Neutral Analysis of Kyle Rittenhouse case

(I’m going to use neutral language here. Sorry if it sounds harsh.)

Is the shooter a murderer? Everything depends on the very first exchange. Shooter was being chased, an (unrelated) gunshot goes off, he has an encounter with Deceased 1 and he killed him. If Shooter was reasonable in thinking Deceased 1was a lethal threat, then his use of lethal force was legal. If it was unreasonable, then Shooter is a murderer. There’s disagreement over what exactly happened. The jury will decide what happened and whether Shooter acted reasonably.

Both Shooter and Deceased 1 had criminal histories. That’s irrelevant. Politics is irrelevant. The argument that Shooter shouldn’t have even been there is irrelevant. It’s not even relevant whether he was legally permitted to have a firearm. Nothing is relevant except that one issue: did Deceased 1 put Shooter in reasonable fear for his life?

If the first shooting was murder, then Shooter was a fleeing felon. Under common law, Deceased 2 had the right to use lethal force to stop him and Shooter cannot claim self defense. Under these facts, there would be no doubt that Shooter murdered Deceased 2. 

What if the first killing was justified? Then the question again is whether Shooter reasonably believed Deceased 2 was a deadly threat. If it was a reasonable belief, then Shooter had a right to kill in self defense. If not, then it was murder.





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