Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz said he was doubtful that the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict was a product of due process and the rule of law. Instead, he pronounced the verdict the result of "outside influences."
''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," Dershowitz said on Tuesday’s edition of ''Spicer & Co.'' on Newsmax TV.
The ''outside influences of Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters,'' he said, was like the ''sword of Damocles hanging over the jury,'' and that they were ''basically saying [indirectly to the jury] if you don't convict on the murder charge and all the charges, the cities will burn, the country will be destroyed.''
Prior to Tuesday's guilty verdict in the Chauvin case, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said at a demonstration in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, ''If nothing does not happen, then we know that we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice.''
She added: ''We’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business,'' as the Los Angeles Times reported.
At a press conference in Minneapolis on Monday, the Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights figure who has been conferring with the Floyd family, called George Floyd's death "a lynching by knee." He added, "America is on trial," said CNN.
Dershowitz previously told Newsmax TV that recent comments made by Waters concerning the Chauvin trial were equivalent to ''putting not only a thumb but an elbow on the scales of justice.''
On Tuesday, Dershowitz said their ''threats and intimidation … seeped into the jury room,'' and ''the judge made a terrible mistake by not sequestering the jury so the judge himself said this case may be reversed on appeal.''
Jurors must have feared for their lives while deliberating the verdict, Dershowitz said.
''The fears, the threats — every juror in that room knew about these threats and when they sit, deliberate, they have to be saying to themselves, consciously or unconsciously, 'If I render a verdict other than a murder verdict, what will the consequences be for me, my family, my friends, my business.' That should never, ever be allowed to seep into a jury room,'' he emphasized.
''I can criticize Waters, I can criticize Sharpton," he said. "These folks took what they did right out of the playbook of the Deep South in the 1920s when prominent public officials would whoop up the crowds in front of the courthouse, demanding conviction of Black people or acquittal of white people.
''Jurors should not be intimidated or influenced by what goes on outside the courtroom,'' Dershowitz said.
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