Once upon a time, politicians knew that they weren’t supposed to be commenting on the outcome of criminal cases, speaking in any way that might prejudice the jury or inflame public opinion. They most definitely weren’t supposed to be weighing in on what the verdict should be.
That started to break down with Barack Obama who didn’t hold back from commenting on controversial cases when he should have, talking, for example, about how Trayvon Martin could have been his son.
Fast forward to today, where we have Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) declaring that it has to be a guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin or the protesters will have to get “more confrontational.” Then there’s the Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey who said that George Floyd was killed at the hands of the police no matter what the verdict was in the trial, further trying to whip things up, it seemed.
Now, Joe Biden has weighed in. He was slightly more judicious than was Waters or Frey, saying that no matter what happened people should act “peacefully.” He spoke about how he’d spoken to the family of George Floyd.
But then he went over the slide anyway, clearly telegraphing what he thought that “right verdict” should be, especially talking about the Floyd family.
WATCH: Pres. Biden talks about Derek Chauvin trial while the jury is sequestered during deliberations: "I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is—I think it’s overwhelming, in my view."
— ABC News (@ABC) April 20, 2021
“I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is — I think it’s overwhelming, in my view,” Biden declared to reporters. “I wouldn’t say that unless the — the jury was sequestered now and not hearing me say that.”
It’s not just wrong to comment because the jury might hear, it’s wrong to comment in general, especially in such a controversial case and especially when he has such a weighty political platform. He hasn’t been sitting as a juror in the case, and he hasn’t heard all the evidence and arguments. He doesn’t know what the “right verdict” is, that’s up to the jury to determine, not for political pressure to impose. He’s basically undermining a jury decision if they don’t come back with the “right verdict.” How does he, as a lawyer, not get this?
Biden had also previously improperly commented saying that Floyd had been “murdered” while saying how he hoped his death would help bring about change, ABC reported.
Biden also recorded a video for Floyd’s funeral service, addressing Floyd’s daughter Gianna directly in his message.
“Little Gianna — as I said to you when I saw you yesterday, you are so brave. Daddy is looking down and he is so proud of you. And I know you miss that bear hug that only he could give. That pure joy riding on his shoulders so you could touch the sky. The countless hours he spent playing any game you wanted because your smile, your laugh, your love is the only thing that mattered in at the moment. And I know you have a lot of questions that no child should have to ask, questions that too many black children have had to ask for generations. Why? Why is Daddy gone?” Biden said.
So what happens with all the politicians talking about the “right verdict” like this, plus the jurors being doxxed as we have reported.
If you’re a juror, what do you do? Do you have the courage of your convictions and make a decision, based solely on the evidence? Or does concern for your family, your own life and your city, all of which may now be at risk, stop you from doing that duty, because of how politicians and the media have interceded in this case? Imagine the pressure the jury may be under because folks like Biden, who claim they care about norms, just keep blowing them up.
President Joe Biden insists there is a "right verdict" in the Chauvin case:
"I'm praying the verdict is the right verdict. The evidence is overwhelming in my view."
This is deeply irresponsible and will certainly contribute to riots/unrest if the jury returns "not guilty".
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) April 20, 2021
Actually pretty stunned at how anti-justice system this statement is … the only thing he should be saying is that he respects the jury’s decision. Unreal.
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) April 20, 2021
RIP due process. The judge needs to declare a mistrial. https://t.co/owAVZYGypo
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) April 20, 2021
my precious norms. my sweet, precious, big wet beautiful precious norms.
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) April 20, 2021