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Thinking about Rittenhouse and Right Wing Murder Safaris

PORTLAND, OREGON, USA - SEPTEMBER 26: A man carries a sign advocating for the accused killer Kyle Rittenhouse in Wisconsin as the Proud Boys, a right-wing pro-Trump group, gather with their allies in a rally called √... PORTLAND, OREGON, USA - SEPTEMBER 26: A man carries a sign advocating for the accused killer Kyle Rittenhouse in Wisconsin as the Proud Boys, a right-wing pro-Trump group, gather with their allies in a rally called √ĘEnd Domestic Terrorism√Ę against Antifa in Portland, Oregon on September 26, 2020. (Photo by John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 12, 2021 9:11 a.m.

Court observers appear divided on whether the Kyle Rittenhouse trial is headed to a hung jury or an outright acquittal. Very few seem to think the case is headed toward a conviction. That’s very jarring because many of us see it as obvious that Rittenhouse is unquestionably the guilty party, even if precisely what he is guilty of may be open to interpretation and despite the fact that the nature of self-defense laws in many states give the defense plenty of room to work with even in a case like this. Setting aside the technical components of first degree murder charges where this trial seems deeply unjust. Rittenhouse traveled to Wisconsin loaded for bear looking for trouble, found it and the law says that’s okay. That is compounded by the way the right in the US has made Rittenhouse into a folk hero.

But I’ve tried to distill down just what gets to me about this case. And here’s what I’ve come up with.

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