Reflections on Kyle Rittenhouse

There are two ways to make a case against Kyle Rittenhouse. The first is to claim that he didn’t lawfully have the right to exercise self-defense in the heat of the moment because he placed himself as a willing combatant into harm’s way. The other is to claim that he didn’t exercise self-defense in the heat of the moment and in fact, provoked the attacks. The latter is what the prosecution attempted to prove and the main reason why they lost. That’s because the facts in the heat of the moment could not defeat Rittenhouse’s self-defense claim. Ultimately, video evidence was ambiguous, so it became the prosecutor’s word against the defendant’s, and the American justice system works to avoid convictions on that basis.

In the heat of the moment

Joseph Rosenbaum was the first in the chain of events that led to the deaths of three people. He had recently been released from the hospital, suffered sexual abuse as a child, been incarcerated for sexually abusing children, and suffered from serious mental illness. Rosenbaum appears to be acting riotously and causing concern to those around him. Rosenbaum confronts Rittenhouse who is holding an AR-15 and appears to throw a plastic bag at him. Rosenbaum had been hospitalized for suicide attempts before. But his conduct is clearly not that of someone who is concerned over their life.

Once the shots ring out, others are alerted to the problem. Believing that there is an active shooter situation in which someone is targeting protesters, they intervene. The second in the chain is Anthony Huber who attempts to quell Rittenhouse by hitting him in the head with a skateboard. Rittenhouse returns fire and kills Huber. A third man, Gabe Grosskreutz points a gun at Rittenhouse who returns fire, striking him in the bicep. The bullets used by Rittenhouse were hollow points that open up inside the body causing massive internal hemorrhaging. Grosskreutz lost most of his bicep.

Then the question became: Could Rittenhouse claim self-defense if he was doing something illegal and if so, what illegal thing was he doing? The prosecution charged Rittenhouse with being a minor in possession of a weapon, the only sure charge they knew they were convicted on. However, the judge did not issue instructions to the jury that a conviction on that could would preclude self-defense. In fact, the judge tossed the count because of how ambiguous and uninterpretable the law was. Apparently, the law seems to indicate that 18-year-olds may not use short-barrelled rifles. Well, those same rifles are illegal for everyone to use. So, the one count the prosecution had a sure conviction on was tossed by the judge because the law could not be interpreted consistently.

Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

Florida has the most advanced self-defense laws in the country. If you cause the death of another you will likely be charged with their murder. However, the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at the Skier Law Firm, P.A. may be able to get the charges dismissed based on Florida’s stand-your-ground law. Call today to learn more.


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