After 26 hours of jury deliberation over the course of four days, Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts midday on Friday.
Prosecutors had levied five charges against Rittenhouse, including one count of first-degree reckless homicide, two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.
If convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, Rittenhouse faced mandatory life imprisonment.
As the jury’s verdict was read from the courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Rittenhouse broke down in tears.
WATCH AGAIN: KYLE RITTENHOUSE LEARNS HIS FATE AT KENOSHA TRIAL pic.twitter.com/XgGnuzypzf
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The not guilty verdict means the jury did not believe the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Rittenhouse had committed first-degree murder, and that he had likely acted in self-defense in shooting three individuals in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer, two of which later died.
Of course, all loss of life, no matter the circumstances, is tragic because everyone is made in the image of God.
Yet, there are several things we can take away from today’s verdict.
First, our justice system worked.
No justice system is perfect. But in America, we can all be grateful we have one of the best. Our founding fathers were wise in their crafting of the Sixth Amendment, which reads:
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”
The judge in the Rittenhouse case expressed his gratitude for the hard work of the 18 individual jurors.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better jury to work with and it has truly been my pleasure,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said after the verdict was read.
“I think, without commenting on your verdict, the verdicts themselves, just in terms of your attentiveness and the cooperation that you gave to us, justifies the confidence that the founders of our country placed in you, so I dismiss you at this time,” the judge added.
The fact that the jury, after listening to days of arguments, hearing witnesses, and considering evidence from both sides, still took four days to carefully deliberate speaks highly of their work and of our judicial system.
Second, we should recall that evil is always looking to find a foothold to destroy and ruin whatever it can.
In this case, according to Rittenhouse’s defense attorney Mark Richards, many parties involved in this case have all faced numerous death threats throughout the trial.
“Everybody in this case – and when I say that I mean prosecution, defense – to me it’s scary how many death threats we’ve had,” Richards said.
The Hill reports, “Richards recounted a time when he was on his way home from court in Kenosha and he answered the phone to receive a death threat. He said that after the third death threat, he stopped answering calls.”
That’s worrisome, and we can hope justice will be done in those individual cases as well.
Lastly, we can all be in prayer.
Government officials in Wisconsin have activated 500 national guard troops in anticipation of potential unrest following the verdict.
Pray for peace to be maintained around the nation, and especially in Wisconsin.
Photo from Reuters.