March 9, 2021

Glenn Kirschner got a little ahead of himself when Jonathan Capehart asked him a question about Derek Chauvin's upcoming murder trial for the killing of George Floyd. The topic is grim and emotional, but Kirschner's getting out over his skis provided a moment of unexpected comic relief.

Capehart asked Kirschner for his final thoughts about the upcoming trial, and Kirschner brought up the possibility of the defense lawyer encouraging Chauvin to waive his right to a jury trial.

"The final thought, Jonathan, is here's a dark horse, is that in Minnesota, under the laws of Minnesota, you as a defendant can waive your right to a jury trial," Kirschner explained. "And I bet Chauvin's attorney has been thinking long and hard about whether he would rather have a dispassionate judge who is less likely, in theory, to be swayed by the emotion of the case, and the emotion of this case is considerable, and go with a bench trial instead of a jury trial. I think that's something we'll maybe hear about in the coming days."

Capehart then asked him, "Your gut, what does your gut tell you, Glenn?"

Then, with his whole chest, Glenn said, "GUILTY."

Only that wasn't the question...Capehart clarified, "No, but will he go bench trial or jury trial?"

"Oh, sorry. I kind of jumped to the end result that I think is warranted by the evidence I see as a 30-year career prosecutor, homicide prosecutor, somebody who has prosecuted both cop killers and killer cops," said our man Glenn Kirschner, while everyone else cracked up. But then, of course, he answered the question, saying, "If I were the defense, I would waive my right to a jury trial because I think the emotions will run high, and all of those emotions will be in favor of George Floyd."

It's hard not to appreciate Kirschner's confidence in the evidence warranting a guilty verdict, and we can hope that maybe this case proves to be different than all the others. History, though, has not been on the side of justice and innocent Black people when it comes to police killing them. And as peaceful protesters noted earlier in Capehart's show, given what the city of Minneapolis looks like, with the National Guard deployed and fortified government buildings, it sure seems like they're preparing for Chauvin to be set free.

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