I’m writing this before the Chauvin verdict comes in, because there is a real question, and one that may not even be answerable:
Is it a criminal trial, or is it a political trial – a show trial?
This is one of those points in time where politics penetrates both culture and civics. At least for the actors outside the courtroom, the trial is not about “justice” in a particular case, which is what our criminal court system is supposed to decide in the lower courts, but rather a competition between “friend” and “enemy.”
Chauvin represents a member of the enemy faction, the local police, while George Floyd represents a victim that is part of the friendly faction. It’s a proxy for the greater war. Chauvin must be convicted, not because he did something criminal, but because he’s an enemy, and must be made and example of. The point is to send a message: don’t mess with us.
There is rioting tonight in Minnesota – before any verdict, to support this gambit. I predicted last year there would be riots regardless of any verdict, and that is holding true, even before the jury has decided anything. The riots are a message, first to the jury: look what we do to our enemies. Are you a friend, or an enemy? Second to the enemy: we are coming for you.
It would take a tremendous amount of moral courage for anyone on the jury to push for a not-guilty verdict given that their names and addresses will be “leaked” as soon as the trial is over. You’d have to have a very, very strong set of principles, or at least a strong fear of your creator, to face death for the refusal to convict a man of a crime you doubt he did.
To expect twelve people to all hold that level of faith or principle seems far-fetched indeed.
This situation of course taints the entire process. We won’t know if a guilty verdict is the result of jurors honestly believing Derek Chauvin was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, or if the verdict is the jury declaring their allegiance to the BLM wing of the death cult.
The jury was deliberating today, and will tomorrow (presumably). We don’t know if those deliberations are the jurors weighing the merits of the case, or discussing what’s going to happen to them if they give a certain verdict. Perhaps they are all exceptionally principled individuals and are coordinating how they are going to escape town. Or perhaps they agree they all have to leave town no matter what they decide – I would probably be in that camp.
The point is, it’s reasonable to assume politics has penetrated the veil of court. None of the facts about Floyd’s death or what Chauvin actually did matter at this point to the narrative beyond the courtroom, so it’s reasonable to assume those facts do not matter inside the deliberation room, either.
This is what a show trial looks like. Be ready for more. Stay safe, and keep a few extra mags loaded, folks.