Celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz rallied to the defense of convicted murderer Derek Chauvin on Wednesday night, insisting that the former police officer should be free on bail as he awaits the appeal of his multiple convictions for killing George Floyd.
At the same time, the one-time associate and lawyer of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein struck a note of sympathy for Chauvin, lamenting that the ex-cop could lose years of his life in prison if he later wins an appeal and his convictions are overturned.
Appearing on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle on Wednesday night, Dershowitz—who is currently advising pro-Trump pillow magnate Mike Lindell as he faces a billion-dollar defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems—first took issue with the White House saying that the “bar for convicting officers is far too high” and reform is still needed.
“We need to apply the same standard to police and ordinary citizens except we have to understand that ordinary citizens have no obligation to risk their lives to prevent an ongoing crime,” he said, adding: “So the rules have to defer and understand and recognize the risks that police take. When it comes to the elements of actual crimes, you can’t bury them. You can’t raise the bar for certain groups of people over other groups of people.”
Host Laura Ingraham then turned to Chauvin, expressing concern that it’s been reported that he’s currently in solitary confinement while also wondering aloud why he’s even in prison.
“Do you think that given what the judge said about an appeal that he probably shouldn’t have even been remanded back into custody?” Ingraham asked, referencing Judge Peter Cahill’s criticism of Rep. Maxine Waters’ protest remarks as potential grounds for appeal.
Acknowledging that “different states have different rules” when it comes to bail for convicted murderers, Dershowitz said that the judge provided “good appellate issues” to the defense.
“He should be released on bail,” Dershowitz declared. “There is no reason why he should be remanded. He’s not going to flee. He wants to have an appeal. He’s not going to endanger anybody. His face is well known.”
The retired Harvard professor then added: “What if his conviction is reversed? Where does he go to get the two years back?”
He would go on to note that solitary confinement has been ruled “cruel and unusual punishment” by many in the international community, stating that Chauvin “should not be in solitary at this point unless he wants it for his own protection.” (Chauvin, who is awaiting a June sentencing date, is being held in the isolation wing “because of fears for his safety,” per a prison spokesperson.)
“And he should be released on bail, like all people released on bail pending appeal, unless they pose a risk or danger of flight,” Dershowitz concluded.