Day: March 30, 2021

Background Briefing: March 30, 2021


In Spite of Damning Testimony, the Derek Chauvin Trial Could End in a Hung Jury

We begin with the second day of testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin accused of murdering George Floyd which featured powerful testimony from the then-17 year-old who recorded Floyd’s last 9 minutes on this earth on her smartphone for all the world to see. David Schultz, Professor of Political Science at Hamline University and the University of Minnesota School of Law joins us to discuss his article at the Minnesota Journal of Law and Inequality, “The $2 Billion-Plus Price of Injustice: A Methodological Map for Police Reform in the George Floyd Era“, joins us. We discuss the difficulty of prosecuting police officers due to state laws and a Supreme Court decision that grants police “qualified immunity”, and the possibility of a hung jury since, while there are 6 African Americans on the jury who may side with the victim, all it takes is for one juror to vote to acquit which will trigger a retrial which are usually hard to win, Chauvin could walk free.


A Case for Why it is More Likely Covid-19 is the Result of a Lab Accident Than a Zoonotic Leap

Then with the WHO now calling for an investigation into the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic might have been the result of a lab accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, we speak with Jonathan Latham, the co-founder and Executive Director of the Bioscience Resource Project and the Editor of Independent Science News. He joins us to explain why he believes a lab accident is a far more likely explanation for how the pandemic began than the widely accepted zoonotic leap theory or the Chinese government’s propagandistic claim that the virus came from imported frozen seafood.


Why the Democrats Want to Ban Dark Money Even Though They Raised More of it in 2020

Then finally we look into a recent report by Open Secrets at the Center for Responsive Politics “Dark Money topped $1 billion in 2020 largely boosting Democrats” and speak with the co-author Anna Massoglia, who is responsible for Open Secrets’ Dark Money data and helped launch the Foreign Lobby Watch project. We discuss the alarm among Republican politicians that their voters approve of the “For the People Act” and why the Democrats revived the “Disclose Act” which is part of HR 1 and want it to pass even though Biden raised more dark money than Trump did in the last election.