Did you know that defendants in the American justice system often have a different take on their case than the prosecution does?
I know — weird, right? This certainly isn’t the case in, say, China or Cuba. But apparently, one of the most famous (and sycophantic) journalists in the White House press room tuned into the Derek Chauvin trial and was amazed that the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd is actually bothering to put up a defense.
Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for PBS. Even if you don’t follow the White House press corps regularly, you might remember her from President Joe Biden’s first news conference, in which she asked the president about whether “the perception of you that got you elected as a moral, decent man is the reason why a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and entrusting you with unaccompanied minors.”
(Mind you, she hasn’t always been this fawning. Just ask any of former President Donald Trump’s press secretaries.)
Anyway, by all evidence, she doesn’t to have spent much time studying American jurisprudence or the adversarial system of criminal trials, because she was apparently astounded at the closing arguments in the Chauvin case:
Chauvin’s lawyer said it flies in the face of common sense to say Floyd’s death was not caused at least in part by his underlying conditions or drug use.
This argument is in direct contradiction to the prosecution’s case which says believe your eyes, Chauvin’s knee killed Floyd.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 19, 2021
“Chauvin’s lawyer said it flies in the face of common sense to say Floyd’s death was not caused at least in part by his underlying conditions or drug use,” Alcindor tweeted Monday afternoon.
“This argument is in direct contradiction to the prosecution’s case which says believe your eyes, Chauvin’s knee killed Floyd.”
The reaction on Twitter can be best summed up by Daily Wire podcast host Matt Walsh:
Yeah wow so weird that the defense is contradicting the prosecution
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 19, 2021
While that’s the most succinct take on the cluelessness of this tweet, Walsh wasn’t the only conservative blue checkmark to note the weirdness of this tweet:
So prosecutors and defense attorneys have different interpretations of events in a criminal case.
Interesting. That’s some solid analysis there. https://t.co/Lqpmm9pGnq
— Mike Glenn (@mrglenn) April 19, 2021
Is she really confused or outraged that the defense and prosecution might have differing views on a case? How does someone so clueless get a job anywhere? https://t.co/SlumuZA6oJ
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) April 19, 2021
The prosecution and defense have differing views of a legal case?
Dammit, why did I go to law school? I could have learned it all from Twitter. https://t.co/JKHF24CQOa
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) April 19, 2021
Does not seem odd or surprising that the defense case would be in ‘direct contradiction’ to the prosecution case. That’s the way it works. https://t.co/DYS5vWB0Lu
— Byron York (@ByronYork) April 19, 2021
It’s clearly a sign of corruption that the defense attorney has an argument that contradicts the prosecution. I’ve heard it rumored that this happens often. https://t.co/aQ3Xggy5Ze
— tedfrank 💉 (@tedfrank) April 19, 2021
In which Yamiche Alcindor is shocked and appalled to discover the adversarial justice system https://t.co/SDVzbEw5Ef
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 19, 2021
I’ve spoken to a number of lefties over the past couple weeks who seem to believe that the prosecution only speaks unvarnished truth. It’s truly amazing how little they understand about how the world works.
— Fredgiblet 🇺🇸 (@fredgiblet) April 20, 2021
Alcindor’s tweet might be the worst single take on the Chauvin trial by anyone in the media, but it’s worth noting that some actual legal analysts were kind of surprised that Chauvin’s defense counsel was treating this like a trial, too.
Exhibit A, your honor — CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates:
— Laura Coates (@thelauracoates) April 19, 2021
Yes, I thought about this. Given that “reasonable doubt” is the only thing a defendant needs to prove to the jury in a criminal proceeding for a not guilty verdict to be returned, it’s almost like Coates is lambasting Chauvin defense attorney Eric Nelson for trying to do his job. Or perhaps she believes this is a special case where Chauvin ought to have to prove his innocence.
After all, given that so many have been willing to throw our norms out the window over the past year because they don’t get the politically correct results. It was only a matter of time before “innocent until proven guilty” got tossed out the moving vehicle like a spent cigarette.
This is one of the inherent contradictions of the Chauvin trial. The likelihood it would end in acquittal, no matter what the evidence presented may have been, has always been slim. Every prosecution witness could have been dismantled and the former Minneapolis police officer could have gotten Atticus Finch to provide the closing argument. The likelihood was and remains that the case will be decided on the emotions and social pressures that the death of George Floyd engendered.
However, Alcindor, Coates and no shortage of others on the left are openly saying that’s a good thing — provided, of course, those emotions and social pressures lead the jury to convict Chauvin.
Alcindor seemed startled Chauvin’s defense was presenting facts about George Floyd’s numerous underlying conditions as well the drugs in his system. This was in “direct contradiction to the prosecution’s case which says believe your eyes, Chauvin’s knee killed Floyd” — a case that doesn’t rely on the facts so much as it does perception and emotion.
Coates, meanwhile, indicated it was a mark of shame that Chauvin wasn’t trying to prove his innocence, which isn’t the point of a criminal trial.
It’s almost they seem genuinely amazed Chauvin isn’t groveling before the court. That wouldn’t save him or provide catharsis, but at least then the left-bubble Twitter could talk about how it served him right.
It would also go down well for a trial in a country like China or Cuba.
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