Keep Social Justice Out of the Courtroom


Before I unload some vituperation, let me dole out some nuance.

I think Derek Chauvin was guilty and got what he deserved, even though I think reasonable people can argue about the second-degree murder charge. In other words, I think it’s obvious that he’s guilty of second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder (you can read the different definitions here). I also think he’s guilty of second-degree murder, but I think this is ‘less’ obvious and therefore more debatable. Hence I would not have been outraged if the jury didn’t convict on that count. Therefore while I am happy to debate the merits of this position, I have little patience for the effort to make Chauvin into a martyred victim to mob rule. It may have been wrong on some technical level to convict him of second-degree murder (again, I don’t think so)—I just find manufactured outrage that boils down to, “Our legal system has been corrupted because he was merely guilty of third-degree murder!” to be some weak sauce.

So I’m glad he got convicted. But I’m dismayed by the sound and fury the verdict has elicited among the loudest and the professionally furious.

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