Legal analyst breaks down the Chauvin trial closing arguments

ABC News’ Linsey Davis speaks with ABC News contributor Brian Buckmire about the closing arguments in the Derek Chauvin trial as the jury deliberates.
6:47 | 04/20/21

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Transcript for Legal analyst breaks down the Chauvin trial closing arguments
Help us unpack today's closing arguments in these last few weeks of the trial testimony would bring back ABC news contributor and host of the long crime network. Mr. Bryant but Meyer thanks for joining us again Brian let's start out with the prosecution's closing argument. On day one during opening statements the state played for the jury almost in its entirety that excruciating nine and half minute video. Of George Floyd as he died under the neo Derek children. But they did adding closing arguments why do you think that they made that choice and what was their main message to the jury today. So I think they did and played for the jury because of the video started over saturated and employing it so many times and so often. That I think the fear is that they could be cut of beating a dead horse Sar use the phrase. But that also is a problem they should have anticipated that I think it would have been smarter to may have played reveal little left in the beginning of the trial and we look for the this is the case would have been arguing that the video is why did our showbiz guilty and to not play that in its entirely. For the jury specialist Eric Nelson as saying that is more than nine minutes and 29 seconds I think that with a misstep by the. Prosecution. And the prosecution was certainly very meticulous about walking through each element of the crimes at children's been charged with especially that top count. Of second degree murder does that show really what their ultimate focuses. Yet it shows neither the prosecution is here to get that top count of unintentional more in the second degree. They walk through each and every element as most. Seasoned prosecutors would do what they did a great job of weaving in the facts and also weeding out some of the arguments that Eric Nelson was raising. Showing why some of them were ridiculous strengthening their arguments and showing what each and every elements and each and every charge was made out. And not just settling for lower or lesser included charges. And reduce her this announce presence v.s don't want to play this again this is how the state wrapped its case with this final message. You were told. That mister Floyd died because his heart was to be your testimony. And now haven't seen all the evidence haven't heard all evidence you know the truth. And the truth of the matter is. The reason George wade is dead. Is because mr. show a chart was too small. Regardless of which side you're on you have to admit that was kind of a might drop moment how was that her clothes are and on the issue of the cause of death. Do you think did the state left reasonable doubt that it could have been the drums or heart condition it killed George Floyd. So few things there Lindsay I heard a what attorney Blackwell said in terms of that great analogy as to. Using the heart of George Floyd in time dispelling that argument while talking about the heart or maybe lack thereof of garde Sheldon are hurt but I didn't feel it I would have expected. From Jerry Blackwell to give a more impassioned ending to that. Especially at such a passionate case in terms of the reasonable doubt I think that most if not all doubt it especially reasonable doubt has been pushed aside here. Up for the most part it's going to be the jury walking through the charges in seeing what fits in what doesn't if a fourteen page jury instruction that the court. Gate to the jury in they're gonna have to walk through each and every one of those elements what. Eric Nelson was able to raise some strong arguments the question as Arnold artist who uphold the prosecution's. A large number of witnesses and testimony in this case. And let's turn to the defense now we heard so much about that so called reasonable police officer who may have to have more information of the bystanders can CEO. What the video can show. How well would you say that the defense argued that judge by the standard of reasonableness. Shelburne is not guilty. Not well in my opinion are not quite sure what Eric Nelson was attempting to do what I'm rivers are sold as a public defender in Brooklyn. Item representing a person mr. Smith miss Jane. I don't represent his hypothetical reasonable officer. I thought that was a big problem with Eric Nelson is closing argument he seemed to distance himself from Derek Shelvin. Only talking about Derek schober did what he did in terms of approaching. The vehicle the officers seeing the scene and then moved to this hypothetical reasonable officer never really making the connection between who he was speaking about. What actually. Dare show when did. I think that was a big missed out by Erica Nelson it made it seem very stare out they're not very much like he accepted. What Derek Shelton did and that he accepted that it may not be criminal which is something a defense attorney has to do. And Brian after the jury was sent away defense attorney Aric Nelson filed a motion for mistrial based on comments over the weekend from congresswoman Maxine Waters when asked what people should do if showman is acquitted. This is what she had to say. And we've got to get more yeah. Gotta stay on the street get more active and more confrontational. Were her words there the judge denied the motion for mistrial but indicated that the congressman's statement. Could be an issue on appeal is as a potential problem for the state. I think it could be an issue for appeal. Very unlike you that it will be. If Derek Schobel is convicted the first thing appellate court's gonna look at is just the volume. All of evidence against the defendant that being Derek showbiz. As if it is so much so. That that evidence would have prove his guilt but four or excluding what Maxine water congressman Maxine Waters said there are conservatives to be harmless error. But I think it is a very dangerous for anyone to be stored on that type of language. While the jury is deliberating. Because even if we get a conviction today and that is what many people are hoping for praying for looking for. That could easily be undone and because of the words that occur during the deliberation so if you want this verdict to stick. You've got to be mindful of what you're doing not only in the courtroom outside the court has Erik Nelson of listening and that try to push for a mistrial. And brightest one last question to you may not know the answer to this but how late it are the jurors able soon deliberate until each night. So the jurors are going to be able to deliberate until 7:30 PM central time each night. At that point in time judge Kay hill wolf. Allow them to reassess into their own hotel remember they're gonna be sequestered. Throughout the pendency of this case so they're going to be having long days from about nine here or 9:30 in the morning. All the way until seven or 730. What if we get outvoted later on in that day just tales told us that he's gonna hold that verdict. Into the next day hoping to give us that verdict sometime in the morning so that this CD the state in the country can prepare for that verdict very interesting information thank you so much Brian about my appreciate it.

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

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