Attorney and law professor Alan Dershowitz thinks the guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin should be tossed out and wants the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.
“It should be, without a doubt. This was not a juror. This was an advocate,” Dershowitz told Fox News in response to reports that Brandon Mitchell, one of the 12 jurors in the case, may have lied about his participation in a Black Lives Matter protest.
Mitchell has also faced criticism for describing jury duty as an opportunity to “spark some change.”
“If it had not been an anonymous jury, probably people would have disclosed the fact that this was a juror who had a point of view before he heard a single bit of evidence,” Dershowitz continued.
“Why do you think this juror came out now and publicized himself? Because he voted to convict. If he had dared to vote to acquit, he’d never have disclosed himself because he knows he’d be attacked. That’s not the way the jury system should operate in America,” he added.
Chauvin’s attorney filed a motion for a new trial Tuesday and criticized the judge for failing to sequester the jury.
“The Court abused its discretion when it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media, which resulted in jury exposure to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings, as well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors, which violated Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and to a fair trial,” said defense counsel Eric Nelson.
Dershowitz thinks the Supreme Court should “lay down an unqualified rule” to avoid similar issues in future police trials.
“They’re going to have to go through it again because we have the trial of the three other co-defendants. We have the trial nearby of Kim Potter. We’re going to see many of these trials with threats to jurors. That’s why we have to have sequestered jurors in all of these cases,” said Dershowitz, who previously took issue with the decision to keep the trial in Minneapolis.
“That’s why the Supreme Court should take this case and lay down an unqualified rule: sequestered jurors, so that Maxine Waters doesn’t get into the jury room even though she’s not selected as a juror. She was in that jury room telling those jurors that if they vote to acquit or less than murder, there’s going to be hell to pay.”