Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz predicted Monday that Derek Chauvin’s conviction would be overturned on appeal because of the unusual number of “outside influences” that potentially tainted the jury, which was unsequestered for the majority of the trial.
Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murdering George Floyd last May. The jury reached a verdict more quickly than expected, declaring Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
What did Dershowitz say?
Speaking on Newmax TV, Dershowitz declared that Chauvin’s actions were “inexcusable morally,” but called the verdict “very questionable,” citing outside influences.
In fact, Dershowitz said the verdict “should be” overturned on appeal.
“The verdict is very questionable because of the outside influences from people like Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters. Their threats and intimidation and hanging the ‘Sword of Damocles’ over the jury — basically saying that if you don’t convict on the murder charge, or 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 a jury,” Dershowitz explained.
“I think it should be reversed on appeal,” he predicted.
.@AlanDersh says “threats and intimidation and hanging the ‘Sword of Damocles’ over the jury…seeped into the jury… https://t.co/HXKyqh0zaQ
— Newsmax (@Newsmax)1618958100.0
Despite the amount of attention Chauvin’s trial received, the jury was only fully sequestered on Monday when closing arguments took place.
Because the jurors were not sequestered for the duration of the trial and were open to outside voices threatening protest violence, Dershowitz said it would be inconceivable to think the jurors were not consciously or subconsciously weighing the impact their decision would have on society.
“That should never, ever be allowed to seep into a jury room,” Dershowitz said, adding that he has no confidence the verdict was “produced by due process and the rule of law.”
What about an appeal?
Dershowitz predicted Chauvin’s case will ultimately be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, which he said would be Chauvin’s best hope for a conviction reversal.
Citing Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Al Sharpton, Dershowitz said, “These folks took what they did right