We talk a lot about the tenets of America’s justice system: the right to due process and the presumption of innocence in all criminal proceedings. We uphold the Constitution as the principle law of the country.
until we do.
Excuse my cynicism as I try to process Tuesday’s verdict Wisconsin Judge In the high-profile murder case of Kyle Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse faced trial next week for shooting three people who shot three people at a protest last year’s police brutality in Kenosha, about 40 miles southeast of Milwaukee.
Shot but not hunted?
Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder has ruled that those who were shot by Rittenhouse cannot be called “victims” unless they have been convicted of a crime.
still give Rittenhouse’s victims (yes, I’m calling them) are dead. Shot down with an AR-15 style rifle. but schroeder Will Allow Joseph Rosenbaum, 36; Anthony Huber, 26; And 26-year-old Gage Grosskretz, who was injured, has been known as open court robbers, rioters and arsonists.
Never mind that these victims – that word again – were never convicted (or even charged with) of actual robbery on the night they were shot.
He was sleeping in his car. The police woke him up and made a reason to kill him.
So tell me, what did they rob? Is there evidence that they set things on fire with criminal intent? Are there videos showing them rioting?
How is it that they are not “victims”, but they are “robbers”?
Taking the most lenient view of the judge’s decision—he called the victim “a loaded, loaded word”—he was trying to ensure a fair trial. Where I stumble from that point of view is when I remember that fairness and justice should not be one-sided.
As I see it, allowing the victim but allowing The use of words such as robbers and rioters can influence a jury to feel sympathy for Rittenhouse – his victims were no good, they were intimidating criminals, they Worth This.
this is our justice system
A depressing and angry start to a test that in many ways defines who we are, what we champion and what we are prepared to give the benefit of the doubt.
due process. presumption of innocence.
This is our criminal justice system. This is the reason why people kneel during the national anthem. This is the reason that thousands of people took to the streets after the murder of George Floyd. This is why many Americans call for systemic reforms.
This is a treason and we are all victims of it.