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09.08.2017. Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School, Alan M. Dershowitz, was recently accused of racism. Writes he (who is not a Trump supporter) in The Latest Anti-Trump Weapon: Accusing Their Critics of "Racism" (italics in original):
In addition to falsely accusing their political enemies of criminal conduct, some extremists, who are determined to see Donald Trump indicted, have come up with a new weapon: accusing those who disagree with them of "racism."
It began when I said in public what every experienced criminal lawyer was thinking in private:
"The second one [grand jury] is important because of where it is. It gives the prosecutor the power to indict in the District of Columbia, which is a district that is heavily Democratic, and would have a jury pool very unfavorable to Trump and the Trump administration. So it gives the prosecutor a tremendous tactical advantage... The District of Columbia is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition which may be very unfavorable to the Trump administration..."
I did not say that the residents of the District of Columbia would be consciously unfair to indicted Trump associates, or that Black juries are more biased than white jurors. I merely observed -- as the Supreme Court, the NAACP, the ACLU and all experienced lawyers have noted -- that life experiences matter in jury selection and deliberation. It matters whether a jury pool is largely comprised of Democrats or Republicans, Blacks or whites, poor or wealthy. If it didn't matter, our legal system would not go to such lengths to assure diversity in jury pools. This is an uncontroversial observation, but nothing is uncontroversial in the divisive political climate in which we live today.
So people who know better have deliberately distorted my point in order to argue that what I observed was racist. It began with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who dilutes the powerful term "racism" by tossing it around as promiscuously as rap singers toss around "motherf***er" Here is what she said:
"What he [Dershowitz] is saying is 'all of those black people are there and they don't like Trump and so he's not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn't be there to begin with.' I don't like that, and I'm surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that. We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist."
No one was particularly surprised, or in any way influenced, by her crying "racist" once again. If I had said the opposite of what I said -- namely that race doesn't matter in jury selection -- she would have called me a racist as well.
Read the entire article at Gatestone Institute.
HonestThinking comments: Professor Dershowitz makes an interesting observation here: If you say that the race of jurors is relevant, you are a racist; if you say that it is irrelevant, then you are also a racist.
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