Rittenhouse and the Perils of Weighing Public Opinion Over Evidence In Prosecutions

The Rittenhouse case is now with the jury. Below is my column in The Hill on the Rittenhouse trial and how the case follows a troubling pattern in high-profile cases where prosecutors rush charges and overcharge cases. This is a textbook case of the perils of weighing public opinion before the evidence in such cases.

Here is the column:

With closing arguments scheduled for Monday in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, the jury will soon get one of the most politically and emotionally charged cases in history. The question, however, is whether the prosecutors practically closed this case before it began in 2020. They followed a long pattern of prosecutors rushing indictments and overcharging defendants in high-profile cases. Even with the court agreeing to a key favorable instruction, the prosecution may have doomed this case by responding to the weight of public opinion rather than to the weight of the evidence.

Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, on Aug. 25, 2020, during rioting in Kenosha, Wis., following a fatal police shooting. He also wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.

The still photos of Rittenhouse walking on a street with an AR-15 rifle strapped to his back triggered widespread outrage. Then-presidential candidate Joe Biden labeled Rittenhouse a “white supremacist” in a tweet showing his photo and demanded to know why then-President Trump did not “disavow white supremacists.”

Prosecutors sought to quell the public outrage by charging Rittenhouse, 17, on Aug. 28. He was charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree attempted intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment. While charged as an adult on the murder counts, he also was charged with possessing a weapon while under the age of 18.

What is most striking about the trial is that, even more than a year later, prosecutors seem to be learning critical details at the same time as the jury. A strikingly different image of the victims and shootings quickly emerged. There also were glaring prosecution blunders, including a potentially case-ending violation of a court order — and long-standing constitutional law — in using Rittenhouse’s post-arrest silence against him.

Judge Bruce Schroeder was criticized for telling prosecutors that, like many judges, he objects to using the term “victim” when the jury has not ruled in the case. The trial seemed to bear out that judgment.

From the outset, Rosenbaum, 36, was portrayed as a menacing, violent actor. A convicted child molester, he was described by various witnesses as threatening Rittenhouse and others and engaging in random violence. At one point, Rosenbaum pushed a burning dumpster into a police cruiser with officers inside. Prosecutors tried to rehabilitate him, with disastrous results. They called Richard McGinnis, a journalist who was next to Rittenhouse when he shot Rosenbaum. One prosecutor confronted McGinnis and declared, “You have no idea what Mr. Rosenbaum was thinking at any point of his life. You have never been inside his head. You never met him before.” McGinnis shrugged and said he “never exchanged words with him, if that’s what your question is.” The prosecutor then pressed further, saying McGinnis had no idea what Rosenbaum was thinking because it “is complete guesswork, isn’t it?” McGinnis dryily responded, “Well, he said, ‘F–k you’ and reached for [Rittenhouse’s] weapon.”

Witnesses described Rosenbaum as brandishing a chain and threatening to kill others.

Prosecutors then asked Rosenbaum’s girlfriend, Kariann Swart, if he had taken medication earlier on the day he was shot. That “opened the door” for the defense to ask Swart what the medication was for, and she revealed that Rosenbaum suffered from bipolar disorder and depression.

Grosskreutz fared little better. He admitted under cross-examination that Rittenhouse did not shoot him when he had his hands up after a confrontation. Instead, he admitted, Rittenhouse shot only after Grosskreutz pointed his own 9mm handgun at Rittenhouse’s head.

The jury heard how Rittenhouse was chased as Huber struck him repeatedly with a skateboard and someone else hit him in the head with a rock.

Even the prosecution’s medical witness proved beneficial to the defense after he admitted forensic evidence would support claims that Rosenbaum was grabbing the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle when he fired.

One prosecution witness, photographer Nathan DeBruin, caused a stir when he accused prosecutors of pressuring him to change his statement on what occurred that night. Assistant District Attorney James Kraus reviewed DeBruin’s account and asked, oddly, “We didn’t ask you to change it?” — to which DeBruin said, “Yes, you did.”

Given the weak prosecution case, it would have been tempting not to put Rittenhouse on the stand. However, the defense clearly believed it had passed the line for a hung jury and wanted to push for an outright acquittal. Rittenhouse described how he spent the day cleaning off graffiti from the high school and how he was asked by a business owner to protect his building. He also described how he brought a medical kit and gave aid to people injured during the rioting.

For those watching the trial, there was a shocking disconnect from prior news coverage and the actual evidence. There was an even greater disconnect with the charges.

It is a familiar pattern. In the Trayvon Martin case, George Zimmerman was charged with first-degree murder; some of us criticized prosecutor Angela Corey for pursuing first-degree murder in a classic self-defense case. With only Zimmerman surviving the encounter and exhibiting injuries from the struggle, a first-degree conviction was extremely unlikely as opposed to a manslaughter conviction — but the lesser charge would not have satisfied many in the public. The result was an acquittal.

Overcharging may please the public, but it can demolish a case. While jurors can convict on “lesser included” offenses, the credibility of the prosecution is established by the lead charge. Jurors tend to start at the top and work their way down on the charges. If the first-degree charge is wildly out of reach, they are more likely to doubt the lesser charges, too.

Even with some lesser included offenses, it will be hard for prosecutors in the Rittenhouse case to make this cat walk backward. They promised the jury that it would see a vigilante rampaging in utter disregard of human life. Instead, the jury saw a much more confusing, chaotic scene in which Rittenhouse was threatened with a gun, hit repeatedly and chased down a street.

On Friday, prosecutors pushed to add lesser charges; the defense waived objections to the consideration of lesser counts on some but not all of the charges. While allowing such consideration, the judge pushed back on considering a lesser charge of second-degree reckless homicide because that would not require proof that the teen exhibited an “utter disregard” for human life.

Prosecutors did win a fight for a “provocation instruction.” Under Wisconsin law, if someone provokes a confrontation, they are then required to exhaust all other options — such as retreating — before using deadly force in self-defense. However, prosecutors agreed (despite media reports to the contrary) that there was no provocation in the mere fact that Rittenhouse appeared in the midst of the protest with his weapon. Moreover, the prosecution’s own witnesses described Rosenbaum and others threatening and chasing Rittenhouse.

Absent a prosecution save, the Rittenhouse case may prove, yet again, how a prosecutor satisfying public outcry can wind up sacrificing a criminal case.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

118 thoughts on “Rittenhouse and the Perils of Weighing Public Opinion Over Evidence In Prosecutions”

  1. Minorities give you reasons to have negative opinions of them (crime, stealing, looting, beatings, murders, stabbings, etc.), but then
    they want to call you a racist and punish you if you express negative opinions of them, as if that is worse than the actual crimes.
    That is pretty much how dictators operate. Dictators will punish you if you express how you feel about them.
    Just like in Iraq, everything that Iraqis said had to pleasing to Saddam Hussein’s ears, and everything that Iraqis wrote
    had to be pleasing to Saddam’s eyes. In politically correct America, everything that white people say and write must
    be pleasing to the eyes and ears of minorities, or else.
    This is where we have come to.
    It never should have gotten this way.
    This is what they do with their political power.

    1. Why do you listen to their reasons?

      The American Founders didn’t.

      Turnout in 1788 was 11.6% by design.

      Voters must have been male, European, 21 with 50 lbs. Sterling/50 acres by state law.

      Immigrants must have been “…free white person(s)….”

      Why did you give your country away?

  2. I’m remind of the nice gentlemen which was giving a group of teenagers a gun safety class. He was waving the gun wildly this way & that, & then the gun went off & he had shoot himself in the foot.

    To his credit he did make a graceful, yet painful exit from the room.

    I’ve made more then a plenty of my own phk ups but at least he had his on video to forever laugh at.

  3. NASA is striving for more diversity and inclusion. “They touched on possible methods, from funding research by scientists from marginalized backgrounds to training the first astronaut with a physical disability”

    https://www.space.com/spaceflight-diversity-nasa-esa

    So rockets made by ‘marginalized’ scientists for disabled minorities.

    Looks like America will be the first country to kill a crippled black man on the Moon.

    1. NASA is striving for more diversity and inclusion
      The Obama administration declared the number one goal for NASA is out reach to Muslims.

      The left tells us their goals

      Vice President Harris is the result. Rinse and repeat.

    1. Young,

      The violent crime soared in my city ever since BLM ANTIFA opened fire on residents, torching buildings, tearing down monuments, with Democrat politicians bending a knee. My fears escalated when I realized I could no longer protect my home and my family. But things changed for me. I started praying the Liturgy of the Hours regularly earlier this year, praying with my family, discussing the Lectionary readings as we cooked breakfast together, and reading something edifying right before bedtime, usually from the Office of the Readings, e.g. St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, St Francis of Assisi, Thomas Merton. It has put life in perspective. We do not use any social media platforms at home, our 55” TV is connected only to my Mac for occasional streaming, and I attend the gym at 4 am daily. These have helped address depression, anxiety and insomnia. So did getting an AR15.

      To health, peace, love, and 5.56 ammo

      😉

      1. Estovir,

        Peace and love and luck to you and your family and buy more ammo. Andrew Branca’s book on the law of self defense is good to have too.

      2. Estovir,

        Didn’t wish to interrupt, yet…

        Insomnia, well it is Full Moon Season & like IE: Deer Rutting Season, stuff can get nutty now, even with the animals, just like Cali year round.

        The word Depression: What a piss poor word for men & women who from time after time are very driven they end up exhausted time & again. Just like I did 2 years ago when I think I had that Fauci/Gates Wuhan Flu to much of other biz. Ask Cindy, she’ll remember I think.

        Regardless No one should go buy a Trackhoe so they can dig a hole to hell faster over that d word.

        Right here before this Thanksgiving Holiday to me seems the prefect time me to do some personal fasting as I Pray to God/Christ/Holy Spirit or some people’s case God the Father. And pray Thanks that in our day & time he has allowed us onto his battlefield at this epic time to fight against evil & Satan.

  4. The cause for impeachment is whatever Congress says it is.

    The cause for nullification of the Constitution is whatever the Supreme Court says it is.

    The cause for a guilty verdict is whatever the jury says it is.

    Just ask OJ Simpson.

  5. JT you are horrible racist for even suggesting such!

    All good, progressive people know that one’s guilt or innocence should not based based on outdated notions such as “facts” or “evidence” but how many intersectionality points one possesses.

    A non-Asian POC (particularly black) – presumed innocent and virtuous. Even if guilty, not really at fault due to possessing victimhood status.

    Antifa – does not really exist. Is only an idea whose conduct is greatly exaggerated by evil, white supremacists. Activities limited to mostly peaceful protesting.

    White (particularly male) – responsible for all oppression, global warming and general hatred.

    Charges or lack thereof to be based upon one’s actions in relations to the above named groups.

    antonio

    1. Racism and being a racist are not prohibited by the Constitution and are, therefore, fully constitutional.

      Please cite the Constitution where racism and being racist (i.e. holding opinions and beliefs on race, and every other subject) are prohibited in the Constitution.

    1. Rittenhouse, a senior student, with superior training, self-control, human interest, and the courage to stand, when the state takes a knee to burning, looting, mayhem, and intimidation of families and residents.

  6. Can someone explain to me why 6 jurors were dismissed and replaced with alternates from a bingo style mixer?

    I was only able to catch a moment of the news this morning, and missed the explanation. Was there a problem with 6 jurors? A problem with one of them? Or is it standard practice to select 12 jurors, and then automatically replace half of them to deliberate? Would appreciate clarification.

    1. My impression from the judge’s sloppy verbiage yesterday: 18 jurors were seated and heard the trial without distinction as to who were alternates. Since a group of 12 jurors decides the verdict, 12 were randomly chosen for deliberations. Those not chosen have to report every day to the Courthouse as alternates, to be available in case a juror is removed for cause or health reasons.

      1. Thanks, Anonymous. That makes sense. Instead of choosing the 12, then, they chose the 6 to dismiss as alternates. Seems like good insurance for such a high profile case, as it would minimize the risk of losing a juror, as you said.

        1. Anonymous is correct. However the story and the picture of Rittenhouse reaching into the tumbler is interesting.

          https://www.cnn.com/us/live-news/kyle-rittenhouse-trial-verdict-watch-11-16-21/h_c08e5f3c0c285a7287ac8fce9190842a

          “All of the jurors’ numbers have been exhibited to the defendant, I believe. They’re paper clipped together now. Please put them in the tumbler and we’ll rotate it and the defendant will draw six of the numbers,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said.

  7. I doubt I’m alone in questioning how a law whose purpose is to impose an age-maturity restriction on firearms possession would carve out an exemption on rifle length that allows an AR-15 but not a shorter-barrel. When was that law last revised? I strongly believe the “well regulated militia” clause implies that mature, leadership-level supervision is coupled to the right to keep and bear arms. Young men with little or no social connection who fantasize the power they can obtain from weapons will always be a problem if we dispense with the benefits of mature adult supervision.

    1. Young men Politicians with little or no social connection who fantasize the power they can obtain from weapons will always be a problem if we dispense with the benefits of mature adult supervision.

      FTFY

    2. There’s nothing wrong with Kyle. You should focus your supposed “concern” on the child molester, the wife beater, and the guy who pointed a gun at Kyle´s head. Seems obvious. While you’re at it make sure to look in the mirror because you have an obvious blind spot.

    3. Pbinca:

      A sawed off shotgun would be barred. However, an AR-15 is just a rifle, which can be used for hunting. An AR-15 has less recoil, and is lighter to carry. It’s easier to shoot than many other rifles I’ve tried. Many families hunt. By banning a teenager from handling a rifle, including the AR-15, it would mean that teens can’t learn how to hunt with their families, or target shoot, or do any of the other lawful activities with firearms, including self defense. Some of my cousins’ kids are competitive shooters and hunters. Some go duck hunting every season. One teen girl stocked the freezer with her first buck. If she’d lived in Wisconsin, and there was a law against even regular rifles, then that entire industry of shooting competitions would be gone. If someone wants to hunt, it is an advantage if they grow up with it, with many hours of practice and instruction from the hunters in their families. Just like hunters in ancient times, before the advent of firearms, passed down knowledge.

      An AR-15 rifle looks militaristic, but it’s not actually a military weapon at all. It’s a semiautomatic rifle with a pistol grip. It is not a fully automatic military weapon at all. The press, politicians, and activists have targeted the AR-15, because it looks particularly scary and militaristic. But a semiautomatic rifle painted pink, with rainbows and unicorns would still shoot just as well.

    4. I strongly believe the “well regulated militia” clause implies that mature, leadership-level supervision is coupled to the right to keep and bear arms.

      Finally, the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training. page 26
      https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf

      What the prosecutor demonstrated yesterday, by pointing the weapon at the jury with his finger on the trigger, was that a young man (Rittenhouse), had far more gun discipline and training than the supposed “mature” prosecutor.

      1. … prosecutor, actor, senior officer, feminist. Whether the life is aborted by firearm, or scalpel, self-defense is a well established, well- defined concept.

      2. In 1790s-speak, “well regulated Militia” needn’t imply every arms-bearer is supervised 100% of the time. Not realistic. Rather, it placed on the shoulders of the Militia Captain the responsibility to confiscate militia weapons from those judged irresponsible….chronic drunks (of which there were many!), the mentally disturbed, and the senile. “Well-regulated” suggests a coupled responsibility and authority over the right to bear arms, in a decentralized manner.

        1. Rather, it placed on the shoulders of the Militia Captain the responsibility to confiscate militia weapons from those judged irresponsible….chronic drunks (of which there were many!), the mentally disturbed, and the senile.

          Well then, in 2021s-speak, I would be calling on Rittenhouse to confiscate that weapon from the prosecutor for being so irresponsible.

          1. Change their name to Politifax!

            “PolitiFact doubles down on widely mocked ‘fact-check’ claiming Rittenhouse’s possession of weapon wasn’t legal”

            ‘Our fact-check remains unchanged,’ a lengthy editor’s note concludes”

            – Fox News

            IOW: no retraction from Politifact

            So much for checking facts

      3. Attorney Robert Barnes pointed out yesterday it’s illegal in Wisconsin for “anyone” to point a weapon at anyone like the prosecutor did.

        Great thing also the Defence didn’t respond. No doubt the jury didn’t like it.

        As with just about everything, “Safety First”, & like with firearms people can stick a piece of large red or orange plastic weedeater string in the chamber to show everyone, including the handler it’s unloaded.

        1. Yes, you got that right, it’s always recommended the handler be unloaded or at least not very loaded. lol;)

          1. “”
            S. Meyer says:
            November 16, 2021 at 6:25 PM

            Oky, watching the prosecutor made one fear that he would pull an Alex Baldwin.””

            This was meant for you;

            I’m reminded of the nice gentlemen which was giving a group of teenagers a gun safety class. He was waving the gun wildly this way & that, & then the gun went off & he had shoot himself in the foot.

            To his credit he did make a graceful, yet painful exit from the room.

            I’ve made more then a plenty of my own phk ups but at least he had his on video to forever laugh at.

      4. Well said Olly, that was my first thought as well. Finger on the trigger, cripes.

        Just to be clear for Pbinca, and any other self-professed and self-congratulated experts out there. Near the top of the gun safety list is:

        “Always treat a gun as if it were loaded.”

        1. Without a doubt. I even went so far when my son got his first Nerf gun to never put his finger on the trigger until he was ready to shoot. This developed good habits for him and it shows in how he handles weapons now.

    5. despite the hysteria in the news, long barrel weapons are used in very few crimes or homicides. It is hard to walk down the street unnoticed to rob a convenience store carrying an AR15.

    6. An AR-15 can have different barrel lengths.

      A “well-regulated militia” and “the people” are two distinct groups. You knew that, though. You didn’t think that the Framers restricted kids from hunting, did you? You didn’t think that the Framers didn’t want everyone possible defending their homesteads on the frontier, did you? It is so painfully obvious that the 2A is not limited to a militia.

      “Young men with little or no social connection who fantasize the power they can obtain from weapons will always be a problem if we dispense with the benefits of mature adult supervision.” Interesting that this has been a problem for half a century, but when a suburban white boy is involved, we hear the preaching.

      1. I think you might have missed my point. No responsible settler parent on the frontier would turn their kid loose with firearms with no training or early supervision. I’m arguing for a form of adult supervision decentralized throughout society, and as essential training for use of firearms by teens.

        That’s much preferable to a heavy-handed state supervision by bureaucrats, which is inconsistent with the 2nd Amendment.

        That’s why I’m hoping gun-rights Americans will consider counter-proposals for inducting young people into firearms, so that
        the crazed ones and gang-members don’t slip through unnoticed.

        As far as Kyle, he seemed reasonably mature for his age, but saw fit to violate the “buddy rule” which had been given to him by the volunteer group. That was a costly error in judgment.

        1. You must have missed the very young kids on King’s Mountain that defeated the British.

          The Commie/Dims/Rinos can shove all that Right’s Grabbing Responsible & Sensible crap up their back sides.

          Americans are either Free with All of Those Rights or they are Slaves!

          Slave states like UK, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Aussies, New Zealand, etc., right now, look, they’re basically Unarmed Failed Slave States.

        2. Look, if some Americans wish to change the God Given Rights that are in the US Constitution that the Govt must yield too us Citizens, the Civil Mechanism is to Spell it out in writing to the Citizens, get them & their Govt Reps endorse it and “Amend the US Constitution”.

          Until then enough with the rest of their “Reasonable” & Sensible” crap where they’re only going to rape/rob us Citizen Stakeholders of Our Ownership Rights deeply buried in the Bureaucracy, page 1534, paragraph 4.. that no one has noticed before…etc..

    7. Rittenhouse did not strive as a hero, but rather to serve as an armed deterrence and offer aid by those affected by the State-sanctioned violence. In fact, Rittenhouse at age 17 outperformed some senior officers, and actors, who lack the self-control, training, and awareness to handle a weapon, including firearms, scalpels, etc.

    8. Pbinca:

      Was Kyle Rittenhouse the problem, though? He was totally non aggressive, even rendering first aid. He only fired upon people physically attacking him.

      Don’t you think that those who attacked him were a problem? Rosenbaum alone seemed mentally disturbed. It makes one wonder again about our mental health system. Not only was he a convicted pedophile, but he allegedly was acting unstable. Why was Rosenbaum out on the streets without mental health supervision? A convicted pedophile attacked a minor. That’s really bad, but I don’t hear most of the media talking about that.

      I’m also curious why you think he had no social connection. He was there to defend his father’s community. He offered water and first aid to protestors who were openly derisive of him. He put out fires. He went looking for his friend because he was worried about him. When he couldn’t find him, he tried to return to the business whose owners asked fo this help. That would indicate that he had more of a social connection than many of the protesters.

      As for the “well regulated militia”, that is not the driving clause. The phrase “the right of the people” was clear, and repeated numerous times in our founding documents. It didn’t say “ the right of the Army or the militia shall not be infringed.” It reads “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Our country threw off British colonialism by everyday ordinary people, farmers, bricklayers, silver smiths, rising up and throwing off tyranny. It wasn’t the Red Coats who helped them. It was regular armed people. This is why the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

      1. I generally support what Kyle R. took on in terms of responsibility that night. Did I say something about Kyle’s social sphere? Where do you get that from, other than jumping to conclusions?

        The Continental Army and its predecessor Militias were organized fighters, with leadership structures. There was remarkably little criminal misconduct, and it was dealt with decisively by their militia leaders.

        We live in a much more individualistic society in these times, but still need to figure out how to prevent hoodlums and sociopaths from wrecking havoc through firearms….and how to do this without restricting responsible gun ownership.

        1. pbinca:

          You said, “Young men with little or no social connection who fantasize the power they can obtain from weapons will always be a problem if we dispense with the benefits of mature adult supervision.”

          Were you making a general statement and not referring to Rittenhouse? I might have misinterpreted your comment.

          As for the militia at the time, the British believed they would wipe them out because theirs was the superior, well trained fighting force, while the militia was inexperienced farmers. At the time of the Revolutionary War, 90% of people were engaged in some aspect of farming. This includes, notably, Thomas Jefferson.

          Granted, the Scotch Highlanders that participated were a tough fighting force, notably Fraser’s Highlanders.

          You are right that the military historically dealt rather harshly, and quickly, with wrongdoing. The British Navy, for example, was rather infamous for stringing someone up by the yardarm after a brief court martial of captains. Modern cities…not so much. People steal with impunity.

          I think most people want to prevent or interfere with criminals using guns, or frankly any weapon against anyone. It is indeed difficult to restrict criminal firearm access, as by definition, they do not obey gun laws.

  8. Politifact, is slow to fact check the Prosecutors statement that the constitutionally right to self defense is nullified by carrying a gun.

    1. Iowan2:

      The prosecutor appeared to be appealing to the jury’s emotion, rather than their reason. That’s why he pointed a gun at them. That act absolutely broke gun safety. Unbelievable stunt. That’s what it was. A stunt. I believe he wanted them to forge the law, their jury instructions, and the facts of the case. He wanted to scare them by pointing a gun at them, so they would condemn someone for having a gun for any reason.

      The defense could have swung a skateboard at their necks, barely missing. He could have brought in 150 people to scream in unison, “Cranium them! Kill them!” He could have scared them so they’d have some incline of how alone it feels to face a mob. But he didn’t. The facts are on his side.

  9. I think there should be class action lawsuits against the media by people who live in areas impacted by riots. Almost nothing they reported on these use of force cases were true.

    The false propaganda has risen to such extremes that it taints juries and causes riots. That’s reprehensible and dishonorable.

    If you suffered injury or property damage because of the false “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative, sue the media.

    If Kyle Rittenhouse beats all or some of the charges, and there’s a riot, sue the media for their false reporting.

    Anyone falsely accused of being a white supremacist in the media should sue. Rittenhouse’s attorney’s next step should be coordinating with Nick Sandmann’s attorneys.

    This is why so many people don’t trust the media anymore. There needs to be significant consequences for this kind of slander and libel, because the media could care less about our complaints.

  10. When people wonder why a 17 year old would even want to arm himself to protect his Dad’s community from anarchy, remember this – the minimum age to join the military is 17.

    Teenagers join the military, and take up arms to defend others every day. One of my grandfathers lied about his age and joined the Army at age 16. Our entire military is age weighted heavily towards teenagers and those in their early twenties. That’s who goes to war generation after generation.

    Politicians in deep blue states told police to stand down and do nothing as Leftist rioters destroyed cities, looting and burning. That will drive out jobs and businesses, and crater property values, for generations. When the government does not provide law and order, residents are left to their own devices to protect themselves and their community. If they don’t particularly want their community to suffer generational devastation from riots, then they have to stop the rioters.

    That’s when a 17 year old earnest young man thinks he can help and save his Dad’s neighborhood from being destroyed. He never should have been in that position in the first place. The reality is that Democrat politicians’ decisions led to people having to mount their own defense, and this kid heeded that call.

    Leftist domestic terrorism works. Democrat politicians held police back to allow Leftists to riot with impunity over and over again. When citizens like the McCloskeys defied those rioters, they were punished. Defending himself from rioters trying to assault him, got Kyle Rittenhouse arrested and facing the possibility of life in prison. In order to appease domestic terrorists threatening to burn down major cities, the prosecutor over charged an apparently innocent man. Now we’ve got the National Guard stationed, to deal with domestic terrorists rioting in case they don’t get the verdict they want. The terrorists are sending a direct message and threat to jurors, which could not be missed.

    What we are seeing is not justice. It’s a mob mentality, whipped up by a dishonest media, which operates as a Democrat propaganda machine.

    Where is the accountability for the media? Nothing they said was true. They still are trying to craft public opinion, as headlines read Grosskreutz feared for his life. The truth was Rittenhouse did not shoot him while his hands were up, and only did so when he pointed a loaded gun at his head.

    The media is partially responsible for these riots that have caused billions of dollars in damage to American cities, with blatantly false reporting. Shame on them.

    1. By and large, journalists have a very shallow code of ethics. If it bleeds, it leads. Journalists salivate over riots following a verdict, and freely promulgate their wishes in the form of advance predictions. They feel no sense of responsibility for the expectations they set to pen or voice being carried out.

      1. Pbinca, I completely agree with you. There is no ethics anymore among journalists.

        It’s like Wag the Dog. Slow news cycle? Then foment a riot or national unrest over allegations of systemic racism so they have something to report on.

        They might not feel a sense of responsibility, but I wish to God they would be held responsible through lawsuits and a mass exit of viewership. We’re being managed like sheep.

  11. “Even with the court agreeing to a key favorable instruction, the prosecution may have doomed this case by responding to the weight of public opinion rather than to the weight of the evidence.”
    ***************************
    Which, of course, is precisely what prosecutors swear they will never do. Here’s what they (and every other lawyer) swore to do:

    “Wisconsin

    I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Wisconsin;

    I will maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers;

    I will not counsel or maintain any suit or proceeding which shall appear to me to be unjust, or any defense,
    except such as I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land;

    I will employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me, such means only as are consistent
    with truth and honor, and will never seek to mislead the judge or jury by any artifice or false statement of
    fact or law;

    I will maintain the confidence and preserve inviolate the secrets of my client and will accept no
    compensation in connection with my client’s business except from my client or with my client’s knowledge
    and approval;

    I will abstain from all offensive personality and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a
    party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged;

    I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, or
    delay any person’s cause for lucre or malice. So help me God.”

    https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.inbar.org/resource/resmgr/litigation/Oaths.pdf

  12. Zimmerman wasn’t a classic self defense case he was playing wannabe cop, picked a fight with his mouth that he couldn’t back up and ended up blowing away a 16 year old boy because he was getting his a$$ kicked. If he had followed police dispatch instructions he’d never had to murder a young man. He got away with it because we’ve become a spineless generation of gun clutching cowards talking tough then murdering people with guns after starting fights we can’t handle. Everyone’s doing it. Cops. Citizens. Criminals. Everyone. Blam blam I gotcha!! That’s the braindead Idiocracy we’ve devolved into. And Rittenhouse would never had to blow away people he didn’t know, then sir in court blubbering like the big chickensh$$ baby he is if he’d had stayed home and minded his own business. This wasn’t him go ping to protect any thing. This wasn’t some sense of civic duty. This was conservatives arming themselves to go shoot liberals. Liberals who were out trashing burning and looting who needed to be arrested and locked up by police not gunned down by the opposition party.

    Men like you who know better are making excuses for it because like everyone else you’re just placating to your own political party. Seeing one side and selling half truths, just like the other side, until hopeless stooges like Rittenhouse too young and stupid to know better end up murdering people when they could have been home studying for college or leaning a trade. You know,…work. that thing men used to do before they all became wannabe homegrown Rambo.

    You keep feeding it, fueling the division, pushing the guns, …setting up these asanine skirmishes and then playing innocent after blood has been spilled.

    Honestly I wish you pu$$ies talking about civil war would just do it. I really do. Then when the country descends into the inevitable anarchy that is unavoidable in a modern U S of indistinguishable battle lines and demarcation points, Russia and China can move in as they most assuredly will, to “stabilize our rogue nation and secure the nukes”…, and install an interim government and hopefully then at some point some idiot at NORAD will turn his key so to speak, and let the nukes fly once and for all.

    Then maybe some more intelligent, worthwhile lifeforms can take over this planet we’re infesting with our willing ignorance and infantile hate.

    Like the cockroach.

    1. “Then maybe some more intelligent, worthwhile lifeforms can take over this planet we’re infesting with our willing ignorance and infantile hate.”
      **********************
      You know that self-loathing is a sign of a mental disorder. Wonder what same-species loathing is?

      1. Judging by the slime and garbage starting to accumulate st the base of my comment one world think the cockroaches have already taken over.

        But that’s what we have left that passes for men in this country. Cowards and big mouths hiding behind cartoon pictures and fake names, desperately trying to justify their pathetic grub like existence.

        Like the cowardly messpot who likes to play tough guy from his safe spot, but when called on his big boast to produce his real information shrivels up like the worm he is, and hides….then nibbles at my heels whenever I post thinking I give two sh$ts what a low life lying little coward like himself, thinks. He’s not even in my atmosphere.

        The reason grubs like him think babies like Rittenhouse are good men, is because they don’t know what a good man looks like.

        They don’t even know what a man looks like anymore. They likely never saw one.

        So overweight babies and cowards with guns dressing up in foilage camouflage to walk around a concrete city carrying military style looking weapons to them equal a man.

        A hero even, judging by their comments in here praising the little runt.

        Which is why the cockroach has become a more noble creature than the stuff of this spoiled lazy nation of nimrods. This, “Band of boneheads”

        .They should sicken themselves the way they sicken me. But they’re too busy praising themselves online to notice their own smell.

        1. You’re the silly “tough guy” behind the keyboard you claim to despise. Reading your projecting posts is quite amusing. You should show these to your therapist and ask for your money back.

        2. “Judging by the slime and garbage starting to accumulate st the base of my comment one world think the cockroaches have already taken over.”
          *********************************
          It was already there just after you finished typing your “comment.”

    2. Chris, not everyone is as lucky as you sitting on top of a tree while the left is rioting 100 feet below.

      Next time you climb down from your tree take note of how the left has been abusing the law. Take note how Antifa and BLM are rioting, burning, looting and killing. You have set yourself apart from the inhumanity coming from the left ,making your words sound like the words of the uninformed.

    3. Chris,

      You obviously didn’t watch the Zimmerman trial as I did.

      You achieved the remarkable feat of getting everything wrong.

      Do you work for NBC?

    4. Chris Webber

      Are you off your meds?

      You sound like a fellow thinking about a rifle and a bell tower.

    5. Chris:

      Zimmerman dreamed of being a cop. He trailed Martin, while on the phone with 911. He did not menace him or threaten him. He was basically a nosy neighborhood watchman who followed him from a distance. Martin told his girlfriend that Zimmerman was watching him. Martin then turned around and accosted Zimmerman. According to his girlfriend, who was on the phone with him at the time, he asked Zimmerman why he was following him. She heard Zimmerman answer, asking what he was doing there. Then she heard the fight.

      Trayvon Martin was the one who attacked Zimmerman. He was in the act of bashing Zimmerman’s head into a curb, when Zimmerman shot him. Trayvon Martin could have caused Zimmerman permanent brain damage, paralysis, or death. Getting your head bashed into concrete triggers self defense.

      Zimmerman did not brandish his weapon. He only pulled it when he was in the act of getting potentially murdered.

      When the 911 operator told him to stop following him, he did, but at that point Martin turned around and attacked him. Trayvon was just walking when Zimmerman trailed him. He wasn’t running. He wasn’t trying to escape and felt cornered. He didn’t like the neighborhood watch eyeing him, so he assaulted him. The problem was his victim was armed.

      Whether Zimmerman was a great person or not, is immaterial. The punishment for following someone at a distance to see what they’re doing is not death. If it were, then little old ladies would be murdered for peering at what people are doing all the time.

      The reason you feel the way you do about Zimmerman isn’t really your fault. You ingested the media’s account, which gave false reporting in order to craft public opinion that Zimmerman was a white supremacist who attacked a little black kid. They even broadcast photos of Martin 10 years old, rather than recent ones with his gold grille, posting gangster life comments. Zimmerman was actually Latino, but that didn’t stop the accusations of white supremacy that went all the way to the White House. In order to be a savior, Democrats need there to be rampant racism. When that’s not the reality, they just made it up. Almost nothing the media said was true. This leads to people like you honestly feeling that Zimmerman attacked Martin.

      “Gun clutching cowards”? We shoot rattlers out here every year. They are so big it takes several whacks with a shovel after they are dead to separate the head, which must be disposed of carefully to avoid getting envenomated. It’s cruel to kill a snake with a shovel, as it takes several strikes, and the head will live for at least 20 minutes. That must be painful and terrifying for the creature. A gun dispatches it instantly.

      My father stopped a night time break in without saying a word. He just chambered a round. There was a pause, and then we heard from the other side of the door, “I’m very sorry, and I’ll be going now.”

      I’ve been robbed while I was home. I’ve had a very serious stalker years ago. I’ve had a run in with a mountain lion. A gun is quite literally the only chance a woman has against a strong man. The cops are never going to get there in time. You have to call 911, explain what’s wrong, the operator has to dispatch units, they have to drive to you, assess the situation, gain entry, and engage. That’s an eternity when someone who wants you dead is breaking in. You have maybe seconds. The cops will hopefully solve the crime, but it will be too late to save you.

      We live in a rural area where police response time was always slow. Due to the defunding of police, we were informed that response time will be at least 45 minutes. We’re on our own.

      It’s so easy for people who enjoy taxpayer funded armed security, or for those who’ve never been threatened, to disdain those who defend the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. You should consider trying to understand their point of view.

      Being armed and trained is just being responsible and self reliant. People unable to defend themselves against murderers die.

      1. Karen: “Zimmerman dreamed of being a cop.”

        +++

        The testimony from his favorite criminal justice instructor [who is black] and who liked him was that Zimmerman wanted to be a prosecutor.

        That caused an amusing stir in the courtroom.

        The media and the prosecutors kept saying he was ” a wannabe cop” but the truth was that he was “a wannabe prosecutor.”

        It was a Soviet style political trial but almost all of the state’s witnesses sounded like defense witnesses.

    6. I figured this one would hit too close to home for the chestbeating crowd, and it did. Truth stings so much worse than the swill they’re used to, which is obvious by the crap around my comment trying to draw me into one of their all day trolling insult-fests with the usual cue card one liners these grubworms toss back and forth all day; “you’re off your meds, …you need a therapist, …blah blah blah” along with long winded diatribes trying to explain away their cowardice as if I’d bother to read any of it. the really funny ones are from ones who like to talk “tough” to me, as if I don’t own guns myself or know how to defend myself or care about their long winded diatribes about their need for guns. Owning a gun, and needing one, are two different things. But this generation of self professed heroes and patriots will never get it. Somewhere their parents didn’t instill in them a sense of decency, self respect or anything remotely resembling honor. Just fear, hate and loathing.

      I unsubscribe from these comments when the cesspool starts to fill up my inbox with their rabid foaming at the mouth bile, and get on with my day, like I am doing right now. I don’t read em further, and I don’t come back when I get home from work to see what some bottomfeeding troll thinks about me.

      So have a nice time writing to yourselves about how awful I am for speaking a little truth in this calliope of clowns.

      I won’t read it, no matter how much you tell yourselves I will. I won’t, but you keep telling yourselves I will.

      1. “I unsubscribe from these comments when the cesspool starts to fill up my inbox with their rabid foaming at the mouth bile, and get on with my day, like I am doing right now. I don’t read em further, and I don’t come back when I get home from work to see what some bottomfeeding troll thinks about me.

        So have a nice time writing to yourselves about how awful I am for speaking a little truth in this calliope of clowns.

        I won’t read it, no matter how much you tell yourselves I will. I won’t, but you keep telling yourselves I will.”
        ***********************
        This Chris Weber is a real charmer with a really bad purple prose style. Emotional, verbose, haughty — about everything most folks despise about the Left. He’s their poster child alright — and not-so-coincidentally a poster child for Dunning-Kruger, too. It’s a Daily Double! Oh and he’ll read every one of the comments. His boundless ego dictates that.

        1. Hey Mespo,
          (OT) Did you see the RealClearPolitics article about Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei?
          This line really says the quiet part out loud, “He also said President Trump, whose tweets he compared to nightly messages from Mao Zedong, was not an authoritarian. He said: “If you are authoritarian, you have to have a system supporting you. You cannot just be an authoritarian by yourself.”

          Link: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2021/11/15/ai_weiwei_in_many_ways_the_united_states_is_already_an_authoritarian_state.html

      2. Chris Webber–thanks for your humorous contributions! You must be the third brother to Alec Baldwin and Keith Olbermann. Just need to get some big boy pants now.

      3. Chris, you seem to have the top of a tree stuck up your a$$, so I understand your bad manners to mostly those who have been decent towards you. If you don’t like your job, find another one.

  13. The prosecutor will go to Hell in a handbasket when he croaks. At the Pearly Gates St. Peter will hold up the rifle ands ask: What are the dimensions?

  14. Kyle did nothing wrong…not a thing. The jury will find the killings were justified by self defense. The prosecution and the media should be on trial.

  15. Why do you think the fact that one of the victims was a convicted child molester is relevant to the case or your article? The victim was not molesting children at the time of the incident, and there is no indication anyone involved knew who he was his history was. He had done his time for whatever crime he had done. So it seems like a fact you have thrown in this article to make the victim seem like a perpetrator. Same thing they did to George Floyd.

    1. It doesn’t matter that Rosenbaum stuck his private parts into the bodies of 5 children under the age of 10. It also doesn’t matter that George Floyd pointed a loaded gun at the belly of a pregnant mother after invading her house and robbing her. It doesn’t matter as far as the court case is concerned, but it does matter if you want to put up a statue or mural depicting these evil, depraved people.

    2. Rittenhouse was only 17….and by law was a “Child”.

      Ergo….the gun possession charge….REMEMBER?

      The prosecution threw a lot of stuff against the wall praying something would stick.

      Just as you are in your post….but remember FACTS are a stubborn and awkward thing to the ignorant.

      1. Except that him possessing a long gun did not violate Wisconsin law. Being a juvenile under some legal circumstances does not apply to other circumstances.

    3. Why do you think the fact that one of the victims was a convicted child molester is relevant to the case or your article? The victim was not molesting children at the time of the incident….

      Behold the state of mind of Americans today.

      But its a good thing religion is no longer woven into the fabric of our nation because that would really impinge our freedoms.

      1. “. . . that would really impinge our freedoms.”

        There’s that pesky freedom problem, again.

        It’s never pretty when the mask falls off.

    4. Huge A$$ (HughJass),

      George Floyd was a menace to society. I would have preferred him not to die, but with all those drugs in his system and his underlying health, I wonder how long he would have lived without police intervention? He might have died within the hour. However, we note how you praise a criminal, and want statues of him. That is characteristic of sickness of the mind that leftists have.

    5. Hugh Jass

      Rosenbaum was attempting to once again do what he had done so often in the past: lay hands on an unwilling minor.

  16. Rittenhouse was lucky in four respects:

    (1) There was an incredible amount of video to support his statements.
    (2) Rittenhouse has a far better defense ream than most defendants can afford.
    (3) He got a remarkably inept prosecution team.
    (4) Rittenhouse got a fair judge.

    Compare Rittenhouse’s position to the 1/6 defendants and you see the difference.

    1. You forgot:

      (5) He is white in Wisconsin.

      Without that fact this active shooter with an assault rifle would have been taken down by cops before he got to trial.

      1. You forgot:

        Had he been black he might have been shot by another black with an illegally obtained gun, and the gunman killing a few innocent kids in the vicinity because that is the current state of affairs in many black Democrat run cities

      2. You’re such a liar….an active school shooter in Texas last month was black and shot 4 people, including his teacher. He was not only not shot he was out on incredibly low bail two days later with leftwing idiots like you justifying the shooting. Conversely, a white kid in Florida with an Airsoft gun was just shot by the police. The racebaiting Whataboutisms you idiots concoct never have basis in reality. There are large numbers of armed black nationalist protestors stomping around threatening parents at school board meetings without so much as a blink. Virtually nothing that comes out of your mouth is the truth.

        1. Exactly. I can’t believe in light of current events one would offer that up as an argument. Just shows you how much time we have to waste dealing with this childish element.

      3. Politico:

        First, there were no cops there, which was why residents mounted their own defense. Remember how long he had to jog to even find a cop, who was standing down?

        Second, let’s think for a moment. What if Kyle Rittenhouse were black? A mob descended on his Dad’s neighborhood. He was out cleaning up graffiti when a business owner asked for help. He armed himself and joined a group of people keeping a violent mob back, and preventing arson. He put out fires. Gave out water. Rendered first aid, all to people who openly despised him. Then he got separated from his friend. He coudn’t find him, so he turned back to the business to join those he’d been with. A convicted pedophile, acting violent and erratic, charged him and grabbed for his gun. He shot and killed him. He went looking for cops to turn himself in. He was kicked, and hit with a skateboard in his neck. He shot again to defend himself, and killed someone. A man pointed a loaded gun at his head, and he shot and wounded him. As soon as he finally found a cop, he tried to turn himself in, but the overwhelmed cop told him to go home. Determined to do the right thing, he made his way home, where his mother drove him to the police station to turn himself in.

        If Kyle Rittenhouse were black, there would be national riots protesting his arrest. The mob would be labeled white supremacists, including Latino and black participants. His charging would be taken as evidence of systemic racism. Overcharging Rittenhouse would be deemed a Constitutional crisis. The judge and prosecutor would be called racist and their careers ruined. There would be loyalty oaths to Rittenhouse’s Life Matters across all social media, and in the workplace. There would be streets and schools named after Rittenhouse. He would be a common art subject. The White House would commission a Rittenhouse painting for the Oval Office.

        So, yes, things would have transpired differently if Rittenhouse were black, but not in the way you think.

        1. I’ve seen video of people milling around, and of that bottle neck at the door to the Senate Floor. What I did not hear was anyone saying they all need to leave or they will open fire. Was there no time to get bean bag rounds or other less lethal? No bullhorn? I don’t know Capitol security protocols. As a layperson, I think that if the cops were going to fire on the crowd, they should have said stand back or we open fire. But, again, I am not a cop, and I have not seen very much evidence due to a lack of transparency.

          Security at the Pentagon would have handled this in a more efficient, professional manner, and no one would have likely gotten very far. Since it’s staffed so highly with military, offices would have emptied with people to back up security.

          It was surprising that the security at the Senate appeared to be so discombobulated, especially in today’s fraught times. Apparently, I’ve just assumed it had adequate, effective security.

          No one was trying to overthrow the government. They were being rude, disruptive, and trespassing should not be tolerated, but most of them, too, have been overcharged for political purposes.

          1. It appears you have seen a very limited amount of video, because that is what the new s reports you follow allow you to see. No, it was far from all peaceful. No, no one was overcharged – people were substantially undercharged. No, the police did not open fire on the crowd. I do not know what type of warning you need for Babbitt, she was ignoring the cops next to the windows she was breaking and climbing through. The cop with the gun was the last line of defense
            Before she and others with her could assault or kill members of Congress,not the first.

    2. There is an incredible amount of video on the 1/6 defendants as well. The video is generally pretty strong proof against them.

      1. Surely you jest!
        The video I have seen is exculpatory, unless wandering through the Capitol is a capital crime now.
        Back in the day, we used to do that whenever we felt like it (of course, that was before the barbed wire, fencing, armed guards, and paranoia).

      2. Bushy, get all the weeds cut. They obstruct your vision. The videos are being withheld from the public, as is the investigation of Byrd, who killed Babbitt.

        Most of the actual videos from people and the small amount in government hands don’t show what was claimed. Since the government seemed to select the worst of the worst, the rest of the video will likely prove the government’s case substantially in the wrong.

        Some of the videos the government released late showed that some that were considered guilty were innocent.

      3. Bushy, you mean like this video?

        https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetillman/capitol-footage-lawsuit-release-insurrection

        Most of the video I’ve seen is of people wandering around, with goofy smiles, and taking selfies. I will say that I’m very sympathetic to officers defending the Senate floor, because they would have no idea what people might have in their pockets or backpacks. My problem with the shooting is the lack of transparency. I’ve heard conflicting accounts of whether Babbitt was warned. It’s absolutely true that unarmed people can still be very dangerous, especially if they can fight. But she was a small woman, and there were many cops there, so it’s not the same as a stronger man running down a single teenager. Sheer numbers would have been a problem, more than one single person. I personally think the shooting was premature and without warning, based on what limited information I have. But that’s the problem. I don’t have all the information due to the lack of transparency. Ashli Babbitt was 100% wrong to break that window to the Senate Floor. I’m not convinced she was given fair warning. It is also unclear as to why requests for additional law enforcement were denied, reminiscent of Benghazi, or why some cops let them in, leading them to believe it would be permitted.

        Almost all of the charges were along the lines of trespassing and illegally parading. The gun charge, the last I read, was outside the Capitol. Someone had a firearm in their car, which was on Capitol grounds but they weapon was not outside the building. One person was charged with interfering with or assaulting a police officer because he moved a barricade. I have a list of the charges bookmarked if you need it.

      4. “There is an incredible amount of video on the 1/6 defendants as well. The video is generally pretty strong proof against them.”

        Yes, because they burned the city and killed more than three dozen people, apparently.

    3. monumentcolorado: You words ring true. That Judge does what ALL Judges in Criminal Cases should be doing, making the prosecutor hit the bar and protecting the American legal ethic that we are ALL innocent until PROVEN guilty. That prosecutor continually tries simping up to the Judge as if together, it’s “their” court and the defense the “outsider”. Had courts been conducted in that manner, under that ethic, we wouldn’t be looking at this immense carceral state that I believe the majority of Americans do want to see dismantled. Lucky for the establishment that the Media continues to make the division of Americans it’s central goal so that nothing can be achieved in that arena.

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