What is the Fifth Amendment?

THE defense rested their case on Thursday, April 15 in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.

The defense presented a total of two days of testimony to the prosecution's two weeks.

Read our Derek Chauvin trial live blog for the latest updates

What is the Fifth Amendment?

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution addresses criminal procedure as well as other aspects of the Constitution.

The Fifth Amendment applies to every level of the government, including the federal, state and local levels, in regard to a US citizen or resident of the US.

One provision of the Fifth Amendment requires that felonies be tried only upon indictment by a grand jury.

Another provision, the Double Jeopardy Clause, provides the right of defendants to be tried only once in federal court for the same offense.

The self-incrimination clause provides various protections against self-incrimination, including the right of an individual to not serve as a witness in a criminal case in which they are the defendant.

"Pleading the Fifth" is a colloquial term often used to invoke the self-incrimination clause when witnesses decline to answer questions where the answers might incriminate them.

The Fifth Amendment reads as followed: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia.

"When in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Did Derek Chauvin testified at his murder trial?

As the defense side drew to a close on April 15, Chauvin removed his Covid-19 face mask and informed the judge that he would not testify, saying he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to take the stand.

"Is this your decision not to testify?" Judge Peter Cahill asked Chauvin.

"It is, your honor," Chauvin told the judge.

There was speculation whether Chauvin would testify.

Charges against Chauvin include second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

An expert told the Star Tribune that it was too risky for Chauvin, whose actions were caught on video, to testify.

"Chauvin doesn't come across as a character that you want to root for because of the video," Joseph Daly, emeritus professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, told the Star Tribune.

"[Prosecutors will] take him through every single second of that video and have him testify.

"In cross-examination he'll just get beat up. It'll be horrible for him. The risk is so immense for him to testify."

Floyd's loved ones wanted to see Chauvin take the stand.

" … He won't be able to handle what's thrown at him, because how can you explain that you had your knee on a man's neck for nine minutes? How can you explain that? There's no way to explain. You can't," brother Philonise Floyd told the Star Tribune.

"So it will be a good thing [if he testifies], but I know that's not going to happen."

When is the trial expected to end?

The high profile case is expected to end sometime next week.

Chauvin's decision not to testify has competed the case for both the defense and prosecution's side, which sets up the stage for closing arguments and deliberation Monday, April 19.

The three other fired officers who assisted in Floyd's arrest – J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – are scheduled to be tried in August on charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

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