by WorldTribune Staff, October 27, 2021
Prosecutors in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse are prohibited from referring to the men the teenager shot during the Kenosha riots last summer as “victims,” a Wisconsin judge ruled on Monday.
In laying out the ground rules, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder ruled that Rittenhouse’s defense team can refer to the men he shot as “rioters” and “looters,” but prosecutors may not call them “victims” at any point during the trial which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 1.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Schroeder “indicated he would allow evidence of bad behavior that night by the men Rittenhouse shot because it could speak to how dangerous they would have seemed to the teen.”
Frustrated prosecutors argued it is unfair for Rittenhouse’s defense team to be able to use the terms “rioters” and “looters” while they could not use the word “victim.”
“The terms that I’m identifying here such as rioter, looter and arsonist are as loaded, if not more loaded, than the term victim,” assistant district attorney Thomas Binger said.
Schroeder said, “the word victim is a loaded, loaded word.”
“He can demonize them if he wants, if he thinks it will win points with the jury,” Schroeder told prosecutors in reference to Rittenhouse’s attorney.
Schroeder also noted that prosecutors may use harsh words like “cold-blooded killer” to refer to Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse is on trial for shooting three men during the Kenosha riots last summer. He pled not guilty to the charges against him in January, arguing he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot two men and wounded another.