In conversation with CBS Minnesota, Attorney Joe Tamburino weighed in on the news that Derek Chauvin filed his own intent to appeal without legal counsel, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of the murder of George Floyd, filed September 23, 2021.
In April, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. He is currently serving a prison sentence of 22 and a half years. Chauvin had 90 days from his sentencing to file the intent to appeal. His filing reveals he intends to appeal on 14 grounds. Among them, that his trial was mishandled.
Out of money, Chauvin stated in the filing that he would appear “unrepresented by legal counsel in connection with the appeal.” He further stated that he was denied representation by a public defender and would like the Minnesota Supreme Court to review that denial. Since he has been convicted, the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis will no longer represent him.
Attorney Joe Tamburino stated how unusual it is that Chauvin would not have his trial attorney file the appeal on his behalf. Tamburino further highlighted how unexpected it is that Chauvin requested “pauper status,” was denied. Pauper status would render the former police officer exempt from court costs and filing fees due to his financial status.
“He’s been denied a public defender. He’s in prison. He’s in Oak Park Heights for the next 22-plus years,” Attorney Tamburino briefly told CBS Minnesota the day the appeal was filed. “I don’t know why that was denied.”
Later, in an in-depth interview with CBS Minnesota, Attorney Tamburino asserted that it is highly unusual for someone in Chauvin’s position to be outright denied a public defender. Generally, an incarcerated person would either (a) be required to diminish their financial accounts, including retirement and savings accounts, before they can get a public defender or (b) be granted a public defender whom they must agree to reimburse later.
“A judge has to look at, basically, the totality of his financial circumstances,” Attorney Tamburino said. “Whether or not he has an investment account or an IRA account is one thing, but right now, he’s going to need the assistance of a public defender.”
A partner at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, Attorney Tamburino is known as one of the most effective, knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys in the area. His standout legal analysis of Chauvin’s case on CBS Minnesota has attracted the attention of The New York Times, CBS Nightly News, and other media outlets, as well as resulted in two Emmy nominations.