Politics

All Eyes On Rittenhouse Case, Hoping For Not Guilty

The case against him was flawed from the start.

Image Credit: Youtube Screenshot

In the biggest trial since O.J., innocent citizen Kyle Rittenhouse is on trial for murder in Wisconsin. It was self defense and all know it. That’s why decent people are hoping, praying, for acquittal. The original case against him was flawed and part of it was thrown out. Law professor Jonathan Turley fills us in on that detail.

 

Do you think Donald Trump will be indicted?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

Turley: The case against Kyle Rittenhouse, who was just 17 when he fatally shot two protesters and wounded a third in August 2020 during a chaotic night in Kenosha, just got a little smaller. I recently wrote a column arguing that the sixth count appeared to be based on a factually and legally inapplicable provision of Wisconsin law.

I could not understand how the judge could allow the count to go to jury. Indeed, I am mystified how prosecutors could have secured an indictment on the provision. This is the loss of the least serious charge, but prosecutors lost more than just a misdemeanor conviction in the decision. The sixth count alleged the possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. Under state law, minors are prohibited from such possession and this can constitute a Class A misdemeanor that carries a basic sentence of up to nine months in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

The problem is that the provision was facially inapplicable to this case. Defendants are guilty of this offense if they possess a short-barreled rifle under Section 941.28. However, the prosecutors never put into evidence that this was a short-barreled weapon. Indeed, a police officer testified it was not. Rittenhouse used a Smith & Wesson MP-15 with an advertised barrel length of 16 inches and the overall length is 36.9 inches. That is not a short barrel.

The only other way to convict under this crime is to show that “a person under 18 years of age who possesses or is armed with a rifle or a shotgun if the person is in violation of s. 941.28 or is not in compliance with ss. 29.304 and 29.593.” The defense conceded Rittenhouse was in violation of Section 29.593, which requires certification for weapons. However, he is not in violation of section 29.304, entitled “Restrictions on hunting and use of firearms by persons under 16 years of age.”

As the title indicates, the section makes it illegal for persons under 16 to use firearms. Rittenhouse was 17 at the time and the prosecution has not challenged that fact. Judge Schroeder finally ruled out the count on Monday. That is not surprising…

The overreach on the sixth count captures much about this case. The prosecution pushed for charges within a couple days of the shootings and then overcharged this case. The speed and framing of the prosecution clearly satisfied public demand but undermined any ultimate case against Rittenhouse.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

Join the Discussion

COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
9 months ago

Not Guilty = riots?? Guilty= No riots

Laura Wagner
Laura Wagner
9 months ago

Sadly, I suspect that with the number of charges against Kyle, if he is found not guilty of even one of the charges, BLM and Antifa will have their excuse to riot. We will have rioting regardless of the final verdicts because those two fascist terrorist groups will say that it wasn’t enough.