Mitchell Hamline Law School Offers Derek Chauvin Trial Course – WCCO



ST. PAUL, Minnesota (WCCO) – The Derek Chauvin trial this summer has become an educational tool for aspiring lawyers.

A course called Advanced Criminal Law: Cops as Defendants is currently taking place at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

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John Radsan, one of the co-instructors, says the trial presents a unique educational opportunity because it was the first in Minnesota history to be televised.

“It’s easier in the comfort of a classroom to play it, to go back, but we ask ourselves, ‘Do we like how this is going? Should we have asked this question? ‘ Said Radsan.

Radsan, a professor with training as a prosecutor, teaches with Rick Petry, a professor with training on the defense side.

“There are a lot of legal skills that [students] can glean from this case because they had a lot of good lawyers in this courtroom, ”Petry said.

READ MORE: New undeserved trial for Derek Chauvin, prosecutors say

Topics covered and studied in the course include preparing expert witnesses, the merits of bringing Chauvin to the bar, and defense strategy.

“I think the consensus was that the pursuit team did better than Eric Nelson,” Radsan said. “Eric Nelson had a tough business. The criticism I have heard, and which I share, is that I think Nelson pursued too many different theories about what the defense was in this case.

The course is also forward looking. There was a debate on Tuesday over what the students thought Chauvin’s sentence should be and what they predicted it will be.

It was the students who requested the creation of the course.

“How can we not take advantage of this for our law students and give them the opportunity to immerse themselves in all these legal and social questions? Said Pétry.

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Professors say it’s rare to dedicate a class to just one essay.


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