Jury selection in the trial for Kyle Rittenhouse, the man accused of fatally shooting two men and injuring a third during Jacob Blake protests, began on Monday morning (Nov. 1) in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
According to reports, over 150 jurors were summoned to potentially hear the case, however, dozens of them have already been dismissed for personal reasons or because they felt like they could not be unbiased during the trial. One man reportedly said, “I don’t feel like I can ignore different things I’ve been reading over the past year.” Another person stated that they posted a lot about the case on social media and strongly believed in one’s right to bear arms.
Although Judge Bruce Schroeder said that he wants the entire panel chosen in one day, it may not happen so quickly. Overall, 20 jurors will be selected and only 12 of them will hear the case and decide on a verdict. The other eight will serve as alternate jurors.
Rittenhouse is facing multiple charges, including two counts of first-degree homicide, attempted homicide and recklessly endangering safety for firing his weapon near others. Last summer, he shot and killed Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum during protests in Kenosha after a white officer shot Blake, a Black man, several times in the back.
Rittenhouse’s legal team is arguing that their client acted in self-defense during the shootings. Last month, they had self-defense specialist John R. Black present his report to the court. He said that each time Rittenhouse pulled the trigger, it was to protect himself and stop his firearm from being taken. “I do believe they (Rittenhouse’s actions) were reasonably necessary,” Black said, adding that his findings were based on his belief that each person the defendant shot wanted to take his gun from him.
The trial is expected to last two to three weeks. If Rittenhouse is convicted of the most serious charges, he could face life in prison.