Commonwealth Policy Center

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts of murder in the death of George Floyd. The 12 member jury took less than a day to find Chauvin guilty on three charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Outside the courthouse hundreds cheered as the verdict was announced. And there may have been a collective sigh heard across the nation from many who feared that a not guilty verdict may have led to more rioting and vandalism. But justice isn’t meted out by fear—even of results that people may be demanding. Nor is justice based on public opinion or strong emotions. Justice has to do with the facts, application of the law, and the rights of the accused to defend themselves. This is our legal system and the Chauvin trial reminds us that it still works today.