Judge Bruce Schroeder, who is presiding over the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, is already a subject of contention among viewers of the trial. Many feel he’s showing bias in the accused murderer’s favor, and he didn’t exactly change their minds with his Veteran’s Day move.
Honoring veterans on November 11th is a longstanding tradition. However, most such remembrances don’t take place during a murder trial, or specifically seek to honor a witness for the defense.
Judge Schroeder’s courtroom, however, was the site of an exception on Thursday, when he paused the trial for a man accused of shooting three Black Lives Matter protestors, killing two of them, to call on the assembled, including the jury, to offer a round of applause for all veterans, after he identified the first witness for the defense as one.
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) November 11, 2021
According to Law & Crime, the judge paused before questioning of the first witness for the defense, Dr. John R. Black. He asked if there were any veterans in the courtroom, and upon receiving no response, he identified the witness as a veteran, then called for a round of applause for veterans.
Across social media, viewers are expressing their outrage, calling out the judge for perceived bias, noting that the action, including the timing, could unfairly bias the jury in favor of the witness, and demanding a mistrial.
Judge Crazy asks for a round of applause for Veterans Day boosting the credibility level of the WITNESS for Rittenhouse. It doesn’t get more biased than this…. https://t.co/7yOszuJEwl
— Jude Green (@judemgreen) November 11, 2021
The prosecution should be asking for a mistrial.
Rittenhouse judge asks for applause for veterans — including defense team’s witness https://t.co/KNjmIU05xS
— Democracy ends in '22 (@WendyAn04156803) November 11, 2021
The judge in the Rittenhouse trial noted that the expert witness was in the military, asked who else in the courtroom was in the military, and then asked for a round of applause for everyone who was in the military.See Also
It looks like he just endorsed the expert.
— Purity For Thee But Not For Me💃🏻⚖️💉 (@TheePurity) November 11, 2021
Beyond parody https://t.co/YKV5FhhpCc
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 11, 2021
Judge Schroeder has been accused of bias by some viewers since pre-trial motions, when he ruled that prosecutors couldn’t describe the people Rittenhouse is accused of murdering as “victims” in opening statements. While some legal experts explained that this ruling wasn’t necessarily a sign of bias, and had some precedent, it was still an early red flag for some.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com