EM – Rittenhouse ruling contradicts legal standards for self-defense


In a two-week trial that rekindled the debate over self-defense laws across the country, a Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse for shooting three people, two of them fatally, during a protest against racial justice in Kenosha.

The Wisconsin jury believed Rittenhouse’s claims that he feared for his life and acted in self-defense after driving about 20 miles from his Antioch, Illinois home – and picking up an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle in Kenosha – in what he claims it is an attempt to protect property during violent protests. The lake town of 100,000 was the scene of chaotic demonstrations after a white police officer shot and paralyzed Jacob Blake, an unarmed 29-year-old black man, from the waist down.

In delivering the verdict, a jury in Wisconsin ruled that Rittenhouse’s behavior was justified, despite prosecutors arguing that he provoked the violent encounter and should therefore not find refuge in self-defense doctrine.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger said in his closing argument: “If the accused provokes this incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a threat you created. “

The Wisconsin jury disagreed, and their decision could result in a similar outcome in another high profile case in Georgia involving three white men for the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery are on trial after alleging the black man was a suspect of a robbery. Like Rittenhouse, the three men claimed to have acted in self-defense.

Arguments of self-defense are often used in litigation involving the loss of human life The jury is then asked to determine whether the defendant’s conduct is justified by principles of self-defense or whether the perpetrator is criminally responsible for manslaughter.

To make matters worse, each state has its own laws on killing and self-defense. Some states observe the controversial “Stand your Ground” doctrine, such as in Georgia – or not, as in Wisconsin – which further tarnishes the public understanding of what constitutes the appropriate use of lethal force.

As a professor of criminal law, I teach my students that the law of self-defense in America is based on an important concept: human life is sacred, and the law justifies the killing of human life only in narrowly defined circumstances.

The law of self-defense states that a person other than the attacker is entitled to use lethal force against an opponent if they reasonably believe that death or serious injury is imminent. This is the standard that every state uses to define self-defense.

To determine whether this standard is met, the law looks at five key concepts.

First, the use of force must be proportionate to the force used by the attacker. For example, if the attacker lightly hits the victim in the arm, the victim cannot use lethal force. It’s not proportional.

Second, the use of self-defense is limited to imminent damage. The threat from the attacker must be immediate. For example, a person who is attacked cannot leave the scene of the crime, later plotting revenge and vigilante justice by killing the original attacker. Third, the person’s assessment of whether death or serious bodily harm is imminent , be appropriate, d. H. a supposedly “reasonable person” would consider the threat to be sufficiently dangerous to fear death or serious physical injury. A person’s subjective view of this fear is insufficient to meet the standard of self-defense.

Fourth, the law does not allow a first-time attacker to benefit from a self-defense justification. Only those who have “clean hands” can benefit from this justification and avoid criminal liability.

After all, a person has a duty to withdraw before using lethal force as long as it is safe to do so. This reaffirms the law’s belief in the sanctity of human life and ensures that lethal force is a last resort.

The proliferation of states that have passed “Stand your Ground” laws in recent years has made the analysis of self-defense with the obligation to withdraw more difficult.

Based on early Anglo-American law, the obligation to withdraw is subject to an important exception, which is historically referred to as the “lock doctrine”: A person has no obligation to withdraw from his home country. This principle emerged from the 17th century maxim that a “Man’s home is his castle.”

The “lock doctrine” allows the use of deadly force for self-defense without imposing an obligation to withdraw from the apartment. Over time, states began to extend the no-retreat rule to rooms outside the home.

During the trial of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted when Trayvon Martin was shot in 2012, the stand your ground laws were examined nationally.

In this case, Martin, 17, went to court. home after buying Skittles at a nearby supermarket. At the time, Zimmerman was a neighborhood guard volunteer who called the police after spotting Martin. Although the operator had told him to stay in his car until the officers arrived, Zimmerman confronted Martin instead.

It remains unclear whether there was a fight, who the attacker was, and whether Zimmerman had injuries that match his claims of being beaten up by Martin. Zimmerman was the only survivor; Martin, who was unarmed, died of a gunshot wound.

In the Zimmerman case, for example, under traditional self-defense law, the combination of restricting the first attack and the obligation to retreat would not have allowed Zimmerman to follow Martin and kill him without for murder to be held liable.

But in a stand-your-ground state like Florida, Zimmerman had legitimate rights to patrol the neighborhood near Martin’s house. As a result, Zimmerman only had to prove during his trial that he had a reasonable fear of death or serious injury.

In Wisconsin, Rittenhouse was also able to prove that he was in justified fear of death. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Rittenhouse. “I defended myself.”

The prosecution could not prove beyond doubt that Rittenhouse had no reasonable fear for his safety. This sets a high bar for prosecutors. They could not get past it.

This article has been republished by The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

IN RELATED NEWS: Legal Expert Points out the moment in the trial the “die” was cast in Kyle Rittenhouse’s favor

Legal expert points to the moment of the process in which the “die” was cast in favor of Kyle Rittenhouse


Capitol rioter John Lolos ditched his own attorney’s advice on Friday and talked for a long time about alleged “election fraud” in the 2020 presidential election.

According to Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post, Lolos tried to Justify his actions in the Capitol on Jan. 6 by saying he believed the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

He also claimed that he was “invited” to the Capitol by someone he described him as “the smallest cop I have ever seen in my entire life”.

He also said it was okay to go into the Capitol because others were already doing it.

“Me see a window, it is broken, people are going in, yes, I went in, Your Honor, “he said loudly Reilly.

READ MORE: ‘A travesty!’ MAGA rioter hits the media after he was sentenced to prison / p> “Lolos says no, he doesn’t want to speak to his lawyer, he takes responsibility because he decided to go to the Capitol, but wants to continue to approach the judge to put it ‘in context'”, writes Tillman.

Tillman also reports that the prosecutor commended Lolos for claiming her detention on her behalf by “blaming other people around him and saying he only went in to talk to the police.” speak, not really taking responsibility “.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed four bills to repeal President Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine mandates on Thursday, one day after lawmakers passed the package during a hastily organized special meeting.

He did so during a noisy press conference at a Brandon dealership – a place apparently designed to stab a president who was the target of popular right-wing cheers: “Let’s Brandon You can read the story of the rude origins of this meme here.

“I think Brandon, Florida is a great American city,” DeSantis said. The crowd cheered and repeated the Brandon chant.

“We are proud to be able to stand up for freedom in Brandon, Florida,” said the governor.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Ashley Moody – handed them together with House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Senate President Wilton Simpson, and sponsors of the legislation in question came to DeSantis – a new lawsuit targeting one of Biden’s mandates, that of the healthcare workforce.

Yours at the US on Wednesday District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division, names the heads of the U.S. Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and seeks to block pending regulations that require vaccines for employees of medical care providers who are funded by these institutions.

“Since the hasty and illegal mandate of CMS threatens the medical Relieving state institutions, depriving them of vital staff, compromising the quality of their medical care, and damaging both Florida’s economy and the health of its citizens, seeks immediate aid from this court in Florida, “says the movement.

DeSantis had convened a special session of the legislature to move forward on this mandate and others targeting private companies with more than 100 workers and federal contractors. Moody has also challenged these regulations.

The legislature worked for three days drafting bills prohibiting public employers from requiring workers to be vaccinated; by private companies that require vaccines to allow exceptions for health and religious reasons or for people who become immune from an infection with the coronavirus to undergo regular tests or wear personal protective equipment at work.

In addition the legislature voted for DeSantis to examine whether a state agency should be created to replace the occupational health and safety agency, which announced the mandates for private employers and contractors. And it was made clear that parents decide whether public school children wear masks in class or get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Not bad for a few weeks of work,” DeSantis said after signing the bills, and was referring to his original call for a special session on October 21.

“Ultimately, no one in Florida should lose their job because of these taunts. We want people to be able to work, we want people to be able to feed their families, we want people to make a living, “he said.

” And so it will be in this state, and so will we will stand by all of these people, making sure they are able to make the best decisions for themselves. “

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 60.7 percent of Floridians are fully vaccinated. Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Florida ranks 21st for its fully vaccinated residents.

Biden announced his mandate initiative on September 9, saying he hoped a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” given the backward vaccination rates “We have been patient, but our patience is waning. And your refusal has cost us all.” Pointed to the upcoming deadlines for worker vaccination mandates, arguing that waiting could have cost “thousands and thousands” of jobs.

“If you think job saving is a waste of taxpayers money, this is it like on page 3 of the Governors ‘Handbook, “he said.

” Look, I could have said very simply,’ Hey, it’s all Biden’s fault; Companies do it; it’s private; I am not; I don’t commit it to anyone personally, whatever. I could have washed my hands and said, ‘You know what, it’s her fault or it’s her fault.’ But that’s not leadership. Leadership means getting involved and doing what you can to stand by people. That’s exactly what we did today, and that’s exactly what we will continue to do. “

Florida Phoenix is ​​part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus that operates as a 501c (3) public charity through grants and a coalition of donors Florida Phoenix retains editorial independence. If you have any questions, please contact Editor Diane Rado: [email protected] Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

The most famous comeback in American political history was Richard’s Nixon, who lost a narrow presidential race in 1960, followed by a defeat in the race for California governor two years later, after that defeat he famously whined to the press: “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.” Everyone thought he was done for. After all, Nixon was an extremely disagreeable politician whose nickname “Tricky Dick” slimes all about his uniquely his character testified. But then he ran again for president six years later – and won.

Nixon’s appeal to his constituents was the fact that he was an asshole, there is no other way to put it. He had neither charisma nor charm. But he was a ruthless actor whom his followers believed would do anything to keep their political opponents and foreign enemies at bay. We all know how that worked.

It’s tempting to see Donald Trump as the true heir to Nixon. After all, his appeal was similar in many ways. He, too, lied as easily as he breathed, peeling the bark off anyone who crossed it, and considered someone who kept the hippies and minorities at bay. And Trump actually outperformed Nixon in personal corruption. But that’s where the similarities end. Nixon had a deep understanding of government and politics and a fully worked out, elaborate ideological agenda. Trump was a senior amateur with no interest or ability to learn anything new. And say what you want about him, there’s no denying that Trump managed to create a full-blown personality cult, something poor old Dick Nixon couldn’t even come close to.

No, the real one Heir to Nixon in modern Republican politics is former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Like Nixon, Christie’s main draw is that he’s an asshole who seems to wow about half of American voters at any given time. He also has a list of dirty political tricks, deep unpopularity with his (former) voters, a failed presidential campaign, and what appears to be a comeback attempt.

As hard as it is to believe after his sad performance as Trump toad, Christie has released a new book in which he tries to present himself as the only guy ready to stand up to Donald Trump. It’s his bid for the 2024 presidential nomination – and the media is eating it up with a spoon. In fact, there has never been so much excitement over a book by a former politician who left office with a 14% approval rating years ago and whose main claim to fame since then has been preparing the debates for the man who hit him. But the press can’t get enough of this guy. As Aaron Rupar documented in his Public Notice newsletter last week:

That’s not all. If you read Christie’s Twitter feed, you’ll see that he does late night shows, radio, streaming interviews, and podcasts too. He is in great demand. And it’s amazing. As Late Night host Seth Myers quipped:

I suspect this is exactly what most people think of Christie, especially Trumpers, who will only see him as disloyal – and no one else has ever liked him. But apparently the media is so hungry for a Trump darling that it gobbles up everything he says like he’s an exciting new political superstar.

To his credit, Christie admits the election wasn’t stolen and mildly criticized Trump for refusing to drop it, always hinting that it was bad for “the party” instead of admitting that it was a grotesque perversion of American democracy. In his book, he even talks a little about the former president, revealing that Trump personally leaked to the press, that he offered Christie the job of White House chief of staff, and that Trump gave him “almost every other position on that side” offered by the White House chef. “Unfortunately, he never offered him the attorney general, which Christie said was the job he really wanted.

But mostly Christie tries to close the line between Trump critic and Trump supporter go, a position Politico reported that he sees the way to victory in 2024. He distanced himself after January 6th and has not promised not to compete against him as others have done:

Christie says, he wants to “save” the party. What he does not say is that he wants to save the party from Trumpism. In fact, it is very clear that he sees himself as its rightful leader.

Trump got his lead last time stolen and now are the voters over him and want to vote for the real? It’s just sad. But that’s even sadder:

No matter what, he won’t compete against Fox News. Here he is belatedly replying to MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace after she cornered him on the real problems of Trumpism and the big lie:

Chris Christie’s book is titled “Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Leugers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden “. Wallace was 100 percent right. It’s pretty clear that Chris Christie is just trying to save his reputation and it’s not going well.

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