No one could be envious of the position of the jurors in the emotionally-charged trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd.
Citing security concerns, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill issued the order on Friday to seal the names of the jurors for at least six months, according to The Hill.
Given the global visibility of the case, Cahill ordered that the identities of the jurors involved in the decision to charge Chauvin with three counts, including two counts of murder and one of manslaughter, be kept secret given the “incendiary, inflammatory, and [of a] threatening nature” of statements surrounding the case.
“In light of all these considerations,” Cahill wrote, “the court finds that continuing restrictions on public disclosure of the jurors’ identities remain necessary to protect those jurors desiring to remain anonymous from unwanted publicity or harassment.”
The order goes on to list a number of reasons why the judge felt it is important to keep the names of the jurors under wraps, primarily citing the unprecedented level of news coverage that the case received prior to the trial and verdict, and post-verdict coverage.
The names of the alternate jurors, along with questionnaires and profiles of all the jury members, were also ordered to be sealed for six months.
However, Cahill made it clear that if any of the jurors, including the alternates, choose on their own volition to reveal their identity, they have the right to do so.
Alternate juror breaks silence
Alternate juror Lisa Christensen was the first to reveal her identity, providing an exclusive interview about her thoughts on the trial.
Though she wasn’t part of the verdict, she sat in on the entire trial, and said she believed that the prosecution did their job and presented a clear case of Chauvin’s role in Floyd’s death.
“I felt he was guilty. They read the jury instructions to us in the courtroom briefly, but I didn’t know it was going to be guilty on all counts but I would have said guilty,” she told CBS News, adding that Dr. Martin Tobin — seen as the star witness for the prosecution — brought home a guilty verdict in her mind.
“I just felt like the prosecution made a really good, strong argument. Dr. Tobin was the one that really did it for me. He explained everything. I understood it down to where he said this is the moment that he lost his life, really got to me,” Christensen said.
Though it’s unclear whether or not any additional jurors will speak about their experiences during the Chauvin trial, if they do, it will certainly mean an intense 15 minutes of fame as every major network attempts to secure an interview.