A small crowd gathered at the Chilmark Library on Tuesday to hear a talk from prominent lawyer, Harvard professor and seasonal Chilmark resident Alan Dershowitz about his new book, Dershowitz on Killing: How the Law Decides Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die.

It was the first time Mr. Dershowitz had given a talk at the library since 2017, a fact he previously claimed was evidence of the institution censoring him over his defense of President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial. Mr. Dershowitz threatened to sue the library over the non-invitation last summer, before sending a letter of apology to the library trustees.

At a meeting last August, the trustees denied the accusation of censorship, instead saying Mr. Dershowitz had put in requests to talk after they already set their summer schedule. The trustees took the apology letter as an application to speak this year.

Attendees arrived early on Tuesday, setting out picnic blankets and lawn chairs to wait in line for an event limited to an audience of 25. The cap was not reached that evening, and no one was turned away.

Library trustee Jane Kaplan introduced the speaker.

“Mr. Dershowitz is a lawyer and former law professor at Harvard Law School where he taught from 1964 to 2013,” she said. “He is known for his work in the U.S. constitutional law and criminal law fields, and over the course of his long career has handled many high-profile cases.”

Mr. Dershowitz then took the podium, speaking first about his connection to the Vineyard.

“I came to the Island in 1969, after receiving a call from a man who said, ‘the senator’s driven off a bridge,’” he said, in reference to Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick car crash that resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Mr. Dershowitz said he served as part of the senator’s legal team, and later spent time on-Island as an advisor on president Bill Clinton’s impeachment case.

“I’ve written 30 of my 52 books on the Vineyard,” he said.

Mr. Dershowitz went on to give a wide-ranging monologue about his legal career, focusing on cases involving the court’s decision over life and death. He emphasized his long advocacy against the death penalty and support for the right to assisted suicide, along with his belief in a constitutional basis for gun control.

The political controversy around Mr. Dershowitz and his claims of being “canceled” by Vineyard society were not raised at the talk.

Strong support for organ donation was a topic of high priority for Mr. Dershowitz, who asked the audience to participate in a “Socratic” exercise on the topic.

“How many of you are not organ donors?” he asked, and then, to each who raised their hand, “How can you justify being buried with your kidneys or buried with your heart and having the worms eat them?”

Mr. Dershowitz succeeded in convincing at least one audience member to consider becoming a donor.

After taking a few questions from the audience, Mr. Dershowitz thanked everyone for coming.

“Now there’s 25 people on the Vineyard who understand that I’m not the way I’m stereotyped,” he said. “And I hope I’ll be invited back to the library in years to come.”