After a full day of closing arguments from both sides in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, on Monday afternoon Judge Bruce Schroeder delivered instructions to the jury as far as what charges they will deliberate and how the process works.
However, the judge added a unique twist to his instructions for the jury that likely hasn’t been heard before in a courtroom, as he instructed the group to “pay no heed” to the opinions of President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump when deciding on a verdict, The Daily Wire reports.
The specific instruction was a reference to comments made last year by then-candidate Biden in which he suggested that Rittenhouse, and others, were “white supremacists.”
Judge lays it out
Closing arguments from both sides, along with the prosecution’s rebuttal, took every bit of five hours on Monday, and with several pauses and technical issues, it took the better part of the entire day before the jury was brought in to hear Judge Schroeder’s final instructions.
“The time has now come where the great burden of reaching a just, fair, and conscientious decision in this case will be placed totally with you. You will not be swayed by sympathy, passion, prejudice, or political beliefs. You will disregard any impressions that you may have, which you may believe are my opinion on the guilt or innocence of the defendant,” the judge said.
Judge Schroeder added: “You will disregard the claims or opinions of any person, news media, or social networking site. You will pay no heed to the opinions of anyone — even the president of the United States, or the president before him.”
“The founders of our country gave you, and you alone, the power and the duty to decide this case,” the judge concluded.
The jury was instructed to reconvene for deliberations on Tuesday morning, and many legal analysts expect that a verdict could arrive sooner than later, given the general sentiment that Rittenhouse’s defense attorneys won the overall battle.
As of this writing, it’s unclear whether Rittenhouse will be acquitted on some or all charges, but if that’s the case, the next step for the defendant’s family could involve pursuing defamation cases against various media outlets, and even Biden’s White House.
That possibility has been hinted several times by Wendy Rittenhouse, who, according to the New York Post, was furious at Biden and many left-leaning media outlets for blatantly attempting to paint her son as a white supremacist, evil person.
“President Biden don’t know my son whatsoever, and he’s not a white supremacist. He’s not a racist. And [Biden] did that for the votes,” Rittenhouse’s mother told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “And I was so angry for a while at him and what he did to my son, he defamed him.”
The media has relentlessly attacked the defendant since the beginning of the trial, with many outlets spewing blatantly false claims about the Illinois teenager. With any luck, his lawyers will have great success in a number of defamation suits to follow.