Legal analysts at CNN, NBC mocked mercilessly over their hot takes on Derek Chauvin’s defense strategy

Legal analysts at CNN and NBC News were ridiculed online following their hot takes on the closing arguments of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s defense lawyer as his trial for murdering George Floyd wrapped up on Monday.

Specifically, CNN’s Laura Coates and NBC’s Glenn Kirschner, both of whom spent years as federal prosecutors, pointed out that the Chauvin defense team did not argue his innocence to the jury, per se, but rather that the prosecution had failed to prove their allegations of murder and manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard legal threshold for a conviction.

Defense begins the closing by defining reasonable doubt, not with why #DerekChauvin is innocent. Think about that,” Coates tweeted.

Her tweet was immediately set upon by critics, most of whom noted that the defense’s argument was a standard tactic.

“Uh, you’re a “senior legal analyst” and you don’t understand this? The burden of proof is on the prosecution. All the defense has to do is convince one juror of reasonable doubt,” one user responded.

“You understand that the entire premise of our legal system is that the defense is not tasked with proving innocence? I mean that’s the most fundamental point to understand. And your job is to understand it. Yet here you are. Wow,” The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh added.

“Were you absent the day they taught law at law school?” noted Australian columnist Rita Panahi.

Other users joined as well.

Kirschner’s hot take was very similar, and he was also ratioed over his remark as well.

“When you have NO compelling facts/evidence supporting your defense, you start with a long-winded discussion of legal principles like presumption of innocence & proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s how defense attorney Nelson started his closing argument. This is a tell,” he wrote.

“You don’t know how trials go, do you Sparky?” one user responded.

“Another ‘legal analyst’ who’s apparently completely unaware that the burden of proof is on the prosecution,” said another.

Chauvin was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for kneeling on Floyd’s back and neck areas for nearly nine minutes, pinning him to the pavement after he resisted arrest.

“Prosecutors didn’t have to prove Chauvin’s restraint was the sole cause of Floyd’s death, but only that his conduct was a “substantial causal factor.” Chauvin is authorized to use force as a police officer, as long as that force is reasonable,” the Associated Press noted in an explainer.


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Jon Dougherty


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