Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed 2 protestors, as a jury is seated in the courtroom

Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed 2 protestors, as a jury is seated in the courtroom

The jury for Kyle Rittenhouse's high-profile murder trial has been chosen. There are 12 jurors and 8 alternates who were seated Monday.

According to the Associated Press, opening statements will begin Tuesday morning and the trial is expected to last for two weeks.

The jury will decide if Rittenhouse acted in self defense as claimed by his lawyers or whether he acted as a vigilante when opening fire on two protestors last year in Kenosha (Wis.).

Already the case is getting a lot of attention because the judge, a 40 year veteran of the bench has made controversial decisions in favoring defense.

Defense lawyers will argue that Rittenhouse acted in self defense

A jury will decide whether Rittenhouse should be held responsible or exonerated as a protector who felt threatened.

Rittenhouse is facing multiple felonies of homicide, recklessly endangering others' safety, and one misdemeanor charge of possessing a dangerous weapon by minor.

He pleaded not guilty for all charges. Three days ago, police shot Jacob Blake (a Black man) multiple times from close range. Blake is paralysed from the waist down

Rittenhouse was 17 years old at the time. He traveled short distances from Illinois to respond to a call by a Kenosha-based militia organization claiming it wanted to protect businesses against protesters.

It was chaotic night with looting, firebombs and gunshots. Rittenhouse's lawyers argue that he was acting in self defense when he killed Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz.

Conservatives quickly took to social media, with some portraying Rittenhouse as a martyred patriot and others celebrating him.

"I'm disappointed... but I want be a person who inspires hope."

The Rev. Jonathan Barker is the leader of Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha’s Uptown Neighborhood. The church was almost destroyed by the Blake protests. He was warned not to go near the courthouse during the trial as it could be a hub for white nationalism.

Barker claims that Rittenhouse's conviction will create a dangerous precedent for the rights of free speech and assembly.

Barker stated that he has deep concerns about the outcome of this situation and was disappointed. Barker said, "I'm ready for anything. However, I would like to be a person who is a source of hope for Christians and pastors.

Men who were killed or shot by police can't be considered victims.

Bruce Schroeder (the judge in this case) has spent many months making decisions that will impact what the jury will hear.

He recently upheld a long-held rule in his courtroom, that Rittenhouse's victims cannot be called "victims" during a hearing. He said that the defense could refer to them as "rioters looters or arsonists".

Paul Butler, a Georgetown University professor of law, stated that this is not unusual and a similar decision has been made in the George Floyd case.

This may be legal, but the average person will view the trial over the next three week through their political and moral lenses.

Butler believes that the most important thing to the public's attention has been the fact that so much evidence has been recorded on video. Butler stated that these videos are often beneficial to the defense.

He stated that multiple interpretations created reasonable doubt about the prosecution

Dwayne Simpson does not need a video. When the shooting began, he was protesting near Rittenhouse.

Simpson stated that "we were just walking and then the next thing we know, we hear a lot more shots." "All I heard was someone trying to take his skateboard or hitting him with one."

The young Black man lives with his family in Kenosha's Uptown area, where dozens of businesses remain closed due to looting after the Blake shooting.

Simpson stated, "He was trying to protect everyone."

Judge Schroeder repeatedly stated that he would treat this case like any other homicide case. It's not a typical case. It will reveal whether Rittenhouse was a protector of law and order in violent unrest or a vigilante responsible to needless deaths.

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