Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz claimed that Kyle Rittenhouse should be acquitted in his murder trial this week, then sue media organizations for smearing him.
Dershowitz appeared on Newsmax on Saturday and said that Rittenhouse, who is on trial for killing two men and wounding a third during riots in Wisconsin last year, should walk free under the “reasonable doubt” standard that he acted in self-defense. The Harvard professor then added that Rittenhouse should take various media organizations to court for spreading “deliberate and willful lies” about him and his trial.
“He should be acquitted,” Dershowitz said. “If I were a juror, I would vote that there was reasonable doubt that he did act in self-defense, and then he’ll bring lawsuits and that’s the way to answer. I’ve sued CNN, the Covington people have sued CNN. You know, the idea is to make the media accountable for deliberate and willful lies, and that is consistent with the First Amendment.”
The Harvard professor and Constitutional scholar tore into the media for its coverage of the Rittenhouse trial, mentioning several outlets by name and accusing them of attempting to abuse the justice system for other reasons.
“The bigger deal is that all of us civil libertarians, all the liberals, all the ACLU-types, The New Yorker, The New York Times, they all attack the judge for simply applying the Constitution. These phony civil libertarians couldn’t care less about due process, about free speech. All they want is due process for me, but not for thee,” Dershowitz said. “They’re taking sides, They’re cheering, they’re rooting. The New Yorker, that trashy magazine, … already dubbed [Rittenhouse], without any evidence, the ‘American Vigilante.’”
“People are picking sides, and they are picking on the judge because the judge has made some fair rulings under the Constitution. If the judge had made, with the same attitude, rulings in favor of the prosecution, the civil libertarians, the liberals, the left, The New York Times would be praising him to the sky. It’s so biased. We don’t have justice out there. We have partisan injustice,” he said.
The jury in Rittenhouse’s trial is expected to begin deliberations after arguments are wrapped up by the prosecutions and his defense. Rittenhouse is facing six total charges: five felonies and one misdemeanor. The felony charges are intentional homicide, reckless homicide, attempted intentional homicide, and two counts of reckless endangerment. The misdemeanor charge is underage possession of a deadly weapon.
The prosecution has ran afoul of the judge in the case, Bruce Schroeder, multiple times throughout the trial. On several occasions, Schroeder stopped the trial and sent the jury out of the courtroom to reprimand Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger during Rittenhouse’s testimony. As The Daily Wire reported:
The judge in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse repeatedly admonished the prosecution on Wednesday – at one point yelling at the lead prosecutor – for risking a “grave constitutional violation” during cross-examination of Rittenhouse.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger ran afoul of Judge Bruce Schroeder multiple times while questioning Rittenhouse. The judge scolded, then exploded, on Binger for commenting on Rittenhouse’s pretrial silence, which risked violating the 18-year-old’s Fifth Amendment rights.
Schroeder stopped the trial and sent the jury into a nearby room minutes after Binger had begun his examination of Rittenhouse.
“The problem is this is a grave constitutional violation for you to talk about the defendant’s silence, and that is, you’re right on the borderline. And you may be over, but it better stop,” Schroeder said. “I can’t think of an initial case on it, but this is not permitted.”