Former police officer Derek Chauvin appeals conviction for murder of George Floyd

Chauvin will remain in prison even should he successful overturn his state convictions as he must still serve the federal sentence.

Updated: January 18, 2023 - 5:34pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Wednesday appealed his convictions for the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

In June of 2021, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, according to NPR. The three convictions earned him more than 22 years in prison, which he is serving concurrently with a 21-year sentence from a federal judge for violating Floyd's civil rights.

As part of the federal plea deal, he may not appeal that sentence, the outlet noted. Chauvin is solely appealing his state convictions.

During the hearing, Chauvin attorney William Mohrman contended that the high-profile nature of the case rendered Chauvin unable to receive a fair trial in Minneapolis. He asserted that the jurors would face intense pressure to convict him, since the trial was held in Minneapolis, where both the jurors reside and the incident took place.

"Our primary argument here is that this case could not be tried in Minneapolis because of the pretrial publicity which was pervasive ... and also just the physical pressure on the courthouse," he said, NPR reported. Chauvin's trial was the subject of intense media coverage and at the center of lingering racial tensions nationwide.

Former Acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal represented Minnesota and argued that Chauvin's arguments did not merit a new trial.

The three-judge panel that heard the arguments will issue an opinion within 90 days. Chauvin will remain in prison even if he is successful in getting his state convictions overturned, as he must still serve the federal sentence.