Judge Bruce Schroeder, who is presiding over the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, is trending once again for his unusual commentary in court. On Wednesday, the judge took time to explain some of his rulings and decisions thus far.The judge spoke about a few rulings, but one trending topic is how he addressed a Black juror from a previous case.
Kyle Picks Final Jurors
Judge Schroeder said he doesn’t know if any other courts allow defendants to pick their jurors. Yet, that’s exactly what Judge Schroeder did just one day ago. He allowed the 18-year-old to pick the final 12 jurors that will decide his future by removing 6 names out of a raffle drum. Up until Tuesday, 18 jurors sat through the trial.
Last year, at 17-years-old Kyle Rittenhouse traveled across state lines from Antioch, Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin. His mission was to “defend” businesses amid protests following the shooting of Jacob Blake. He falsely identified himself as an EMT. While in Kenosha, he killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injured Gaige Grosskreutz with an AR-15 style rifle. Kyle faces first-degree intentional homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangerment.
Judge Schroeder Explains Decision
The judge explained that he began allowing defendants to pick after a case about 20 or less years ago. The defendant was allegedly Black, with a jury of 13 people and one Black juror on it. While telling his story though, the judge referred to the juror in an offensive manner.
“When the clerk, the government official drew the name out of the tumbler it was a black, the black, the only black,” the judge said. “It was nothing wrong with it, it was all okay but what do they talk about optics nowadays is that the name for it, they said it was a bad optic I thought. I think people feel better when they have control. So ever since that case…I’ve had an almost universal policy of having the defendant do the picks…it had nothing to do with anybody’s race or anything like that.”
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According to Judge Schroeder, nobody has ever complained about his method. He also said he hasn’t had a complaint about it “here” — though it’s unclear if he means the court or the case.
“But some people seem to be dissatisfied with that and people who want to undermine the result of the trial so,” the judge added.
Judge Schroeder Explains Banning “Victims”
Prior to this commentary, the judge did explain why he ruled on banning the word “victims” in reference to the people killed by Kyle Rittenhouse.
“How would you like to be put on trial for a crime and the judge introduce the case to the jury by introducing you as the defendant and the person who is accusing you as the victim,” the judge said. “And then throughout the trial have all the references to…to the complaining witness as being the victim. Is it so difficult to just use the term complaining witness instead of pre-judging what the jury is here to determine as to whether there’s a victim and whether there was a crime committed.”
As previously reported, Judge Schroeder banned the use of the word “victim” in reference to the men Kyle shot. Instead, he suggested using “rioters,” “looters,” “arsonists” or “any other pejorative term.”
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