The jury of the trial for Kyle Rittenhouse began deliberations to decide his fate this morning, Tuesday, November 16 at 9 AM Central Time. The now 18-year-old, was 17 when he was charged as an adult for killing two people and injuring another at the August 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The most serious charge he faces is first-degree intentional homicide, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. It is important to note that there is a difference between intentional and reckless homicide, also one of the counts, punishable by up to a 60-year prison sentence. The judge has also allowed the jury to consider lesser charges, such as second-degree intentional homicide. Also, a misdemeanor weapons and curfew count were previously dropped. 

What Charges Does Rittenhouse Face?

  • FIRST DEGREE INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE, USE OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON
  • FIRST DEGREE RECKLESS HOMICIDE, USE OF A DEADLY WEAPON (FEL)
  • ATTEMPTED FIRST DEGREE INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE, USE OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON
  • TWO COUNTS OF FIRST DEGREE RECKLESSLY ENDANGERING SAFETY, USE OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON (FEL)
  • POSSESSION OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON BY A PERSON UNDER 18 (Dismissed)
  • FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH AN EMERGENCY ORDER FROM STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT due to breaking an 8 pm curfew (Dismissed)

Source: (Richmond, T. Associated Press. Nov. 16, 2021. apnews.com)

The USE OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON additions each carries another five years of imprisonment.

The defense team maintains that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. In order to win this one, the prosecution will have to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt to jurors that Rittenhouse had other options and chose not to take them, instead of shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum. We will soon find out if the prosecutor’s office met the burden of proof to show that the shootings were not justified. However, if the Jury agrees with the defense team that Rittenhouse was facing imminent danger when he shot Joseph Rosenbaum, then he will have met the standard for self-defense, and they will find him not guilty of intentional homicide.