Closing arguments in Derek Chauvin trial begin tomorrow

Minneapolis is on edge as the trial of the former police charged with the murder of George Floyd begins to wind down after two weeks of testimony.
3:53 | 04/18/21

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Transcript for Closing arguments in Derek Chauvin trial begin tomorrow
We'll move to Minneapolis now where closing arguments in the trial of Derek chauvin start tomorrow. He is, of course, accused of murdering George Floyd and this trial is being closely watched by millions. ABC's Reena Roy right there in Minneapolis with a look ahead. Reena, good morning to you. Reporter: Dan, good morning to you. Tomorrow both sides will get one last chance to try and sway the jury in their favor, and jurors could begin deliberating immediately after that. This city here, as you can imagine, has been bracing for what's to come. National Guard members are on standby, and schools here are going remote later this week in anticipation of any protests. The community has been anxiously awaiting an outcome in this closely watched trial, which began three weeks ago. Prosecutors trying to prove it was Derek chauvin's actions that killed George Floyd calling 38 witnesses including Floyd's family, medical experts and law enforcement officials who testified against chauvin saying his knee made it impossible for Floyd to breathe. Meantime, the defense argues Floyd's drug and heart issues ultimately killed him. They need to create reasonable doubt in just 1 of the 12 jurors. Chauvin is facing years in prison if convicted. Eva. Reena Roy for us, thank you. Let's bring in our chief legal analyst Dan Abrams. Dan, thanks so much for being with us. We know this is a highly charged case. How important are these closing arguments? Closing arguments are always one of the most important, and some lawyers would tell you the most important point in a trial. Why? Because they bring together all of the evidence that the jurors have now heard for days and days, witness and witness into one story. They tell you, this is what it means, this is why we were doing all of this, and while that is critical, and it will be critical, the reality is that a number of these jurors will have already made up their minds, so closing arguments will be very important, but let's not overstate it in terms of what kind of impact it will actually have on the jurors. So with all the testimony and evidence presented, what do you think the prosecution's main focus will be during these closing arguments? I think they're going to try and link together the expert witnesses that they called about unreasonableness of the force, the cause of death together with the video. The video is still the critical point for the prosecution's case, and they're going to say, your eyes aren't lying to you, and our experts backed up what you saw on that video. And turning to the defense, all they need to do is have one juror with reasonable doubt and the jury could be hung. Chauvin's attorney will be the last voice these jurors hear before the judge's instructions. What do you think his main focus will be? Yeah, first I should say that if there's a hung jury, there's no question Derek chauvin will be retried so, yes, that's a possibility. It's always an issue in a case like this, but it wouldn't mean that Derek chauvin goes free. I think the defense is going to be focusing on that legal standard of reasonable doubt because, remember, their defense expert on the cause of death and you need Derek chauvin to have been the cause of death for either manslaughter or murder. Even their expert is saying it's uncertain, so they're not saying we can tell you exactly what happened here. They're just hoping the jurors say, well, yeah, I think it might have happened that way, and I think it likely happened that way, but that's not enough. That's not beyond a reasonable doubt, and if the defense is smart, that's where they'll keep their focus. And a lot of eyes will be watching to see how this plays out this week. Dan Abrams, thank you for being with us this morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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