With his tie removed, attorney Mark Richards spoke in calm, sober terms following a career triumph.
“They wanted to use Kyle for a cause,” Richards told reporters. “And I don’t represent causes. I represent clients. And the only thing that ended up mattering to me was whether he was found not guilty. . . . I told him when I first met him . . . that if he was looking for somebody to go off on a crusade, I wasn’t his lawyer.”
Rittenhouse himself, upon learning of his acquittal, did not high-five his attorneys or revel in the victory. A flood of suppressed feelings finally burst through the calm exterior he maintained in the nearly three-week ordeal.
Rittenhouse’s attorney has it exactly right. Friday’s verdict in Kenosha was not a political win for the Right. It is a routine application of black letter law to a clear-cut case. The victory and praise belongs to the nonpartisan administration of justice in a far corner of this country. It doesn’t belong to conservatives who are rushing to harvest notoriety from the boy’s tragic ordeal.
The jury pool was, like Wisconsin itself, undoubtedly, bipartisan with both Black Lives Matter sympathizers and Back the Blue conservatives. In a miracle of American civics, they nevertheless united to resist relentless political pressure from television, print, social media, and the shouted slogans penetrating the walls of the courthouse itself. Rittenhouse didn’t win because the jury wanted to help the Right win in 2024. And it cheapens the moment to suggest conservative politicians had anything to do with his acquittal.
The prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the young man did not use reasonable force to protect himself. Rittenhouse’s lawyers resisted making political arguments to simply spotlight the already gaping holes in the prosecution. They played the ball, not the crowd.
The verdict yielded a dividend of peace almost immediately. Looting and rioting in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Portland were the exceptions that proved the rule. Those cities had already abandoned their citizens to criminals and mobs. But the streets of Kenosha and almost all other American communities remained peaceful. continue reading…