(USA Features) Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz suggested that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdicts regarding the death of George Floyd “should be” reversed on appeal because he believes the jurors were unduly influenced by outside pressures including from political leaders.
“What was done to George Floyd by Officer Chauvin was inexcusable, morally. But the verdict is very questionable, because of the outside influences of people like Al Sharpton, and people like Maxine Waters,” he told Newsmax TV following the verdict.
Chauvin was found guilty on Tuesday of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter after jurors deliberated for about ten-and-a-half hours.
“Their threats and intimidation, and hanging the sword of Damocles over the jury, and basically saying if you don’t convict on the murder charge, on all the charges, the cities will burn, the country will be destroyed, seeped into the jury room because the judge made a terrible mistake by not sequestering the jury. So the judge himself said, this case may be reversed on appeal,” Dershowitz continued. And I think it might be reversed on appeal. I think it should be reversed on appeal.”
He went on to suggest that left-leaning legal organizations would be more involved in opposing the outcome under different circumstances.
“I think the American Civil Liberties Union, which would be all over this case if it weren’t a racially-charged case, all Americans who care about due process and liberty should be concerned that the jury verdict may have been influenced by, if not the thumb, maybe even the elbow of the outside pressures, the fears, the threats,” said the renowned law professor.
“Every juror in that room knew about those threats. And when they sit and deliberate, they have to be saying to themselves, consciously or unconsciously, if I were to render a verdict other than a murder verdict, what the consequences will be, for me, and my family, my friends, my business,” he added.
“That should never, ever, bellowed to seep into a jury room. So I have no real confidence that this verdict — which may be correct in some ways — but I have no confidence that this verdict was produced by due process and the rule of law, rather than the influence of the crowd.”