I’m sorry about the apparent obsession here with the Rittenhouse case, but I believe that the episode has ethical significance on many levels, particularly in the way it demonstrates that toxic progressive bias has headed into end game territory, sort of like with rabies when a victim becomes afraid of water.
What we are seeing and hearing is ugly and would be frightening if it wasn’t so self-evidently irrational. I guess we have seen other examples where political fanaticism causes vast numbers of previously functional Americans to blow out their critical reasoning fuses for all to see, but right now I can’t think of one so striking. Groups that cease to be capable of reason tend not to do very well after a while.
Yes, Steve-O-in NJ has another Comment of the Day, and yes, it’s long, but it touches perceptively on too many important matters to let go by. I especially admire his description of the “chain reaction.” (I could not disagree with his last sentence more, however.)
Here it is, on the post, “A Rittenhouse Verdict Inventory Of Ethics Heroes, Dunces, Villains And Fools, Part III: Facts Don’t Matter”…
So, the verdict is in and Kyle Rittenhouse walks on all charges. I thought about it, and as an attorney who has occasionally worked civil rights cases I do not see any bases for federal civil rights charges against him. Most of the federal civil rights statute has to do with punishing those who act under color of law to deprive individuals of their constitutional rights. Those statues are generally designed to bring down law enforcement officers who abuse their authority for no good reason. There is also the question of a hate crime, however, there has been no allegation nor proof that anyone he killed was a member of a protected class killed because they were a member of protected class.
The Federal statutes are simply not designed to give the federal government a second bite at every state murder prosecution that fails to make. I suppose the Feds could try to cobble together gun charges or terrorism charges (but that’s a very long stretch). However, they would still have to draw a jury pool from Wisconsin, and all of Wisconsin has now seen this trial and knows this would be just an attempt to punish someone for a crime he was already acquitted of. Jerry Nadler should have known better then to suggest this, but he was simply pandering to his base and his party’s base.
This was another classic domino situation of one breach of the law leading to more as described by the Hon. Guido Calabresi, senior judge of the Second Circuit Court of appeals, in an address at my law school graduation. Things were already tense in this country because George Floyd decided he would break the law and pass fake money, then resist arrest while high as a kite, then Derek Chauvin decided he would break the law and press George Floyd against the ground with his knee until he was fatally injured, then a huge number of people decided they would break the law and riot, then a whole lot of public officials decided they would break the law and fail to do their sworn duty to protect the people. While the nation was still reeling from this, Jacob Blake decided he would break the law and resist a lawful arrest, officers got heavy handed, and still more people decided they would break the law and riot, set fires, and destroy and ransack property that was not theirs to destroy or ransack. Kyle Rittenhouse unwisely decided to get involved in this mess, while armed. Three individuals with lengthy criminal records decided they would break the law and violate common sense and attack Kyle and try to kill him while he was armed for the rifle. Finally Kyle found himself with no alternative but to open fire, killing two and wounding a third.