From a story filed some 10 minutes before the verdict came out

The article is headlined, “Rittenhouse Jury Has to Decide If the Men Who Tried to Stop Him Were Heroes or Villains.” That has nothing, at all, to do with the issues in that jury room. The dead could have been Joan of Arc with attendant hosts of angels or Hitler himself along with the Waffen SS. All entirely irrelevant to what the jury has to decide upon.

Which is the issue before the jury here. It’s also the only important pair of issues before that jury. Was Kyle Rittenhouse acting in self defense? If yes, then was the force used commensurate with that being used in the attack? There are no other issues here of any legal importance.

40 thoughts on “From a story filed some 10 minutes before the verdict came out”

  1. Those people whom the taxpayer rewards so generously for keeping the peace utterly failed to do so. The job was left to this silly youngster. If I were a Wisconsin taxpayer I might feel like demanding my money back. Then again if I were a Wisconsin taxpayer I might feel like jailing the prosecutor for his self-indulgent incompetence.

  2. Very disappointing from the Intercept.

    There was a similarly poor report by a GB News reporter which featured in last nights Mark Steyn show. It’s as if these people have just sampled from the AP

  3. So, it’s OK to shoot villains?
    The idea that it’s OK to “no-platform” anyone with whom the woke disagree has taken another step “forward” towards Stalin’s USSR.

  4. So, it’s OK to shoot villains?

    In self-defence (among other reasons), yes it is.

    And the Rittenhouse jury decided that this case was indeed self-defence.

  5. The Other Bloke in Italy

    I saw the video clips published at the time, and was deeply impressed with the way young Rittenhouse handled himself in a fight.

    His immediate tasks now are to stay alive in the face of Cabal’s lust for revenge, and to take as much money as possible from the lying media: he could not now safely return to school, go to college, or start a career.

    Cancellation, of course, would be the least of his problems, which are just beginning.

  6. @Dearieme. That prosecutor was staggering in his incompetence. Hence the judge having to intervene. It was clearly an attempt to poison the jury with irrelevance about what people might have thought and said at some other point in time. Utterly, utterly irrelevant. The man should be sacked.

    So, it’s OK to shoot villains?

    As already stated – if they are trying to beat you to death or are pointing a gun at you, yes. Shoot them before they shoot you.

  7. I’d say if the police are under orders to stand back & let the rioters get on with it they’ve broken the social contract under which the public delegates protecting their lives & property to the justice system & its agents. It may be expeditious under the circumstance, but that doesn’t make rioting & looting lawful. Once you permit serious lawbreaking it’s absolute. The area’s lawless. The individual has to protect himself & his property as he sees fit. Never should have been a trial in the first place.

  8. BIS – Its anarcho tyranny

    Compare the treatment:

    Grosskreutz (Bicep guy) who turned up to the riot with an illegal handgun – his firearm licence had been revoked – no charges.
    Trump Shaman – allowed into the Capitol by the police, wandered around, took some stupid selfies – 41 months.

  9. I don’t see any news about riots protesting about the verdict. (Perhaps I haven’t looked hard enough.) But it does appear that in Kinosha the lefties have decided that the risk of self defence is a bit too high for comfort. More confirmation that woke anti.racist eco warriors expect others to do the hard yards.

  10. @ John77:

    So, it’s OK to shoot villains?

    In the USA and if they’re attacking you with murderous intent, yes. See also George Zimmerman.

    Also, I believe the US is a better off without Rosenbaum and Huber.

  11. @ Jonathan and BiW
    The headline implied that what mattered was not the valid self-defence defence but the morality of those shot by Rittenhouse. I assumed that readers would recognise that what I was complaining about.

  12. John77
    November 20, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    “So, it’s OK to shoot villains?”

    In some US jurisdictions, it’s OK to shoot angels, if they’re wrongfully and believably threatening you with death or great bodily harm.

    (As a retired lawyer with some small experience in this area of the law, I get so tired of “experts” interpreting the law for us in ignorant or dishonest ways (I no longer care which – scroom all) just to serve their own ideologies.

    But this posted article gets it right. Thank you for that, Mr. Worstall.)

  13. BiND
    A target rich area for lawsuits now, including Biden, Harris, a lot of dems. Are columnists and freelancers subbed by their publishers? A lot of them may be reading the small print on the legal insurance for the first time.

  14. A trifle off-topic. But this reminds me of the Philadelphia ‘rape’. All the media here seemed to emphasise was that the bystanders were evil for not stopping it. Of course a century or so ago, the Ku Klux Klan handled this sort of thing without any problems.

    Since we all agree that the gay and the trannies now have the souls of saints, I find it difficult to see why anyone should concern themselves with a couple shagging. If you happened to notice them before you got off the train.

    Even more to the point, the bloke was not only black but an illegal immigrant. You can’t be more holy than that. (I noticed that the skin colours of the bird and the bystanders were carefully not mentioned.)

    Naturally no one wished to be Chauvinised, or perhaps I should say Rittenhoused. The media reaction to those cases shows how wise they were.

  15. @dearieme

    He didn’t keep the peace though, did he.. his presence, with that of his gun, led to a net reduction in peace. People are dead because he did a stupid thing, and not much would have had to be different for him to be dead (and whoever shot him to be going home today as a free person).

    I don’t think him being there with a gun should be legal. Same goes for anyone else there with a gun. But it was. It seems like the correct verdict. The guy was an idiot who put himself in a dangerous situation surrounded by other people who had done the same. The people who attacked him were idiots as well. The law allows him to defend himself in that situation and the jury accepted that he do so justly. I don’t like it but I expect the law to be applied and upheld. It is necessary for all of us that the system treats idiots fairly.

    The opinions on this split along political lines even though it’s not a political case. Go figure. If he had been a protestor who shot a couple of ‘peacekeepers’ there would be a near total flipping of opinion. Most people aren’t looking at the facts and the law although, naturally enough, the anti-BLM crowd are closer to a sensible reading of things because the facts and the law do point to an acquittal being correct.

  16. @philip
    No riots reported so far probably because National Guard are on the streets

    @Benny
    Load of BS. Try looking at evidence, not MSNBC

    Re Sueing Biden & Harris: he can as Biden & Harris were not President & VP at time

  17. Our forebears we’re much more clear headed on this. In times of trouble, is was common to shoot looters on sight. Nothing says that civilization has broken down more than looting. Once that happens, much worse begins to happen as can be seen by the mob trying to kill the Other.

    One excuse of the Left is that it is only property being destroyed. This is wrong for two reasons. First, the destruction of property leads to destruction of life, as seen in Kenosha. Second, you are taking years of someone’s life by destroying their livelyhood just as surely as if you had kidnapped and imprisoned them. This is why deadly force should be allowable in these situations.

    Our government has the means to use non-lethal force to stop unrest; in most cases it simply lacks the will to use it. I was responsible for preparing my National Guard unit for LA riot duty. The tools were a hardwood baton, a shield, gas mask and a helmet, backed up by a few seasoned troops with weapons.

    The outbreak of violence we are now seeing in our big cities is a direct result of the failure to nip this in the bud last summer. The good news is that if this tries to move out of the cities, the citizens and the courts will not be so agreeable.

  18. Benny McDennis:
    He didn’t keep the peace though, did he.. his presence, with that of his gun, led to a net reduction in peace.

    There was no peace to keep; it was rioting, arson and looting.
    Then there were the shootings.
    After that there was no further rioting, arson and looting in Kenosha. The scumbags, aware that they might now be shot and killed, stayed away.

    Kyle Rittenhouse, in defending himself against scumbags, restored the peace.

  19. Benny,

    “He didn’t keep the peace though, did he.. his presence, with that of his gun, led to a net reduction in peace. People are dead because he did a stupid thing, and not much would have had to be different for him to be dead (and whoever shot him to be going home today as a free person).”

    No, it led to a reduction in violence, because law and order isn’t about the immediate situation, it’s about incentives, and people’s observation of incentives in action. The message from Rittenhouse and his trial is that if you attack people, you might end up dead. Some people will change their behaviour accordingly.

  20. Bloke in North Dorset

    One excuse of the Left is that it is only property being destroyed. This is wrong for two reasons. First, the destruction of property leads to destruction of life, as seen in Kenosha. Second, you are taking years of someone’s life by destroying their livelyhood just as surely as if you had kidnapped and imprisoned them. This is why deadly force should be allowable in these situations.

    This.

    Whenever the the reasons why some countries are rich and others is discussed it doesn’t take long for property rights to take centre stage. If the government doesn’t do the job it was hired to do then people will take the right to violence back from them and inflict it themselves.

  21. “ What was at stake was whether Americans are entitled to defend themselves against the violence of the Deomcrats paramilitary wing.”

    Absolute gibberish. This case examined no such principle and set no such precedent. Had roles been reversed and Rittenhouse shot, would it have determined that rioters are entitled to defend themselves against the Republican vigilante wing? No. It established nothing other than that this individual acted legally in using deadly force to defend himself. A right that everyone in that crowd had before, and still has now.

  22. @Benny
    You’d have to establish there is such a thing as a lawbreaking Republican vigilante wing. Seeking to defend yourself & your property against unlawful actions isn’t necessarily illegal.

  23. Amusing exchange from a YouTube interview:

    Interviewer – but isn’t the USA a great country? A great place to live? Which countries are better?

    Leftie – there are lots of European countries much better than the USA

    I – Eastern European countries?

    L – Not really, places like Scandinavian countries. Socially and politically much better than the US

    I – those countries are, of course, demographically much “whiter” than the USA. It seems odd that the countries you are saying are better than the US are those that are demographically whiter.

    L – err….umm…well.

    I shall be using that.

  24. @ BIS

    Lawbreaking Republican vigilante wing? Google ‘Capitol January 6’ and you will find it is fairly well established that one of those exists. It’s weird you missed that one.

    And I never said defending against unlawful action is illegal. Quite the opposite, in fact. So maybe, on reflection, I shouldn’t be surprised you missed the illegal vigilante actions of Republicans who thought the election was stolen. You’re just not paying attention.

  25. Lawbreaking Republican vigilante wing? Google ‘Capitol January 6’ and you will find it is fairly well established that one of those exists.

    Benny McDennis doesn’t seem to know what “vigilante” means.

    The Capitol event was a mix of idiot protestors and a Federal false flag operation.

  26. I don’t need to Google it, Benny. I watched it play out in real time. What illegal vigilante actions? There was a demonstration. By the standards of other recent demonstrations, a remarkably lawful one. The woman who was murdered was murdered by what was supposed to be the lawful authorities. Pales into insignificance compared with The BLM orchestrated rioting & looting in numerous cities.
    I’ve never subscribed to the view that legislation, the judicial system or law enforcement are dispassionate, unbiased institutions. They exist, primarily, to ensure those in control of them & the nation itself remain unchallenged, in control. Any “justice” that comes out of them is purely coincidental & fortuitous. Essentially “might is right”. That’s balanced by consent. For that system to function, it requires the consent of a significant portion of the populace. Because there’s a lot of fewer of them than there are are of us. If consent evaporates, so be it. Control will change. There will be casualties. There always are. There are casualties now as a result of enforcement of control. Better to be on the winning side & not be one of them. Have a nice day.

  27. “Lawbreaking Republican vigilante wing? Google ‘Capitol January 6’ and you will find it is fairly well established that one of those exists. It’s weird you missed that one.”

    You really need to create some diversity in your news-gathering techniques. You are poorly informed.

    Of course, above, you advanced the logic of “he wouldn’t let me kill him! He fought back! He caused violence!”, so maybe it’s not just a matter of being poorly informed.

  28. @Andrew C
    Link please

    @Benny
    More drivel. Capitol “riot” was so horrendous police allowed rioters to enter. Rioters then walked around taking photos and only damage a couple of broken windows and those shot by police

    This sums it up well
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmJ0HDbZi5M

    It’s noticeable the World Wide Rally For Freedom – 20 Nov 2021 ‘riots’ against lockdowns, vax-pass, vax-mandate involved no private property damage or looting

    Yet the London riots against cops shooting black criminal did

  29. “This case examined no such principle and set no such precedent.”

    Legally that’s correct but as everyone else is commenting, incentives matter. The jury took 3.5 days to make a decision that, if you had watched the trial, should have taken 10 minutes. We can never know what went on in that room, but MSNBC producers following a juror home won’t have helped the jury worry about being doxxed if they came up with the “wrong” result.

    That’s the problem – if KR had gone down, BLM and Antifa would have been emboldened. At the next ludicrous overblown provocation, you would get riots but this time without ANY means of controlling it.

    Make no mistake, whilst the case was correctly decided without any regard to the previous criminal histories of the protagonists (there was no mention in the case at all), we have to look at the score sheet:
    – KR fired a total of 8 shots at 4 people
    – 7 of those hit their targets
    – of the hundreds of people out that night, many of whom were quite legitimately protesting, the 4 people he shot at were:
    – a child rapist
    – a wife-beater
    – a man that prosecution claimed they had been unable to identify but is now known to have approached the DA looking for immunity to testify, and whose rap sheet is inches thick
    – a convicted burglar who was illegally carrying.

    What are the odds of that strike rate?

  30. @The Pedant-General – that is classic prejudice. Self defence depends only on what people are doing – not what they did in the past or what sort of people they are.

  31. @Charles – can you not read? The Pendant-General said “. . . the case was correctly decided without any regard to the previous criminal histories of the protagonists (there was no mention in the case at all) . . .”

    Besides, he’s not pre judging, he’s assessing the character of people after the fact. Somehow, off-duty cop, local pastor and town librarian were not amongst the types attacking Kyle Rittenhouse that night.

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