Harvard Law Professor: Rittenhouse 'Should Be Acquitted,' Sue Media for 'Lies'
Alan Dershowitz accuses 'news' outlets of 'vigilante justice' against teen
Famed Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has weighed in on Kyle Rittenhouse's murder trial, declaring that the teen "should be acquitted" and then sue media outlets for smearing him.
Speaking during an appearance on Newsmax, Dershowitz said that Rittenhouse should walk free under the “reasonable doubt” standard because he acted in self-defense.
Rittenhouse is on trial for killing two men and wounding a third during a Black Lives Matter riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.
“If I were a juror, I would vote that there was reasonable doubt [and] that he did act in self-defense,” Dershowitz told Newsmax.
Dershowitz added that Rittenhouse should take various media organizations to court for spreading “deliberate and willful lies” about him and his trial.
The professor also slammed corporate news outlets for articles claiming the teen engaged in “vigilante justice.”
"It’s CNN who is involved in vigilante justice,” he said.
"It’s The New Yorker that’s guilty of vigilante justice."
In 2019, then-Kentucky high school student Nicholas Sandmann filed defamation suits against CNN, The Washington Post, and other outlets following accusations of racism against him.
Sandmann was smeared by the media after a viral video showed an encounter with a Native American activist in Washington, D.C. in January 2019.
Sandmann ended up reaching a settlement with CNN and The Washington Post.
“The idea is to make the media accountable for deliberate and willful lies,” said Dershowitz, referring to Sandmann’s case.
Now, left-leaning media outlets “want an outcome” in the trial, Dershowitz said.
"They want a result, and if they don’t get their results—and you know this seeps through to the jury.
"I worry that the jury could be influenced by the fear that if they vote to acquit, they’ll be called racist and they’ll be attacked.”
Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, in Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020, during protests and rioting that followed a police-involved shooting.
Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty.
According to video footage of the incident, both Huber and Grosskreutz chased Rittenhouse as he was trying to run toward police after shooting Rosenbaum.
Several videos and photos also show Huber hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard, while Grosskreutz, who himself was armed with a handgun, testified last week that he thought Huber was attempting to attack Rittenhouse.
Dershowitz’s remarks come after Judge Bruce Schroeder, the presiding judge in the case, said he may allow the jury to consider several lesser charges in addition to the murder charges that prosecutors brought against Rittenhouse.
On Nov. 12, he told Rittenhouse that with the lesser charges, “you’re raising the risk of conviction, although you’re avoiding the possibility that the jury will end up compromising on the more serious crime.”
“You’re also decreasing the risk that you’ll end up with a second trial because the jury is unable to agree,” he said.
Rittenhouse confirmed that he understood.