Did the juries in Rittenhouse and Arbery cases make the right decision?

A follow-up to ‘Vigilante justice in America’

Jules Antonio | Photo Courtesy

During our last publication, I wrote about the Kyle Rittenhouse case and the Ahmaud Arbery case. Since then, their respective juries have spoken. Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges. On the other hand, the men that killed Arbery were convicted on all accounts. 

Did the jury get it right? I think that for the most part, they did. 

First, when researching the Kyle Rittenhouse case for the previous article, I had to watch videos, read through the timeline of events and search out the details of the case. And at the very least, you can say that Kyle had an excellent case for self-defense. 

He is a fool for putting himself in the position where he had to make a life or death decision, but I think he acted in self-defense.

The issues of his case that stand out to me are problems I see within a system overall, not necessarily one individual. It turned out it wasn’t illegal for him to possess a gun, but I think it should be. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if, following this case, we see some significant changes in Wisconsin law regarding gun use and ownership, especially among minors. The only charge made against him that truly makes sense is reckless endangerment. 

But Wisconsin law dictates that licensed users may open carry or conceal carry. Even then, without a license, open carry is still legal. Meaning, even though I think having loaded guns in an area you know will be filled with looters is asking for trouble, it isn’t against the law. 

Those types of laws are going to be ones that may change as a result of his court ruling. 

The other trouble with this case was the initial difficulty that Rittenhouse had turning himself in. In one of the videos I watched, you can see him trying to turn himself in when he saw a police car and was turned away. 

The law is out of place in modern America, and it’s a matter of time before we see legislative changes in both of these states. 

The glaring issue from that encounter is that police didn’t even seem to believe the crowd who said that Rittenhouse did it or Rittenhouse himself, who was trying to do the right thing in turning himself in. They claimed they were still hearing gunshots and just wanted to get up the street to help victims. 

It sounds like police are not equipped to handle events of that magnitude, meaning that reform is needed, but we know that. 

Finally, several moments in court made me question the presiding judge Schroeder. His questionable actions include playing Jeopardy! with the jury and ruling that the men killed can not be called ‘victims’, but ‘looters’ and ‘rioters’ are allowed. I can’t help but feel race has been an integral part of this case. 

From the circumstances that Kyle found himself in the courtroom, it’s hard not to feel like race has been a significant part of this case that has colored how it has been talked about. And I can’t help but wonder how this case would have turned out if a black judge had been presiding over the case instead. 

Ultimately, I was not in the courtroom. And because this case is not as black and white as it seems, I am personally content with the jury’s verdict. 

In terms of the Ahmaud Arbery case, I think the jury also nailed it on that case. All three men were found guilty of all charges. There is no way to describe the murder of Arbery as anything other than cold-blooded murder. 

Those men killed him for the crime of going on a jog. His murder was racially motivated and those men should go to jail for the rest of their lives. 

I also wouldn’t be surprised if we saw laws change in Georgia involving citizens’ arrests. This case has made it abundantly clear that citizens should not be responsible for investigating or arresting citizens. 

The law is out of place in modern America, and it’s a matter of time before we see legislative changes in both of these states. 

Regardless of your personal feelings surrounding these highly politicized cases, it is highly likely that we will see continued ramifications of these rulings. 

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