The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for his part in the death of George Floyd last year began Tuesday. It will continue with jury selection this week — probably. Proceedings may be delayed in connection to a pending appeals court ruling about exactly how Chauvin will be charged: Will a previously removed third-degree murder charge be added, as prosecutors want, back to his current charges of second-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder?
Whatever the answer, this catchall approach to charging Chauvin strikes me as a strategic mistake. Giving the jury so many options can be a source of confusion, making unanimity on any one charge more difficult to achieve.