Kyle Rittenhouse selected the final 12 jurors in the trial, Tuesday Morning. The Wisconsin judge presiding over the case also dismissed the gun charge against the defendant.
The 18-year-old played a vital role in randomly choosing the jurors who would determine his innocence or guilt in the murder trial over killing two protesters and wounding a third on August 25, 2020.
According to AP News, At Circuit Judge Bruce Schroder’s command, Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, placed slips of paper into a raffle drum with the numbers of each of the 18 jurors written on them. The jurors who would be selected sat in on the trial for the past two weeks. On Tuesday, the drum was placed in front of Rittenhouse at the defense table to make the final jury selection.
Potential jurors watched as Rittenhouse selected six pieces of paper from the drum. Each paper had the number of jurors who will not be a part of the final 12 chosen to deliver a verdict in the Rittenhouse case. A court official read the following numbers of dismissed jurors: 11, 58, 14, 45. 9, and 52. According to AP news, the dismissed jurors are required to remain in the courthouse at the defense’s request until the jury returns with a verdict.
It is unclear whether Schroder’s procedures were ethical or not, but the judge said he has allowed defendants to pick the numbers of alternate jurors for the past 20 years.
Portage County Assistant District Attorney Robert Jambois said selecting alternate jurors in a case is handled by the clerk of courts.
“I’ve never heard of a defendant pulling the names,” Jambois said. “That’s done by a member of the court.”
Former Milwaukee County assistant district attorney, Julius Kim, said he’s never witnessed a judge allowing a defendant to draw the numbers to determine who the final members of a jury will be.
“It’s not unusual to select alternates by lot,” Kim said.” (But) I’ve never seen a judge allow a defendant to draw those names. That might be a little unconventional, but there’s nothing wrong with it that I could really see.”
Rittenhouse is accused of intentional homicide in the killing of Anthony Huber, 26, and reckless homicide in Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and wounding a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, 28, who survived.
NewsOnyx previously reported, Judge Schroder dismissed the misdemeanor gun possession charge against Rittenhouse during closing arguments on Monday.
The misdemeanor, with a punishable sentence of nine months in jail, was prosecutors’ strongest count to find Rittenhouse guilty potentially. There were no questions as to why a 17-year-old Rittenhouse crossed state lines and walked the streets of Kenosha with a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle draped around his neck; this type of firearm along with the AR-15 long gun is used for military purposes.
Schroder stated there was an exception to this law regarding hunting, the age of the defendant, and the length of the barrel for dismissing the count, according to NBC News.
“The reason observers correctly believed the misdemeanor gun charge was a slam dunk is that it’s not disputed that Kyle Rittenhouse was under 17 and that he possessed a gun,” NBC News legal analyst Danny Cevallos said.
Cevallos continued, “But the criminal statute itself is more complicated than that. For this statute to apply, the defendant also violated a hunting regulation that only applied to people under 16. The defense discovered what was essentially an error in the legislation, that Kyle Rittenhouse cannot violate a law that only applies to someone under 16.”
Rittenhouse still faces five other charges stemming from the fatal shootings.