CNN Senior Legal Analyst Mocked for Baffling Take on Chauvin Trial
CNN’s senior legal analyst Laura Coates was widely mocked after she advertised her complete misunderstanding of the entire premise upon which our legal system is built while commenting on the Chauvin trial.
In fact, her ignorance was presented as an argument. “Defense begins by defining reasonable doubt, not with why Derek Chauvin is innocent. Think about that” she wrote.
— Laura Coates (@thelauracoates) April 19, 2021
There, of course, isn’t much to think about. Coates’ comment roughly translates to “Legal defense does their job” – she just doesn’t realize it. The standard for criminal defense doesn’t require them to prove innocence, just reasonable doubt.
Her comment was widely mocked:
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) April 19, 2021
Some days I feel like “former inmate” would be less embarrassing than “former federal prosecutor.”
— AngloSaxonTraditionsHat (@Popehat) April 19, 2021
Oh my god. https://t.co/0wMOx3WyEI
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 19, 2021
You are literally CNN's "Senior Legal Analyst" and you actually wrote this tweet. I mean, I think Chauvin is guilty as hell, but how can you hold your position and know a thing about crimlaw and write this tweet? https://t.co/g4RofKqYj3
— Jeff B., who on earth is this guy?? (@EsotericCD) April 19, 2021
Somehow, Coates wasn’t the only legal expert confused by the legal process.
MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner chimed in with a similar take:
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 …
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) April 19, 2021
NBC News legal analyst Barb McQuade parroted the misinformed take too:
I have found that the defense spends more time on presumption of evidence and reasonable doubt when he does not want to focus on the facts of his own case.
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) April 19, 2021
Meanwhile, PBS’ Yamiche Alcindor was bemused that the defense would dare contradict the prosecution.
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
One is left to wonder how it is that someone can be a legal analyst for a major news network and yet make such an obviously bogus legal argument like this. Is it the case that they do know better but know their audience doesn’t, or are they really just clueless?
Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate
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