October 27, 2021

I was appalled and shocked when I saw the headlines yesterday, but as it turns out, there's a perfectly good reason why the judge ruled this way. I'm always happy to help the outrage meter go down a bit.Via Yahoo News:

The judge overseeing the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse has decided that the prosecutors may not refer to the two men Rittenhouse shot and killed during the 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as "victims."

Judge Bruce Schroeder ruled that prosecutors may not refer to the two men as “victims” at any point, saying that such a term would carry inherent bias and could unfairly color the jury's opinion. Such a ruling is common when the jury is tasked with deciding if an action constitutes self-defense.

“The word 'victim' is a loaded, loaded word,” said Schroeder, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The defense can’t use “pejorative terms” in opening statements, specifically "rioter" and "looter," to refer to the men killed by Rittenhouse. However, they may do so in their closing statements if they have provided sufficient evidence that the men Rittenhouse shot were, in fact, rioting and looting.

Former federal prosecutor Michael Stern explains:

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