Reason Roundup

Derek Chauvin Trial Judge Thinks Maxine Waters Gave the Defense an Option for Appeal

Plus: All American adults are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and Keith Olbermann briefly returns to the spotlight.


Derek Chauvin's legal team moved for a mistrial on Tuesday following questionable behavior by Rep. Maxine Waters (D–Calif.), who urged protesters to "stay in the street" and become "more confrontational" if the former Minneapolis police officer is acquitted for the killing of George Floyd.

Waters had attended a protest over the weekend in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, where 20-year-old Daunte Wright was killed by police. It was not far from the location of Chauvin's trial, which led Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, to argue that Waters was prejudicing the jury in favor of conviction, given that an acquittal might lead to rioting.

Judge Peter Cahill denied the motion but granted that Waters "may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned," according to CNN.

House Republicans are attempting to censure Waters over the matter, but it is very unlikely that the Democratic-controlled legislative body will take such an action.

Closing arguments in the trial wrapped up on Tuesday, and the jury began deliberations afterward. In his summary of the trial, Reason's Jacob Sullum persuasively argued that at the very least, Chauvin should be convicted of second-degree manslaughter, which carries with it a presumptive sentence of four years in prison.

Regardless, jurors should hold Chauvin accountable for his role in Floyd's death, to the extent they believe the evidence supports a conviction. They should not feel obligated to convict because far-left rioters are holding the city hostage. Mob justice isn't justice.


RealClearEducation has released a new survey of the landscape for free speech within the college Greek system. Some findings:

A plurality of all survey respondents feel pressure for their Greek organizations to be kicked off campus. Forty-nine percent (49%) disagreed with the statement, "There is no pressure on my campus for fraternities and sororities to be kicked off campus," while 45% agreed. A majority of fraternity respondents disagreed with the statement (58% vs. 39%), while a minority of sorority respondents disagreed (43% vs. 51%).

Half of all respondents have felt the need to self-censor. Fifty percent (50%) answered "Yes" to the question: "Have you personally ever felt you could not express your opinion on a subject because of how students, a professor, or the administration would respond?"

Among all respondents, 38% say their college's administration would be more likely to "Punish the speaker for making the statement" than "Defend the speaker's right to express their views" (23%) if a controversy over offensive speech were to occur on their campus. A plurality of respondents (39%) were "not sure" how the administration would respond.

More here.


All U.S. adults are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, according to President Joe Biden.

"For months I've been telling Americans to get vaccinated when it's your turn," said Biden. "Well, it's your turn, now."

Half of all eligible Americans have now received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to The New York Times.


  • Former Vice President Walter Mondale has died. He was 93.
  • One America News Network has fired a producer who admitted that he suspects many of the channel's news stories were fake.
  • The American Humanist Association has withdrawn an award they gave to Richard Dawkins in 1996.
  • In case you missed it: Keith Olbermann (remember him?) called me a fascist and vaguely threatened me for daring to suggest that some government-mandated pandemic restrictions could possibly be relaxed.