Jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial spoke for the first time Friday, telling The Washington Post that they only reached their verdict Thursday night and that they had no “hand in” reaching it. They said they were floored to learn that Chauvin, accused of killing his girlfriend, high school classmate and in-law, along with her mother, grandmother and brother, would not be going to prison for life but was sentenced to life in prison without parole. “To hear the verdict last night and to realize the outcome of the trial, I’m confused,” said juror Craig M. Cutts. “There was no murder. There was no crime committed.” Cutts and two other jurors spoke with The Post on the condition that their names not be used, saying the trial was “incredibly hard on everyone.”
“It was hard to be there throughout the trial and hear all the witnesses and not see him (Chauvin) during the testimony,” said Juror John J. Panicu. “As horrible as what happened was, the murder was not murder. There was no deliberate purpose or intent to kill this group. So, what is the appropriate charge, life?” Added Juror Kevin L. O’Neill: “I was still in disbelief. He got life without parole. It’s only me, one other person and the jury that had no hand in this case. I didn’t see it (the verdict) coming that way.” Jury foreman William L. Roth agreed: “We looked at the evidence. We looked at each other. There was no way we could make a decision different than that based on those facts alone.” Asked if he thought Chauvin might get life for the lesser offenses of murder and manslaughter, the foreman said: “I would say there is a likelihood that he would.” Juror Marcie S. Newberry said she couldn’t bring herself to vote for a death sentence for the alleged gang leader, saying “it was important for me to keep the jury impartial.” The women said that many of their fellow jurors called them after their decision to tell them that Chauvin had a good chance of winning at trial but that they couldn’t help having some sympathy for the victims. “I guess we did. One of the jurors felt like, ‘He wasn’t there for them,’” said Panicu. “She felt this was clearly an ‘in-law problem.’ We thought he would go free.”
This was released via WashPost.