … identification of jurors is a central feature of our criminal justice system …," the motion said.
Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for killing Floyd after kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes in May 2020. He is serving 22½ years in prison.
Cahill on April 23 ordered the information sealed, which is not common in most trials. He cited high interest in the case by the media and the public among other reasons for his decision.
"The Court itself has received unprecedented levels of e-mails and telephone calls about this case," the judge wrote, adding that sealing the information would protect jurors from "unwanted publicity or harassment."
The coalition said it is not aware of any threats or harassment directed at an alternate juror and two jurors who spoke to the media after the trial.
The coalition includes the Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, local TV stations and the Washington Post.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708