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ASPartOfMe
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26 Oct 2021, 6:56 pm

Prosecutors cannot call those shot by Kyle Rittenhouse 'victims,' a judge has ruled

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Prosecutors in the criminal trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who shot and killed two protesters last year in Kenosha, Wis., will not be able to refer to the people he shot as "victims," a judge has ruled, while defense attorneys may be able to call them "arsonists" or "looters."

In a proceeding about the ground rules for the upcoming trial, prosecutors and defense lawyers debated whether certain language, witnesses or evidence would be allowed. The trial begins next week.

"The word 'victim' is a loaded, loaded word. And I think 'alleged victim' is a cousin to it," Judge Bruce Schroeder said on Monday, asking prosecutors to instead use the terms "complaining witness" or "decedent" to refer to those shot by Rittenhouse. (Though not universal, it is not unheard of for judges to feel that the word "victim" presupposes the defendant's guilt.)

Meanwhile, the defense will be allowed to refer to the three people Rittenhouse shot as "arsonists," "looters" or "rioters" so long as they took part in those activities, Schroeder ruled — a decision prosecutor Thomas Binger called "a double standard."


"Let the evidence show what the evidence shows," Schroeder said. "And if the evidence shows that any or more than one of these people were engaged in arson, rioting, or looting — I'm not going to tell the defense they can't call them that."

Jury selection begins Monday in the trial. Rittenhouse faces multiple felony charges of homicide and recklessly endangering the safety of others, along with one misdemeanor count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.


The fix seems to be in doesn’t it.

“Victim” is a loaded word but “arsonist, “looter”, and “rioter” are not, WTF?


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Last edited by Cornflake on 31 Oct 2021, 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.: Corrected spelling of title: "trail" to "trial"

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26 Oct 2021, 10:47 pm

Meanwhile, the defense will be allowed to refer to the three people Rittenhouse shot as "arsonists," "looters" or "rioters" so long as they took part in those activities,

I'm not sure if the defense can go down this road unless there is firm evidence that the two deceased were and the third who survived were filmed looting or rioting. The judge seems to be playing some type of game by this last minute declaration. Bruce Schroeder has been accused of playing favourites on social media which doesn't bode well for a fair trial.



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26 Oct 2021, 11:27 pm

If the shooting was self defense, the people who were shot were not "victims", they were in fact perpetrators, and as this trial is being held to determine whether the shooting was in fact justified, premature use of the term "victim" would prejudice the jury against the defendant, which could result in a mistrial.

That being said, after watching the video I think this is self defense and is going to be ruled such, and I have a bet riding on it, to put my money where my mouth is.


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Brictoria
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26 Oct 2021, 11:34 pm

Interesting notes from the article:

Quote:
Though not universal, it is not unheard of for judges to feel that the word "victim" presupposes the defendant's guilt.

So, nothing unusual.

Similarly:
Quote:
the defense will be allowed to refer to the three people Rittenhouse shot as "arsonists," "looters" or "rioters" so long as they took part in those activities


The important part being "so long as they took part in those activities", meaning that in order to be able to use any of those terms, they first need to have shown evidence that they had entered into the required actions - They can't just refer to any of the 3 as being an "arsonist" without having previously shown that their individual actions amounted to arson, for example. Absent having shown that, they will likely be referred to as "protesters"...

Here's some information from one of the defence lawyers, if anyone is interested (from a discussion held yesterday):


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Brictoria
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27 Oct 2021, 12:04 am

Dox47 wrote:
If the shooting was self defense, the people who were shot were not "victims", they were in fact perpetrators, and as this trial is being held to determine whether the shooting was in fact justified, premature use of the term "victim" would prejudice the jury against the defendant, which could result in a mistrial.

That being said, after watching the video I think this is self defense and is going to be ruled such, and I have a bet riding on it, to put my money where my mouth is.


Having followed this from the start, it has been quite apparent that the actions would fit within the requirements for"self defence" (Even the "probable cause" section of the "criminal complaint" at the time suggested the person who prepared it thought so)... The most "complex" charge appears to be the one about having the weapon and being "under age", where the law can be read in several ways - but which has no bearing on any other charge he faces.


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ASPartOfMe
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27 Oct 2021, 12:45 am

There is no dictionary definition of “victim” I could find that requires the person harmed by another person be innocent. A person could be both a rioter and a victim. And according to the
paper referenced by the article “Courts generally allow accusers to be referred to as victims when it is clear they have incurred some harm.”. Why the exception in this case?


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cyberdad
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27 Oct 2021, 2:20 am

Dox47 wrote:
If the shooting was self defense, the people who were shot were not "victims", they were in fact perpetrators, and as this trial is being held to determine whether the shooting was in fact justified, premature use of the term "victim" would prejudice the jury against the defendant, which could result in a mistrial.

That being said, after watching the video I think this is self defense and is going to be ruled such, and I have a bet riding on it, to put my money where my mouth is.


It's an interesting choice by Schroeder given Rittenhouse shot at shot Gaige Grosskreutz while he had his hands up. Hardly self-defense. Rittenhouse tripped and fell and then shot at the crowd. There's a very fine line here between puported self-defense and reckless endangerment. The defense are drawing on Wisconson lax gun laws and stand your ground laws to protect Rittenhouse playing vigilante with a loaded weapon.

Better hope you don't lose your money,.



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27 Oct 2021, 2:21 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
There is no dictionary definition of “victim” I could find that requires the person harmed by another person be innocent. A person could be both a rioter and a victim. And according to the
paper referenced by the article “Courts generally allow accusers to be referred to as victims when it is clear they have incurred some harm.”. Why the exception in this case?

It would depend on the situation... And as your original article noted:
Quote:
Though not universal, it is not unheard of for judges to feel that the word "victim" presupposes the defendant's guilt.


It is likely the judge is looking at the case related to the charges laid:
Were they the "victim" of Mr Rittenhouse's acts (Guilty verdict), or were his acts the result of his being the "victim" of their actions (Not Guilty verdict\Seld Defence).

There is also the component of the case that the shootings are all captured on film, so it is known who performed what actions, and only the legality (whether covered by self defence or not) is in question, whereas in many other cases, the jury are being asked to decide if the person performed an action based, while being unable to see if the person on trial was the actual person who committed the acts - in those cases, there is a "victim", and the case is to determine if it was the person on trial who committed the acts, rather than (in this case) the person is known to have committed certain actions, and it is the legality of those acts being determined.

Or, in different terms:
Here we have "Person X was shot by person Y" - was it legal (self defence, or some other reason) or not?
compared to "Person X was the victim of an unlawful killing" - did person Y kill them?

Hopefully the distinction ("legality of action" versus "identity of person who committed act") makes sense.


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cyberdad
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27 Oct 2021, 2:23 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
T. Why the exception in this case?


Politics...I smell the stench of a Trump supporter...Bruce Schroeder's intent seems suspect.



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27 Oct 2021, 2:36 am

cyberdad wrote:

It's an interesting choice by Schroeder given Rittenhouse shot at shot Gaige Grosskreutz while he had his hands up. Hardly self-defense. Rittenhouse tripped and fell and then shot at the crowd. There's a very fine line here between puported self-defense and reckless endangerment. The defense are drawing on Wisconson lax gun laws and stand your ground laws to protect Rittenhouse playing vigilante with a loaded weapon.

Better hope you don't lose your money,.


Do you even bother looking into things before posting? Watch the video, Grosskreutz ran up with a pistol in his hand, Rittenhouse held his fire, and then Grosskreutz attempted to raise the pistol and charge at the moment he's shot in the arm, the Glock is clearly visible in his hand.

15 second mark:


Grosskruetzt imediately after being shot, you can clearly see the Glock he had in his hand, you can almost make out the model number on the slide (looks like a G26):

Image

The drinks I have riding on this are safe, unlike you I actually know what I'm talking about both on this subject and this specific incident, not that not knowing things ever keeps you from opining.


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27 Oct 2021, 2:40 am

Brictoria wrote:
Having followed this from the start, it has been quite apparent that the actions would fit within the requirements for"self defence" (Even the "probable cause" section of the "criminal complaint" at the time suggested the person who prepared it thought so)... The most "complex" charge appears to be the one about having the weapon and being "under age", where the law can be read in several ways - but which has no bearing on any other charge he faces.


My bet is no murder charges will stick, but I'm 50/50 on the weapons charge, as it does seem somewhat vague. What a lot of people can't grasp is that it's possible to have a case of righteous self defense with an illegal weapon, as may have happened here, and that the weapons charge is severable from the self defense charge, i.e. you can be guilty of possessing an illegal weapon you legally used to defend yourself.


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27 Oct 2021, 2:55 am

Dox47 wrote:
Brictoria wrote:
Having followed this from the start, it has been quite apparent that the actions would fit within the requirements for"self defence" (Even the "probable cause" section of the "criminal complaint" at the time suggested the person who prepared it thought so)... The most "complex" charge appears to be the one about having the weapon and being "under age", where the law can be read in several ways - but which has no bearing on any other charge he faces.


My bet is no murder charges will stick, but I'm 50/50 on the weapons charge, as it does seem somewhat vague. What a lot of people can't grasp is that it's possible to have a case of righteous self defense with an illegal weapon, as may have happened here, and that the weapons charge is severable from the self defense charge, i.e. you can be guilty of possessing an illegal weapon you legally used to defend yourself.


I'd agree. It's much like a felon is not permitted to carry a firearm, but can use one in "self defence" - they can face charges for the possesion of the weapon, but that possesion does not impact on claims of "self defence".

There's already been a long discussion on this site about the events around Kyle Rittenhouse (legal details versus wishful thinking\fantasies\etc.) - To get an idea of what information has already been discussed, it is at https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=389886.

I've been keeping up with updates that his lawyer has been putting out (along with what the prosecution have been saying via the media, and updates via a number of other lawyers\use of force experts) throughout this so I'm not expecting much in the way of surprises during the trial.


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27 Oct 2021, 3:53 am

Brictoria wrote:
There's already been a long discussion on this site about the events around Kyle Rittenhouse (legal details versus wishful thinking\fantasies\etc.) - To get an idea of what information has already been discussed, it is at https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=389886.


Were you active here for the Zimmerman/Martin case? That was the worst I'd ever seen it here pre Trump, people who had no idea how self defense law worked offering up insane conspiracy theories as to how Zimmerman must have set the whole thing up and injured himself in precisely the manner he would have been according to his story, all on the spur of the moment to murder a random black kid because racism. I expect to see similar idiocy with this case, but I as with Martin/Zimmerman before, I don't expect to lose my bet, the only wild card is the first shooting, but even there it's clear that Rittenhouse was attempting to flee before shooting after being cornered, and it's very hard to prove a murder case against someone who was running away. If it weren't so high profile, I'd actually have expected them to quietly disappear this case, they have to know it's weak and someone is going to have to take the L on their record, and prosecutors hate that.


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27 Oct 2021, 4:00 am

Brictoria wrote:


Yikes, I see your countryman was lying about things even a year ago, he actually posted one of the pictures disproving his own posts in this thread. I usually try not to attribute to malice what can safely be blamed on stupidity, but this sure looks malicious. Not that anything will come of it.

ETA: Looked a little further in that thread, literally everything we've discussed here was explained to him a year ago, in detail, with pictures and video. Not an honest actor, not to put too fine a point on it.


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Last edited by Dox47 on 27 Oct 2021, 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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27 Oct 2021, 4:27 am

Dox47 wrote:
If the shooting was self defense, the people who were shot were not "victims", they were in fact perpetrators, and as this trial is being held to determine whether the shooting was in fact justified, premature use of the term "victim" would prejudice the jury against the defendant, which could result in a mistrial.


My problem is that we don’t have another word for it. In the English language, the person who took a bullet is a shooting victim, without regard to his innocence or guilt in other matters, and without regard to whether or not there was justification for the shooting. Is there a word I don’t know? The article is not giving any reasonable alternatives, either. The ones the judge suggests are likely to leave the jury a bit confused IMHO.

The only one I can think of is “target” and that word would be even more loaded.

What else do you call a person who got shot other than a “victim” of a shooting?

Injured?


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27 Oct 2021, 4:38 am

DW_a_mom wrote:
My problem is that we don’t have another word for it. In the English language, the person who took a bullet is a shooting victim, without regard to his innocence or guilt in other matters, and without regard to whether or not there was justification for the shooting.


I don't think that tracks, we don't say someone was attacking someone when they were the victim of self defense, we usually just say they were shot, or stabbed, or bludgeoned, etc. "Rosenbaum was pursuing Rittenhouse and attempting to wrest his rifle away when he was shot" is a perfectly coherent sentence without the word "victim", which would actually sound strange in that formulation.


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