The trial for Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused of shooting three people during Black Lives Matter riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is set to begin on Nov. 1.
But on Tuesday, the judge delivered a possible blow to the prosecution.
While in court, Judge Bruce Schroeder said the defense team will be allowed to call the men who were shot “rioters,” “looters” and “arsonists,” WTMJ-TV reported.
Two of the men, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, were killed during the riot. Gaige Grosskreutz was wounded by a gunshot but survived.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Schroeder had previously ruled the prosecution could not call the men “victims” because of the “loaded” nature of the word.
While the two rulings may seem to contradict each other, there is a simple explanation. Words like “rioter” or “looter” describe the actions the men had already taken that night. By contrast, the word “victim” assumes Rittenhouse is guilty of a crime before the trial takes place.
Because Rosenbaum, Huber and Grosskreutz are not on trial, Schroeder ruled the defense team can accuse them of various actions that night. Given that Grosskreutz survived and has not been charged with rioting, looting or arson, Schroeder said referring to him as such could be a risk for the defense team.
“He can demonize them if he wants, if he thinks he’ll score points with the jury,” Schroeder said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Rittenhouse is the one on trial, so it stands to reason that the prosecution would be banned from using words that encourage the jury to assume his guilt. The Tribune reported that prohibiting words like “victim” is “not uncommon in self-defense cases.”
Schroeder even went so far as to say that the prosecution is free to demonize Rittenhouse via terms such as “cold-blooded killer,” in the same way the defense can call the men “looters.”
Nonetheless, leftists on Twitter were immediately up in arms and accusing Schroeder of unfair treatment.
Never mind the fact that back in April, leftists threatened to riot in the streets if former police officer Derek Chauvin was not convicted on three counts of murder in the death of George Floyd.
After making threats that very likely could have swayed the jury’s decision, they suddenly care about fair trials. Furthermore, they are convinced the system is somehow rigged against them despite the fact that they got their way in the Chauvin case.
Rittenhouse deserves a fair trial, and that is exactly what Schroeder is trying to give him. Before jumping to conclusions, Americans on both sides of the aisle ought to let the justice system work as it was designed.