Kyle Rittenhouse, babyfaced killer, racist vigilante, white supremacist stooge, hero and patriot, Second Amendment champion, or just a scared little boy?
Dry your tears killer, you murdered two men and crippled a third for life — you’re an adult now.
Personally, I hope he goes down for two lifetimes, but I doubt it. Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder seems sympathetic, so I expect the killer will get off, run for mayor, and become a GOP senator.
The opening feints of a prosecution case are always important.
At the pre-trial hearing in September, the judge ruled out character evidence (prior act of violence, flashing white power symbols, and affiliation with the Proud Boys) as unfairly prejudicial.
On the face of it, this is reasonable UNLESS the killer later tries to claim he is a person of ‘good character’. Then the prosecutor can run amok.
More dubious was Shroeder’s pre-trial ruling against video 15 days prior which captured the killer admitting he wanted to kill a Black man he suspected had shoplifted a pharmacy: “Bro, I wish I had my fucking AR, I’d start shooting rounds at them.”
If you follow the rules of evidence, that admission is admissible — not to prove the actual offences — but to establish his state of mind. I just can’t see how this propensity evidence would unfairly prejudices the killer, it would just be a question of weight.
The judge ruled to admit evidence that local law enforcement thanked the killer, gave him water, and expressed their gratitude to the vigilantes. Against the prosecutor’s objections, it was ruled admissible because “it could help explain Rittenhouse’s mindset that night“.
Huh? His mindset AFTER the killings is relevant??
Shroeder, you just excluded evidence that would help explain the killer’s mindset when you ruled out the admissions captured on video outside the pharmacy! Was that bias, judge? Is that what we can smell?
The judge continued to show his hand in favour of the killer by ruling that the prosecution cannot call the people Rittenhouse killed or injured ‘victim‘ yet would allow the defence to call them ‘arsonists’, ‘rioters’ or ‘looters’. He also admonished the prosecutor for going hard at the killer. You know, for like doing his job.
CNN legal analyst Areva Martin, who described the labels ruling as incomprehensible, suggests the judge is “definitely signaling something to these jurors” and appears to be “leaning towards supporting the defense.”
I don’t disagree.
The killer has clearly been taking acting lessons, and notwithstanding what LeBron thinks, those crocodile tears don’t convince anyone except maybe the white judge, the white jury, and the killer’s mommy.
I don’t know if he acted in self-defence, or just lost his shit and panicked. But on the basis of judicial bias alone, real or perceived, this trial is headed for an appeal.
Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done, and from my comfortable armchair on the other side of the world, I’m not seeing any.