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PostIn Rittenhouse Case, the Jury Heard All the Evidence; the Public Did Not (George Aucoin, -France, 11/25/21 3:54 am)
Reading through the WAIS commentary on the Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal on charges of murder as well as JE's comment, "I'm still at a loss how self-defense can apply to anyone literally looking for a fight" is emblematic of the Left's disillusionment and confusion over the jury verdict.
Of course, the confusion was duly sown by the corporate media who apparently cannot find their way out of Wikipedia as a source reference. Let's try Black's Law Dictionary, 11th Edition, on-line no less, which defines "Aggressor" thus: "The party who first offers violence or offense. He who begins a quarrel or dispute, either by threatening or striking another."
There are those that actually believe that openly carrying a legal firearm, absent any other physical act, is violence. And double that if the firearm wearer is a Caucasian male at a Black Lives Matter riot.
The concept of self-defense (actually a legal "right" in certain circumstances) doesn't support that conclusion. Black's defines "self-defense" as: "The protection of one's person or property against some injury attempted by another." John Eipper's "looking for a fight" is at the crux of the confusion and no doubt at the core of some of the jury instructions hammered out between attorneys and the judge.
Was Kyle Rittenhouse looking for a fight? The jury heard all the evidence adduced at trial. Rittenhouse's own testimony offered on the stand contradicted that speculation. Evidence offered at trial was Rittenhouse went to protect others from the mob. The jury had the opportunity to review video taken of the of the interaction between the defendant and the men killed, which undoubtedly informed their twelve individual conclusions as to who the aggressor was in each instance of violence.
Furthermore, the State was obligated to prove Kyle Rittenhouse had the required mental state (mens rea) to inflict grievous bodily harm, beyond a reasonable doubt. Black's Law Dictionary further defines the right of Self-Defense as "An excuse for the use of force in resisting an attack on the person, and especially for killing an assailant," citing Whart. Crim. Law.
However, as David Duggan aptly points out, prosecutorial overreach can spoil (unintentionally or otherwise) the juridical balance of weighing evidence and is non-reviewable if the jury votes to acquit the defendant of the charges.
Finally, to place Black's Law Dictionary back on the shelf and to close with an oft-repeated line from one of my Cajun criminal law professors: "The Facts make the Law Walk and Talk." The jury heard all the evidence at trial, we didn't.
JE comments: I don't see how disillusionment over the verdict is a "Left" thing, but almost nothing remains in today's America that hasn't been politicized. Let's at least try to keep Thanksgiving free of partisanship.
George, you speak of prosecutorial overreach. Do you believe a lesser charge against Rittenhouse could have "stuck"?