Legal experts give bad news to those hoping for a civil rights prosecution against Rittenhouse

After 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges in the deaths of two men who assaulted him in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler immediately announced his plea. Ask the federal government to act.

Now, some legal experts say that any prosecution by the Justice Department of President Joe Biden that claims Rittenhouse violated his civil rights while defending himself will almost certainly fail.

And the chances of a successful civil action will also be very poor.

“This heartbreaking verdict is a blunder of justice and sets a dangerous precedent that could justify a DOJ federal review,” Nadler tweeted Nov.


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On the surface, this suggestion is repulsive. The idea that jury Not doing justice just because a powerful Democrat member of Congress personally disagrees with the ruling is ludicrous.

Rittenhouse acquitted November 19 all charges related to the August 25, 2020, shootings that killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26 – two men who pursued and assaulted him in riots after a police shooting. Rittenhouse injured a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, now 27, who admitted in court that he had pointed a shotgun at Rittenhouse’s head before Rittenhouse shot him.

By all accounts, the jury in Kenosha followed the law in Wisconsin. Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley wrote in a Fox News The article suggested that Nadler’s personal distaste for self-defense did not change the laws as they were written.

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“Rittenhouse has been acquitted by a state grand jury on the charges,” wrote the George Washington University professor. “Moreover, while some have called for a reduction in safeguards protections, the jury has applied the law as it is in the literature. It is not permissible to simply ignore the law in search of our own criminal justice rules.”

Additionally, Turley suggested that the federal government would threaten the justice system if it investigated grand jury decisions without evidence of negligence.

“The Rittenhouse jury faithfully applied Wisconsin law and reached a well-founded acquittal,” he wrote. “Investigating jury decisions just because you disagree with their decision is a dangerous precedent.”

Theoretically, the Justice Department could bring criminal charges against Rittenhouse for allegedly violating the civil rights of Rosenbaum, Huber and Grosskreutz, but there is no reason to think this will work, according to both Professor William Jacobson of Turley and Cornell Law Schools.

Jacobson told Judge Washington. “The videos are videos and statements that have been sworn in by witnesses and the alleged victim, Gaige Grosskreutz.”


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Turley wrote that evidence for a civil rights prosecution was essentially non-existent.

“Rittenhouse was white and shot three white men,” he wrote. “He has not been charged with a hate crime. Furthermore, he is not a member of the executive branch or the government, so he is not taking away anyone’s citizenship under federal law.”

Rosenbaum and Huber’s family could theoretically also take Rittenhouse in civil court for wrongful death, the Examiner reported.

(Former NFL star and actor OJ Simpson sued On such grounds by the family of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, after Simpson was acquitted of their murder in 1996, the Examiner noted. OJ Simpson was found responsible for their deaths and ordered to pay a $33.5 million sentence.)

Based on NBC News, some legal analysts say the lower standard could make the civil case against Rittenhouse more likely to succeed.

“In a civil case, you just need to prove negligence,” said University of California Hastings professor Rory Little. “Has his conduct fallen below the standard of care that a normal person would have?”

He told NBC that Rittenhouse “could say, ‘I didn’t mean to kill anyone – I just panicked. The judges could still say, ‘We don’t think an average person would do what you did.’ If your conduct is judged as inferior, you lose.”

However, Turley’s article on Fox News did not create an opportunity for a false argument about death.

“All three men attacked or threatened Rittenhouse before he used his weapon,” he wrote. “Common law not only protects the right to self-defence, but also protects false self-defense when a person may have wrongly (but reasonably) thought he or she was being attacked.”

Jacobson told the Examiner that any civil case would face the same problems that criminal prosecutors face in Kenosha. The evidence is on Rittenhouse’s side, and the case is self-defeating.

“A civil case will fail even with a lot of evidence,” he said, noting that evidence in favor of Rittenhouse “would be just as overwhelming in a civil case” as in criminal court. .

While further lawsuits against Rittenhouse are still possible, legal experts still seem skeptical about their ability to succeed.

Nadler and the left may not like the verdict, but they can’t change the evidence. Legal experts give bad news to those hoping for a civil rights prosecution against Rittenhouse

Huynh Nguyen

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