Attorney and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz branded CNN and the New Yorker 'the real vigilantes' in the Rittenhouse case for 'convicting' him before the trial.
During an interview with Breitbart's Joel Pollak on the SiriusXM show, Dershowitz said he hoped that the 18-year-old should be acquitted on murder charges for fatally shooting two and wounding a third during unrest in Kenosha last year.
He also blasted left wing media for trying and convicting Rittenhouse in the court of public opinion, while supporters of Rittenhouse confronted Black Lives Matter protestors outside of the courthouse on Tuesday during jury deliberations.
'CNN and some of the other TV stations have become vigilantes,' he said. 'They're the vigilantes, not Rittenhouse. They're the ones who want to put not the thumb, but the elbow on the scale of justice. They want to influence the outcome of this case.'
Eighteen jurors began deliberating Tuesday at the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, after listening to dueling portrayals of him as a 'wannabe soldier' who left his home in Illinois armed and looking for trouble, or a concerned citizen who came under attack while trying to protect property in Kenosha.
As their hushed deliberations began away from public view, protesters descended on the courthouse.
Jurors called time on their deliberations shortly before 6pm, and will resume on Wednesday morning. Five hundred National Guardsmen remain on stand-by near Kenosha, ready to step in if the situation escalates.
Attorney and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz (pictured) branded news outlets as 'the real vigilantes' in the Rittenhouse case for convicting him before the trial
'CNN and some of the other TV stations have become vigilantes,' Dershowitz said. 'They're the vigilantes, not Rittenhouse'
Dershowitz contended that there was no tangible evidence to convict Rittenhouse (left), and compared his situation to that of infamous New York subway vigilante Bernhard Goetz (right), who shot four young black men in 1984, only to be acquitted of murder charges on self-defense grounds. Rittenhouse fatally shot two and wounded a third during unrest in Kenosha last year
Rittenhouse is facing charges of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Dershowitz slammed media outlets for meddling in the case without legal grounds and asserted that Rittenhouse truly believed his life was in danger and acted in self-defense.
'And there are others who are threatening violence if there is anything but convictions in this case, as they threatened violence in previous cases and will in subsequent cases unless something is done about it. It's The New Yorker and CNN that are the vigilantes. They're the ones who are trying to influence justice without regard to evidence or the law,' Dershowitz went on to say.
Dershowitz contended that there was no tangible evidence to convict Rittenhouse, and compared his situation to that of infamous New York subway vigilante Bernhard Goetz, who shot four young black men in 1984, only to be acquitted of murder charges on self-defense grounds.
'He [Rittenhouse] should be acquitted. There shouldn't even be - the jury should not be even able to consider the attempted murder of the guy who admitted on the witness stand he pointed a gun at him before was shot in the shoulder. That is a clear case of self-defense, no doubt about it, and it should never go to the jury,' Dershowitz said.
He added: 'He seems to me to be sincere... Would a 17-year-old involved in the situation he was involved in - surrounded by people, etc - would that person reasonably believe.. reason can be expected in the presence of an unconflicted night? What about in the presence of guns and skateboards.'
Host Joel Pollak also brought up the fact that Rittenhouse had been knocked on the head with a skateboard by one of the fatal victims before the shooting, and Dershowitz agreed that a head injury might have affected Rittenhouse's judgment of the situation.