No judgment after Rittenhouse’s jury’s day-long deliberations

This task is usually performed by a court clerk, not the defendant. Judge Bruce Schroeder said later that day that he had asked defendants to do so “for at least 20 years.”

The jury will return on Wednesday morning to continue their work.

Rittenhouse, 18, faces life imprisonment if convicted of using an AR-style semi-automatic rifle to kill two men and wound a third during a demonstration against racial injustice in Kenosha in the summer of 2020. The former police cadet is white, like he was shot.

Rittenhouse testified that he acted in self-defense, while prosecutors claimed he was provoking violence. The incident has become a flashpoint in the U.S. debate over guns, racial demonstrations, vigilance, and law and order.

The jury looked overwhelmingly white. Potential jurors were not asked to identify their race during the selection process, and the court did not provide a breakdown of the race.

As the jury considered, dozens of protesters – some for Rittenhouse, some against – stood outside the courthouse. Some spoke quietly with those on the other side, while others shouted insults. One woman was repeatedly called to call some supporters of Rittenhouse “supporters of white supremacy.”

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, who faced criticism for his response to the Kenosha protests in 2020, called for the jury to calm down. He announced last week that 500 members of the National Guard will be ready in Kenosha if necessary.

“Regardless of the outcome of this case, I demand peace in Kenosha and our entire state,” Evers tweeted. He added: “I call on all those who choose to come together and exercise their First Addendum rights in each community to do so safely and peacefully.”

The major protests that some had expected did not materialize at the evidentiary stage of the trial. Most days, only a few protesters gathered on the steps of the courthouse, and the high fence that protected the building during last year’s unrest is gone.

Rittenhouse was 17 when he left Kenosha for his home in Antioch, Illinois, he said in an effort to protect property from riots in the days after white Kenosha police shot a black man, Jacob Blake.

In a fast-paced street clash, Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28 years old.

Prosecutor Thomas Binger said in Monday’s closing remarks that Rittenhouse was a “wannabe soldier” who launched a deadly chain of events by bringing a rifle to protests and pointing at protesters just before he was chased.

But Rittenhouse’s lawyer Mark Richards objected that Rittenhouse was ambushed by a “mad person” – Rosenbaum.

In his instructions to the jury, Schroeder said that in order to accept Rittenhouse’s self-defense claim, the jury must state that he believed he was threatened illegally and that the amount of force he used was reasonable and necessary.

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