While much of the media was focused on the parole hearing for former football player and actor OJ Simpson and his coming release from prison, famed Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz was consulted on CNN about Simpson's acquittal on murder charges in the 1990s. Dershowitz was a member of Simpson’ defense team.

During the CNN discussion moderated by show host and anchor Don Lemon, Dershowitz went head to head with civil rights attorney Areva Martin over the issue of racism and jurisprudence. When Martin said she had been criticized about speaking to the issue of race and racism within the context of Simpson's parole hearing. Dershowitz challenged her and said that there was the “real problem with American justice.”

“The hypocrisy here is that African Americans — there was a huge divide in the country around the verdict, the acquittal, with respect to OJ Simpson,” Martin responded. “And the very same people who are castigating OJ Simpson have stood by people who have done far worse than OJ Simpson.” Martin added, “We know African Americans are disproportionately impacted from everything to how they’re prosecuted to how they’re sentenced. It’s not apples to apples when you talk about black men in the criminal justice system.”

Things became heated after that point. Dershowitz exclaimed, “That’s the problem when I hear Black Lives Matter start to come out in favor of due process for white policeman and everybody, then I’ll take that argument seriously.” Dershowitz added, “I haven’t seen any evidence of that. Today Black Lives Matter, only black lives matter and the due process…”

“Why are we talking about Black Lives Matter?” Martin asked rhetorically. Shouting ensued along with crosstalk for a few more minutes on the show without resolution. 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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