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Rittenhouse


StringJunky
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Disappointed, but not shocked. Such is the legal system of the US.

 

added:

To paraphrase from Mississippi Burning

"These hayseeds will never prosecute. convict. We've got to get 'em in federal court! Violation of civil rights!"

Along with the judge suspending the sentences after a conviction.

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4 hours ago, StringJunky said:

It's a symptom of a system breaking down. It's just confirmation in my mind.

It's not present tense. The system is broken. It was designed that way.

The default is that if you're white, it is legally plausible to fear for your life from anyone with darker skin or different views, regardless of circumstances. This is just another example.

Civil court has a lower burden (preponderance of evidence vs reasonable doubt) so this may not be over (see OJ Simpson) and as I alluded to above, it's been suggested that federal charges might be in play because he crossed state lines (I'm not a lawyer, tho)

 

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Not just conservatives, Phi, although sane voices, advocating for gun control, are mostly left.
When we last discussed the problem of guns in the US, some very liberal thinking members of this very Forum, objected to gun control.
It is one subject which is not as politically polarized in the general population.
There are roughly 400 million guns among the US' 340 million people, and only about a million are registered.

It is an American problem, not a right or left wing issue.
( seems to me, an 'amendment' is already a change; why the big resistance against another change ? )

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I didn't realise lower court judges are elected?! 

I'd rather avoid the subject of gun ownership in general, apart from him crossing state lines illegally with one... if it matters. We've done that subject pretty thoroughly in the past and I think we know where we stand on that. I think the takeaways from this verdict are much more than that. I think this is more about racism, in that white people can get off more easily than blacks and others  as swansont noted.  If it was a black person in the dock under the same circumstances, I think you would agree the judicial outcome would have been very different.

Edited by StringJunky
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1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

If it was a black person in the dock under the same circumstances, I think you would agree the judicial outcome would have been very different.

Not trying to be sensationalist, but I have the feeling that a black person might not have made it to the court room in the first place.

A black person running with a gun toward police has likely quite a different life expectancy than a white person. There is a huge systemic issue ranging from laws, law enforcement and law interpretation. Some studies have for example shown that stand your ground laws are  very unevenly enforced when comparing cases when black persons are either the shooter or the victims. I also recall studies where law enforcement (and other folks) where quicker to shoot at targets when they looked black so there is quite a subconscious bias which can easily turn deadly in stress situations.

In some ways I think there two big issues here. One is how gun laws and control (or lack thereof) and culture can create situations where folks can be shot dead and ultimately no one is really at fault and the second is, even if folks were OK with living in the Wild West, would a black person be afforded the same rights. Evidence suggests that the former situation just amplifies the baked-in inequalities of the system.

Now there is another case in trial in play that on its face seems even more clear. Here an unarmed black man (Arbery) was chased by gun-wielding vigilantes and ultimately gunned down. Here, also a self-defence claim was made but I would think that the fact that they chased him down should weaken that argument (but who knows). Now, the killers are not law enforcement, so conviction is not utterly unlikely, especially with the scrutiny following the Rittenhouse trial, but who knows.

Just perhaps to add some data: https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/race-justifiable-homicide-and-stand-your-ground-laws-analysis-fbi

The study showed that 11.4% of White on Black homicides where considered justified, but the reverse case is only justified about 1.2% of cases.

Where stand your ground laws were enacted, among Black folks shot to death the rate of homicides ruled to be justifiable doubled, whereas in countries without they fell. https://digitalscholarship.tsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?r

Now this might be a bit of a tangent as I do not think that Wisconsin actually has a stand your ground law, but it goes more to the overall weird tap dance that folks are doing with regard to gun violence (and the uncomfortable issues relating to race).

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, swansont said:

Disappointed, but not shocked. Such is the legal system of the US...

Especially Wisconsin,  which has very permissive laws regarding both carrying a long-barreled rifle and the standards for self defense.   

Though we can rightly condemn his actions,  his provocations, and that an immature teenager was provided a gun,  the law of that state provided reasonable doubt on his responsibility for what happened.

What needs to change are the laws that smooth the way for RW vigilantism.

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This verdict, and trial, are just another data point in the 'crazy' that passes for 'normal' in the US these days.

And am I missing something ? I thought the people he shot were all white, and brandishing various weapons ( a skateboard even ).
If someone intends to do me harm, or kill me, does it matter if I run them down with a car, although I don't have a licence and can't legally drive ?

The problem, other than the farcical trial, is thinking that it's OK to carry assault rifles to a protest which is escalating to a riot.
( The victims of the shooting were not fine upstanding citizens; not that it matters, but I don't think thy were there for a peaceful protest either )

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26 minutes ago, MigL said:

This verdict, and trial, are just another data point in the 'crazy' that passes for 'normal' in the US these days.

And am I missing something ? I thought the people he shot were all white, and brandishing various weapons ( a skateboard even ).
If someone intends to do me harm, or kill me, does it matter if I run them down with a car, although I don't have a licence and can't legally drive ?

The problem, other than the farcical trial, is thinking that it's OK to carry assault rifles to a protest which is escalating to a riot.
( The victims of the shooting were not fine upstanding citizens; not that it matters, but I don't think thy were there for a peaceful protest either )

 Criminality doesn't fall along partisan lines, so we have to look through that particular type of noise here.

E2A Although Ive asked the US guys the question, if anyone else wants to contribute, knock yourself out and do. :)

Edited by StringJunky
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1 minute ago, MigL said:

And am I missing something ? I thought the people he shot were all white, and brandishing various weapons ( a skateboard even ).
If someone intends to do me harm, or kill me, does it matter if I run them down with a car, although I don't have a licence and can't legally drive ?

The racial part was mostly what would have happened if Rittenhouse was black. Considering the history of e.g. police shootings when black persons were considered threatening (even if unarmed) or the conviction rate even if black persons declared self-defence (there some lit out there about it, too, and it ain't pretty).

With regard to self-defence, I think that there is big rift between North America and much of Europe. In Europe the general assumption of proportionality and not even the immediate brandishing of, say a bat would immediate jump to lethal countermeasures. Especially in the US, there is the assumption that any potential harm can be escalated to protect yourself. In Canada self-protection laws also include proportionality, but I think the close cultural exchange via the Southern borders might have eroded that line of thinking somewhat.

 

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Definitely agree with you  CharonY, If he was black he would have never made it to trial; he would most likely have been shot in the street by police.

But I don't see how it is partisan to mention that the victims of the shooting, although they didn't deserve to die, were there to riot and raise hell, just as Ritterhouse was, Stringy.
In any other place, this might have escalated to a beating; when people are armed, it escalates to shooting and deaths.

I don't mean to deral this thread, and make it about guns, Stringy.
But I don't think a protest that might escalate to a riot is anywhere guns should be allowed.
We've seen it countless times, people ( usually right wingnuts ) showing up at protests in full army gear and armed to go to war; even if not used, guns are an intimidation to the oppostion.
Nothing good can come of allowing ideological people to open carry firearms to a 'confrontational' event.

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

I don't see how it is partisan to mention that the victims of the shooting, although they didn't deserve to die, were there to riot and raise hell

Maybe not partisan, but certainly irrelevant.

If his victims were there rioting, raising hell, breaking the law, then they deserved what Rittinghouse got. A trial in a court of law, not a vigilante death sentence from an out of state white kid who was out looking for trouble and angling for a fight. 

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What is the evidence that Huber was doing anything but trying to disarm an emotionally unstable teenager on a shooting spree?   How was that raising hell or breaking the law?  Huber responded heroically to a clear-cut public danger and was murdered.  Police,  who were, contrary to sanity and any valid procedure,  herding the crowd towards the vigilantes,  did nothing when Rittenhouse gunned down the first victim.  And nothing when Huber tried to stop him.   And nothing when he maimed the third victim.   And then allowed Rittenhouse to walk away.   Who are the real lawbreakers here? 

4 hours ago, MigL said:


But I don't think a protest that might escalate to a riot is anywhere guns should be allowed.
We've seen it countless times, people ( usually right wingnuts ) showing up at protests in full army gear and armed to go to war; even if not used, guns are an intimidation to the oppostion.
Nothing good can come of allowing ideological people to open carry firearms to a 'confrontational' event.

Ya think?? 

Edited by TheVat
Some naughty words edited out
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2 hours ago, TheVat said:

Ya think??

Is that a rebuttal or agreement ?

 

4 hours ago, iNow said:

If his victims were there rioting, raising hell, breaking the law, then they deserved what Rittinghouse got. A trial in a court of law, not a vigilante death sentence from an out of state white kid who was out looking for trouble and angling for a fight. 

I thought that's what I said ...

6 hours ago, MigL said:

But I don't see how it is partisan to mention that the victims of the shooting, although they didn't deserve to die, were there to riot and raise hell, just as Ritterhouse was, Stringy.

Did you miss the bolded part ?

Edited by MigL
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But a jury of your peers just said it wasn't murder ...
So your analogy is irrelevant.

I say your peers, because in Canada, carrying a gun, as Ritterhouse did, would make him automatically guilty.
Why would you have a gun, if you didn't intend to use it ?

But of course, there's that darned 2nd Amendment ...

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I’m confused. How in your mind does the jury today saying it wasn’t murder make what those now dead people were doing in the street that night in any way relevant? They were not posing a threat, yet got shot dead by an out of state white kid.

Maybe they deserved to die at the hands of a teenager because a window got broken. Is that what you mean? Or do you just mean a broken window is reason enough to take a life outside of the justice system?

Because if neither of those represent your view, then WHAT THEY WERE DOING THERE OR HOW THEY WERE PROTESTING IS IRRELEVANT. 

Edited by iNow
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12 minutes ago, MigL said:

in Canada, carrying a gun, as Ritterhouse did, would make him automatically guilty.

It would make him guilty of carrying a gun. The kind of gun, whether he had a permit for it, and where and how he was carrying it would determine what else he might or might not be guilty of. The kind of gun he had is automatically subject to criminal proceedings: no civilian is allowed to walk around with them, period. (Seems reasonable to me.) What he did with it would put him away for fourteen years, minimum. I don't think the self defence bs would hold up for thirty seconds in a Canadian court. 

But then, judges are not by popular choice, and juries really are the peers of both accused and victim.  The second part, I know from personal experience of jury duty.

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I don't want to re-argue the trial, because I think Ritterhouse should be in jail, and because I don't think that was Stringy's intent with this thread.
If you watched or read about the trial, INow you know that the prosecution argued for murder, while the defense argued that Rittehouse was protecting himself.
The jury was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that it was murder, and/or, they believed that it was self-defense.
So obviously, the jury thought what the victims were doing was not simply 'breaking windows', but actually threatening Ritterhouse with serious harm, if not death.
IOW, what they were doing is very relevant, and the likely cause for the decision handed down.
Don't blame me for what the jury thought ( or your confusion 🙂 I hear that's common with old age )

11 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I don't think the self defence bs would hold up for thirty seconds in a Canadian court. 

Agreed, but probably much less than 30 seconds.
You openly carry a gun, legal or not, in Canada, get into an altercation, and shoot someone, it is murder.
The fact you were carrying the gun is intent.

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13 minutes ago, MigL said:

The fact you were carrying the gun is intent.

That's the only part I disagree with. Owning an assault rifle is illegal. Carrying it is illegal. Both are indictable offenses, but neither, by itself, constitutes intent to kill or wound a person. Interpreting law is more about context than any other single factor. Bringing a gun to the annual deer-slaughter is fine; if getting into an altercation with another hunter results in one of them shooting the other, the charge may only be manslaughter (mandatory 7 years), while shooting an unarmed householder on whose land they were trespassing would be a lot more serious. Bringing it to a protest or political rally in a city would be a very bad idea.... for now. There are those here who would have more like there.

https://ipolitics.ca/2020/09/10/dont-bring-your-guns-marchers-warned-before-hill-protest-against-firearm-ban/      

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