Trial of Kyle Rittenhouse Begins in Kenosha, Wisconsin

The murder trial for 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse began on Monday with jury selection. To understand how vital jury selection is in a self-defense trial, it is prudent to review and separate the elements of the incident.

Rittenhouse stands accused of shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, Anthony Huber, 26, and wounding 27-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz. The incident occurred in Kenosha, Wisconsin, amid BLM rioting and looting. This time, it was in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a wanted felon allegedly armed with a knife.

Rittenhouse admits that these actions took place but is saying his actions were purely self-defense.

video shows Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, armed with an AR-15-style rifle slung around his neck. The video shows Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse. A man with a handgun running behind them fires three shots. Next, as Rosenbaum lunges for Rittenhouse, the teen fires four shots.

Rittenhouse makes a cellphone call while others attend to Rosenbaum, and then he leaves that scene. Then he’s shown walking/running toward what appear to be police lines. Then Rittenhouse trips and falls.

Huber strikes Rittenhouse with a skateboard and tries to take his rifle. Rittenhouse fires, shooting Huber in the chest. Grosskreutz then advances on Rittenhouse with a handgun drawn. Rittenhouse fires at Grosskreutz, striking him in the arm.

Rittenhouse then walks toward the police with his hands raised and surrenders to officers.

Jury selection shows the importance of being able to separate the myriad issues involved in such a well-publicized case. For example, an attorney asked if any potential jurors would hold that Rittenhouse was armed against him?

He also asked if they felt that being out after curfew makes a person responsible for anything that happens after that. Additionally, the attorney asked if they would have any difficulty separating the several charges to make specific findings on each charge.

To highlight how careful the defense needs to be when selecting jurors, an attorney asked if any juror was bothered by an AR-15. Juror #30 answered, “Yes.” The attorney asked her why. She said, “I don’t believe a weapon like that should belong to the general public.” She was excused.

The AP reported (via Yahoo News), the charges include two counts of first-degree homicide, attempted homicide, reckless endangerment, and possessing a dangerous weapon under the age of 18.

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