November 26, 2021

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Jacob Sullum: The last thing considered by Dems in the Rittenhouse case was the actual law.

The unrest in Kenosha followed a police shooting that left a black man, Jacob Blake, partially paralyzed. But Rittenhouse’s guilt or innocence had nothing to do with whether that use of force was justified or whether the response to it is more accurately described as a riot or an exercise of First Amendment rights.

Rittenhouse, then 17, said he brought a rifle to the protest because he wanted to defend local businesses from vandals, looters and arsonists. But his guilt or innocence had nothing to do with whether one views that decision as heroic or reckless.

Rittenhouse’s political views and the merits of the gun laws that allowed him to carry that rifle likewise were irrelevant. So was the fact that Rittenhouse — who lived in Antioch, Ill., 16 miles from Kenosha — “crossed state lines,” a detail that critics of the verdict bizarrely emphasized.

What mattered, as far as the law was concerned, was whether Rittenhouse reasonably believed the use of deadly force was necessary each time he fired his gun. On that crucial issue, the jury heard credible testimony that supported Rittenhouse’s self-defense claims.

The commentariat has skulls full of mush, and even the ones with law degrees seldom have any interest in thinking like a lawyer.

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