Judge Bruce Schroeder, who’s overseeing the court case of Kyle Rittenhouse, responded to media criticism of himself while addressing the court on Wednesday. He also slammed the general coverage of the trial as “frightening.”
Schroeder noted reports critical of his pre-trial ruling barring the prosecution from referring to the men shot by Rittenhouse as “victims.” The judge noted that the ruling was not unusual at all when the client is claiming self-defense.
“How would you like to be put on trial for a crime and the judge introduced the case to the jury by introducing you as the defendant and the person who is accusing you as the ‘victim,’” Schroeder explained, according to The Daily Caller. “And then throughout the trial, have all the references to the complaining witness as being the ‘victim’. Is that so difficult to just use the term ‘complaining witness’, instead of pre-judging what the jury is here to determine, whether there is a victim and whether there was a crime committed?”
He further knocked the press for claiming it was unusual for Rittenhouse, the defendant, to pick his own final 12 jurors by way of a raffle-style drum. The Daily Caller reported:
“Finally, and I am now reading about how bizarre and unusual it was to have the defendant pick the numbers out of the tumbler yesterday,” Schroeder added, noting he began the practice following a case roughly 20 years ago during which he believed it’s best for defendants to pick the numbers so that they feel in control, and that he’s never had a complaint about it before but that some are dissatisfied with the procedure and “want to undermine the result of the trial.”
“Some of the other misinformation about the case … is widespread, and you gentlemen are aware of it as I am,” the judge slammed, speaking to defense and prosecution.
“I’m somewhat astounded, as it gets out into the general public, and I spoke about it on the first day of trial, the result of the trial should be open to public scrutiny and people should have confidence in the outcome of the trial … It’s just a shame that irresponsible statements are being made,” Schroeder said.
“I think it’s shameful, some of the things that are being done to [these five attorneys] and when I talked about problems with the media, when this trial started, we’re there in part … because of grossly irresponsible handling of what comes out of this trial,” the judge added. “I will tell you this, I’m going to think long and hard about live television in a trial again, next time, I don’t know. I’ve always been a firm believer in it because I think people should see what’s going on but what’s being done is really quite frightening.”
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