KENOSHA — The jury was selected for Kyle Rittenhouse's homicide trial Monday evening.
Rittenhouse, 18, shot three people, killing two, during a violent night of protests last summer.
There are 11 women and nine men. There is one person of color on the jury panel. There is a wide range of ages, but leans older. Eight alternates will be picked before deliberations. The selection came late into the evening after hours of questioning the jury as a group and individually.
Jurors will be focused on deciding if Kyle Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense or is guilty of murder. Attorney’s on both sides scrutinized what jurors knew and how that could effect their decision making when it comes time to enter a verdict in the case.
“How many of you personally took steps to protect yourself, your family, your home, your businesses during that period of time?” questioned Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger.
Rittenhouse’s defense attorney Corey Chirafisi asked, "Mr. Rittenhouse has the constitutional right to testify and the constitutional right not to testify. Is there anybody here that would find him less credible simply because he is charged in this case?”
Rittenhouse’s attorney’s say the then 17-year-old acted in self defense when he shot and killed Anthony Huber and Joseph Resenbaum and injured Gage Grosskruetz.
The case has polarized people on all sides of the issue, and Judge Bruce Schroeder made it clear to the jurors politics will have no place in this trial.
“I said it once, I’ll say it agin. This is not a political trial," he said. "I want this case to reflect the greatness of Kenosha, the fairness of Kenosha.”
Opening statements are set to begin on Tuesday.
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Rittenhouse was 17 when he traveled from his home in Illinois, just across the Wisconsin border, during protests that broke out in August 2020 after a police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man.
Rittenhouse faces life in prison if he’s convicted on one of the homicide counts against him.
Judge Schroeder told the potential jury pool prior to selection that they can expect to begin at 9 a.m. each day and that there will be a break for lunch.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.
We have a jury.— Stephanie Haines (@TMJ4Stephanie) November 2, 2021
11 women, 9 men. The jury seems almost all white. One person may identify as a different race or ethnicity.
Wide range of ages, but skews older.
Picture is from Friday. 8 alternates will be picked right before deliberations. pic.twitter.com/4PH4PQu0ch