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Hypothetical causes tension in Chauvin trial

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Another medical expert blamed George Floyd's death on the way police held him down, as an attorney for Derek Chauvin pressed the witness with hypothetical questions and other means to suggest that Floyd's drug use or heart disease killed him. (April 9)

Video Transcript

ERIC NELSON: Let's take the police out of this, and I'm going to ask you a hypothetical. Let's assume you found Mr. Floyd dead in his residence, no police involvement, no drugs. Right? The only thing you found would be these facts about his heart. What would you conclude to be the cause of death?

LINDSEY THOMAS: In that very narrow set of circumstances, I would probably conclude that the cause of death was his heart disease.

JERRY BLACKWELL: Aren't those questions a lot like asking Mrs. Lincoln.


JERRY BLACKWELL: If we take John Wilkes Booth out of this.

ERIC NELSON: Objection, argumentative.

JERRY BLACKWELL: May I finish? It's an analogy.

- No, it's argumentative.

JERRY BLACKWELL: Does it make any sense to you whatsoever from the standpoint of trying to assess cause and manner of death for Mr. Floyd to be answering questions having to do with hypothetically taking the facts of this case out relating to his subdual, restraint, and neck compression?

ERIC NELSON: Objection, argumentative and leading.


- You can finish the question.

JERRY BLACKWELL: Dr. Thomas, from your standpoint as a forensic pathologist, in your analysis of manner and cause of death, would you ever approach an assessment of manner and cause of death by taking out of it the facts that you found relevant and highly pertinent to assessing and determining the manner and cause of death?