The Wisconsin The judge presiding over the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse lamented to the prospective jurors during the jury selection phase about “irresponsible” news reports, including some that are “deliberately biased.”
Opening statements began Tuesday morning at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the case involving the 18-year-old, who faces up to life in prison if convicted. Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting two men and wounding a third when he was 17, during a night of destruction and protests in the Wisconsin city.
The events of Aug. 25, 2020, prompted a media frenzy for weeks and months and bled even into the political campaigns of the 2020 Presidential Election. Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder repeatedly warned potential jurors that their ultimate decision must not be influenced by politics, nor should they be swayed by what has been reported by the media about the case so far.
After explaining that the First Amendment protects the right of a free press, Schroeder said: “The price paid for having a free press is a lot of irresponsible and sloppy journalism.”
Schroeder noted that these media reporters were written by journalists who were not afforded access to the evidence that the jurors would have. He added that his speech was not “an attack on the media.”
“I’ve read things about this case that were perfect, perfect, perfectly stated what had happened in this court. And there were things, I think ‘was I in the courtroom when that happened?'” he continued. “I’m not bashing anybody, but I am going to talk about what you need to do, what you need to be thinking about if you are picked to hear this case, and how much reliance you can put on things that may be just sloppy, which is a vast amount of it.”
The jurist went on: “Some of it that is deliberately biased that’s out there, and sometimes from respectable media outlets.”
During the roughly 12-hour jury selection, Schroeder also stressed to the pool that the proceedings were “not a political trial.”
Rittenhouse was charged with two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide, reckless endangering and illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. Lawyers have repeatedly argued that he was acting in self-defense.
His trial is expected to last at least two weeks. The panel of jurors is made up of 11 women and nine men.
Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.
Source link Rittenhouse judge warns prospective jury of ‘deliberately biased’ media coverage