The closing arguments in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial concluded on Monday, November 15th, 2021 and the Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge overseeing the trial, Bruce Schroeder, announced that the jury will begin jury deliberations on Tuesday, November 16th. The jury will be comprised of 12 men and women who will be picked at random in an old-fashioned lottery from the panel of 18 jurors who have heard the evidence.
Rittenhouse, an Illinois teenager, is facing charges for fatally shooting Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27, with an AR-15 weapon during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25th, 2020. The protests were sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, who was seriously injured after being shot by the police. During the closing arguments, the prosecutors argued that Rittenhouse, who was 17-years-old at the time of the shooting, cannot claim self-defense on a danger that he created, that he could fled rather than shoot Rosenbaum, and that he lied to the press and bystanders by claiming that he was an EMT and that Rosenbaum “pulled a gun,” while the defense accused the prosecution of “lying” by mischaracterizing the role that he played in the violence in the Kenosha protests and that his actions were justified because he was under attack by the victims. Rittenhouse faces five felony charges, including first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Rosenbaum, first-degree recklessly endangering safety for endangering a man name Richard McGinnis who was allegedly in the line of fire when Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum, first-degree recklessly endangering safety for endangering an unknown man, first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Huber, which is the most serious charge, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide for shooting Grosskreutz. If found guilty of the most serious felony charge, Rittenhouse could face life in prison. Rittenhouse also faced a misdemeanor gun charge that was punishable by up to 9-months in prison. However, his defense argued that the ban on minors possessing dangerous weapons applies to minors who are armed with rifles or shotguns only if the weapons are short-barreled. The AR-15 rifle that Rittenhouse used in the shooting was not short-barreled, so the charge was eventually dismissed by the Judge Bruce Schroeder on Monday, November 15th.
The governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, announced that 500 National Guard troops are on standby outside of Kenosha. In a statement, Governor Evers called for people to “respect the community” and to “reconsider any plans to travel there” when the verdict is reached.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.
The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
- Writing: Explain why Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the gun charge that Kyle Rittenhouse was facing.
- Debate: After closing arguments, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder told the jurors that they “will pay no heed to the opinions of anyone.” Do you believe that this is something that is easy for jurors to do, especially when a case has received national attention?
- Poll: Kyle Rittenhouse provoked the violence by raising his weapon and pointing it at protestors, so he should lose his right to self-defense.(Agree or Disagree).
- Short Answer: Discuss the charges that Kyle Rittenhouse is facing for fatally shooting two people and wounding another in Kenosha on August 25th, 2020.
Cover Image: iStock/DarrenMower