Reaction to today’s verdict, a message from Dean Chris Guthrie

With today’s news that the jury voted to convict Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, it is important to acknowledge that the trauma of this case, like so many others, remains with us.

We have had to relive this violent encounter through the horrific video that many of us have seen with our own eyes, knowing that this is just one example of police violence. As law students and lawyers, we can appreciate the complexity and uncertainty that goes into any trial, especially a criminal trial, and especially a high-profile one. But what we saw was a jury that took its responsibilities seriously, that carefully weighed the evidence, that applied the governing law to that evidence, and that delivered a verdict of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Nothing about this verdict diminishes the tragedy of George Floyd’s death. It hurts, and we know it particularly hurts our students of color and especially our Black students. But I hope this verdict inspires us to redouble our efforts as a community, and as a country, to fight for justice and for a better justice system.

Chris Guthrie