Judges at Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial on Wednesday debated a second day on whether Rittenhouse was guilty of murder or defending himself by shooting during a series of brutal police protests in 2020.
The first day of the judges’ court hearing in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was very quiet after the last 12 judges were elected when Rittenhouse himself drew the numbers for the branch.
Judges on Wednesday, however, had their first question on how to watch videos in the case, evidence that both sides relied too much on them when making disputes.
Judge Bruce Schroeder said he would tell the judges that he could watch the video in court and that he needed only standardized explanations of the videos, but lawyers on both sides said the big question was which videos they should be allowed to watch and how often.
Rittenhouse, 18, faces charges of premeditated murder of Anthony Huber, culpable homicide of Joseph Rosenbaum and attempted murder of Gaige Grosskreutz. He also faces two counts of reckless endangerment, and judges can consider other cases listed below in certain cases.
He will face a mandatory life sentence if convicted of the worst crime.
The case is based on two counts of contesting on the night of August 25, 2020. Rittenhouse’s lawyers said Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, was in Kenosha to help the community after a night protest that killed two men and injured another in self-defense. Prosecutors said the young man wanted the problem, armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle, and incited the attack, thus losing any right to self-defense.
The protests continued after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a black man, several times. Blake survived but was paralyzed from the waist down. The officer was acquitted of any national or state violation.
‘Hot spots of separation’: Rittenhouse case, Arbery death case shows deep political and racial divisions
The judge asks the first question by looking at the video and photo evidence; the judge blasts the media
The judges on Wednesday morning had their first important Schroeder question, asking if they could view video or photo evidence in private or in court and whether they needed a show number to see a piece of evidence.
The issue arose earlier when Schroeder said he was inclined to allow judges to review the video evidence themselves, but both prosecutors and defendants said the criminal law made it clear they had to look at it in court.
Schroeder said he would tell the judges he needed to appear in court but he and the lawyers would need to do some legal research on who, if any, should be in court as the judges reviewed the evidence and how many judges. allowed to watch the video.
Schroeder said he was concerned about limiting the number of times judges could view a video even if the law of the land had limited limits. The judges are wise and should be allowed to weigh a piece of evidence based on how serious the case is, arguing with him. And if that means watching the video multiple times to understand what is happening in it, that should be allowed, he said.
The judges also needed a standard description of the video to see it, Schroeder said he would tell them.
In a discussion on the matter, the defendants’ proposal came up as they demanded that the drone video not be included in the judge’s testimony, claiming that they had received a low quality and incomplete version of the video after the trial began.
Schroeder said he had not read the proposal and heard incomplete oral arguments in court. He then criticized the media for reporting non-compliance with the decision not to issue a decision on the proposal.
Some legal experts in Wisconsin have called Schroeder’s lack of decision in the case now a judge “as a matter of course.”
Schroeder released some of his indictments, including allowing Rittenhouse to draw other judge numbers.
The judge requested additional copies of the instructions; Rittenhouse pulls numbers from a tumbler
The judge did not ask Schroeder questions on the first day of the hearing on Tuesday without asking for more copies of their judge’s instructions.
Included in the order were the legal requirements that the prosecutor must meet to testify in each case and that Rittenhouse aroused the shooting and the requirements that the defendant must meet to prove his defense.
Schroeder raised his eyebrows briefly on Tuesday when he allowed Rittenhouse to draw numbers on a tumbler to select six alternate alternatives and set the final 12 judges. The alternatives will remain in court if needed.
More on Schroeder: Judge Kyle Rittenhouse received his share of criticism. Can a judge be removed from the case? It can’t happen.
Schroeder said he allowed the defendants to commit the act 20 years ago. Whether illegal or illegal, the job is usually reserved for a clerk of the courts, said Ion Meyn, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.
The judge consists of five men and seven women and 11 whites and one person of color. These six alternatives divide white men and women.
Conversations started at 9:30 am and ended at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Schroeder said he would let the judges decide how late they wanted to be.
What about the defense defendants’ proposal?
During the trial, Rittenhouse’s lawyers asked Schroeder to serve a sentence of parole, which meant that Rittenhouse would not be re-tried.
The proposal came after they objected to cross-examination by District Attorney Thomas Binger, who said he had commented on Rittenhouse’s right to peace and tried to present evidence that Schroeder did not allow in the case.
Binger said his comments only indicate that Rittenhouse may have been able to prepare his testimony in the trial days he felt and that he thinks Schroeder did not make the final decision on the evidence he first presented.
Schroeder reprimanded him, shouting at the prosecutor and the judge outside the room. However, the judge had not yet ruled on the appeal.
More about the trial: Judge adjourned Kyle Rittenhouse’s case, but a motion for dismissal is pending. What is happening now?
Keith Findley, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, called the lack of decision “unusual.”
“The only reason I can think of to wait is that maybe you want to give the judge a chance to free himself so he doesn’t have to, but that guesses about me,” Findley, founder of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, said Findley. .
“I’m not sure why the judge is waiting to rule,” said Michael O’Hear, a professor of law at Marquette Law School. “It seems unlikely to me that he would have referred the case to the judges if he had waited to dismiss the case.”
How long could Rittenhouse spend in prison?
If convicted of premeditated murder in Huber’s death, Rittenhouse will face a mandatory life sentence. The “dangerous use” weapon in the case carries an additional five years’ imprisonment.
The lesser-known cases of judges are second-degree homicide and reckless homicide, which can lead to up to 60 years in prison.
The first case of reckless homicide in Rosenbaum’s death takes 60 years in prison, plus an additional five years for using a “dangerous weapon” remedy.
If convicted of attempted murder with the intent of Grosskreutz’s first degree, Rittenhouse will face up to 60 years in prison, plus five years for the same weapons producer.
Minor offenses that judges can consider are second-degree attempted murder and reckless endangerment, punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 years and 12 years respectively.
Each level of risk-taking careless safety, linked to an unknown man and a Daily Caller reporter, spends 12½ years in prison, with a five-year weapons changer.
The National Guard is waiting as Kenosha awaits the decision
In anticipation of possible post-election violence, Gov. Tony Evers sent about 500 soldiers to the Wisconsin National Guard in the Kenosha area to stand guard.
The troops will assist “volunteer officers” if they need assistance in the event of a crisis, according to the Evers office.
Protest groups were outside the court on Tuesday as they waited for the judge’s word. The protesters chanted, “No justice, no peace” and raised signs.
“From now on, we don’t have a lot of intelligence that suggests we’re going to have a problem here,” Sgt said. David Wright, spokesman for the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. “We have been working closely with our local, regional and legal partners to ensure the safety of our community.”
Wright noted that Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth had not declared an emergency and had not asked for a National Guard.
“I’m sure it would be great to have that if we need it,” Wright said. “But we do not expect any problems down here. Everyone who has been here has been friendly and does not show any signs of anger or anything like that.”
Closing the Conflict: Do you help the community or the active shooter?
In their closing remarks on Monday, attorneys summarized how they saw the facts of the case and presented their final opinion to the judges on how to rule.
Prosecutors said that Rittenhouse had no interest in being in Kenosha that night. He brought the gun “into a fist fight” and created a shooting situation, Binger said. Even if he feared for his safety, he should have used all other means, such as running or fighting without firing his gun before shooting the men, adds Binger.
“The accused wants you to believe because he is the one who brought the gun, he is allowed to kill,” said Binger.
‘Wannabe soldier’ compared to ‘mob’ attack: Prosecutors, defenders make final arguments in Kyle Rittenhouse case
Defendant’s attorney Mark Richards painted a young Rittenhouse in the community where his father lived trying to help others. Richards focused on Rosenbaum as the cause of the night’s disasters and said Rittenhouse faced a mob that attacked him.
“I’m glad he shot her, because if Joseph Rosenbaum had found that gun, I can’t believe for a moment he wouldn’t have used it for anyone else. He was stupid and crazy,” Richards said.
“The only casualty of the accident that night was Kyle Rittenhouse,” Assistant Regional Attorney James Kraus told the judges when the state denied the allegations.
Contribution: Molly Beck and Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Associated Press