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Judge in Kyle Rittenhouse Case Won’t Issue Questionnaires to Potential Jurors

Judge in Kyle Rittenhouse Case Won’t Issue Questionnaires to Potential Jurors

The judge overseeing the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse has some interesting legal takes. First, Judge Bruce Schroeder announced he wouldn’t allow the people who died allegedly as a result of Rittenhouse shooting them to be called “victims”. Now it’s been revealed he’s refused to send questionnaires to potential jurors to detect any bias in the politically charged murder case.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the jury selection process in the case is a delicate one, with both sides facing the daunting task of finding jurors who haven’t already made up their minds about Rittenhouse. The politically charged case will force the jury to decide whether Rittenhouse acted in self-defense, as his lawyers claim, or was engaged in vigilantism when he opened fire with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle.

Kyle Rittenhouse charged with murder
[Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]
Rittenhouse was 17 when his mother drove him to Kenosha from their home in Illinois, just across the Wisconsin state line, during the unrest that broke out in August 2020 after a white Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back. Rittenhouse said he went there to protect property after two previous nights marked by arson, gunfire, and the ransacking of businesses. Rittenhouse was chased by Joseph Rosenbaum before he fatally shot the unarmed 36-year-old sex offender during a protest on August 25, 2020, in Kenosha over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. He then shot and killed 26-year-old Anthony Huber and wounded 27-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz while fleeing. His defense attorneys have said Rittenhouse fired the shots in self-defense.

The judge was already stressing that Rittenhouse’s constitutional right to a fair trial, not the Second Amendment right to bear arms, will come into play, and “I don’t want it to get sidetracked into other issues.” That fairness begins with the jury selection, but Judge Schroeder just wants to get to the good part already, it seems. The judge said he “disliked questionnaires in general because he was afraid most people won’t fill them out or that it would tip them off that they may be on the Rittenhouse case, increasing the chances they would discuss it with friends and family,” according to the Sun-Times. Schroeder will instead allow each side to strike seven people to reach a total of 20 jurors, but he hasn’t said how many would serve as alternates in a trial that’s expected to last two to three weeks.

Rittenhouse, now 18, faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge against him, first-degree homicide.

 

 

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