All four defendants in the George Floyd murder case have asked the court for a change of venue due to negative media attention, and many people are wondering “what is venue” and what does it mean to change venue. Listen here to my full analysis on Tamburino Talks Law or see my article below:
Here’s a quick explanation: Venue means where the crime allegedly happened is where the trial will be held. For example, if a liquor store is robbed in Blaine, MN, the robbery trial will happen in Anoka County because Blaine is located in Anoka County. A change of venue is where a court moves the trial from the original county to some other county because the defendant(s) are not likely to receive a fair trial in the original county due to negative pre-trial publicity.
Usually the defense will present evidence to the court such as media studies, polling, and affidavits supporting their contention that the potential jury pool in the original county is prejudiced against the defense because of pre-trial publicity.
Then the prosecutor has an opportunity to present arguments and evidence against the defense’s motion.
Historically, change of venue motions are very hard to win since it’s impossible to prove that most of the potential jurors in a county are biased. But it’s a standard motion to make on many cases that capture local and national media attention.