Former Chauvin juror talks of life after serving on a jury

Midwest

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse is the first major high-profile case to reach a verdict since former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd seven months ago.

As with that trial, all 12 jurors were kept out of the camera’s view inside the courtroom. The group also shuttled to and from the courthouse in secrecy day after day, but their lives didn’t just change while they served on the jury. They returned home Friday evening after a decision that has divided many communities across the country.

Brandon Mitchell, one of the 12 jurors who found Chauvin guilty of murder, said the pressure of serving on a jury lessens the closer you get to a verdict.

“I actually think the pressure starts to get relieved as you get closer to a decision for the jury. Once you come to that decision, you understand your life path, we can go back to a sense of normalcy,” said Mitchell.

Even though the Chauvin trial was the talk of the country, Mitchell said debates about how the general population felt about the trial didn’t come up.

“It doesn’t get discussed at all in deliberation. Deliberation is pretty much straightforward,” he said.

Following the trial, Mitchell said he was relieved his name wasn’t immediately released because it gave him time to process everything that he’d been through.

“Fortunately, for me, my name wasn’t public right away. So I had time to kind of decompress,” he said. “And the people in my family, they gave me time to decompress because they understood that it was a lot on my shoulders during that time.”

Despite the stress and responsibility, Mitchell said he was not only proud to be a part of a jury, he encourages others to think differently about how jury duty is viewed.

“I wanted to spread awareness to encourage more people to be open to being on a jury to not try to avoid it,” he said. “It’s a duty and it’s a right and it’s something that they should be proud to be on … something that they should be proud to do.”

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