How 12 ordinary Americans saved their country
At 12:17 P.M. Friday, while I was on a conference call, trying not to think about the trial going on in Kenosha, I got a text message from a good friend. "You called it. Acquitted on all counts."
I felt a profound sense of relief. I didn't even realize how tense I have been all week waiting for this. Watching the video of the moment they announced the verdicts on the indictment, I cried with him. I am sure many others in America did as well.
I know nothing of Kyle Rittenhouse other than what I have seen this past year. I do not know his family or friends. But I am familiar with lower Wisconsin — with Kenosha, where I have gone to shop, and with Racine, where good friends of mine live. This is an American, sensible, family-values Midwest area. It is peopled by all races, creeds, and colors who work together, who go to school together, and yes, who even worship together. Watching it overrun with thugs and lunatics in August of 2020, I was incredulous. But then I was incredulous most of the summer of 2020 as I watched night after night of the media and the Democrat Party shock troops destroying cities, courthouses and people's lives being used for no other reason than to win an election.
I was incredulous about a governor of Wisconsin who waited for three days and acted only after the events of August 25, who would not bring in the National Guard and seemed to want the chaos to continue — because he didn't want to look as if he agreed with President Trump.
People need to remember that about Gov. Evers and make sure he can never be in a position to do this again. People need to remember the vitriol and the vile defamation spewed into our airwaves, online, on social media and make sure this doesn't happen again. People need to remember the media ginning this up every night, the current vice president perverting justice and encouraging criminals by raising bail for them so they could continue to loot and burn. We should not forget any of that. And we should work every day to keep this from happening again.
But we also need to remember that twelve people, tried and true, a real jury of Kyle Rittenhouse's peers, shut out the lunatics, shut out MSNBC, the president of the United States, the race-baiters, those who yelled outside the courthouse for days and did something that this country's founders envisioned them to do. They sat in a courtroom for two weeks. They listened and they watched and they considered without prejudice or guile.
They were not interested in causes, demonstrators or what the media elites had to say on either side of the aisle. Because that is not what this trial was about. It was about a young man accused of crimes that would put him in jail for the rest of his life. That was what was important, and it was important to these people picked to sit on this jury. They did a remarkable thing. They did something it takes lawyers three years to learn how to do, and they learned how to do it in two weeks. They reviewed the evidence, without prejudice or guile, and they decided what the facts were. They needed no help in this from Morning Joe, or Racist Joy. They brought their life experience and their common sense, and they decided the facts of what actually happened on August 25, 2020. And they found those facts on the basis of what they saw and heard in the courtroom.
After that, the only help that they needed they got from the judge, who instructed them on how to apply the law to the facts they had learned in the courtroom. We need not have worried. Those of us who try cases to juries have seen this many times. It amazes me every time I see it. They see things through the spinning and the argument, and they separate the wheat from the chaff, and at the end of the day, they so often get it right.
The founders saw that this was the safeguard of the criminal justice system and ultimately of all of us. They wrote this into the Fifth Amendment to protect us from an out-of-control government bent on wrongful or unfair prosecution. And, as so often they are, they were right again.
These twelve people deserve our gratitude. Yes, they saved Kyle Rittenhouse. But they also vindicated the founders, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and saved all the rest of us as well.
God bless them for their sanity and their courage. And God bless America.
Image via Flickr, Public Domain.
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