U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-— The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse was covered extensively on AmmoLand News by this correspondent. During the coverage, Kevin Mathewson of the Kenosha County Eye provided wonderful insight. Six months after the trial, Kevin Mathewson interviewed one of the jurors who was on the Rittenhouse Jury.
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As many may remember, the jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts, because he was acting in justified self-defense.
On one count, Judge Schroeder ruled the weapons charge was not valid for Jury consideration. The result was expected by those who had followed the case. Many attorneys believed the prosecution should never have brought the weapons charges at all. The numerous videos of the action where Kyle defended himself, were unambiguous.
Kevin Mathewson has graciously allowed this correspondent to use his article at AmmoLand News. The insight shows the basic structure of the jury system works as it should when populated by people who believe in doing the correct thing with honor. Quotes from the Kenosha County Eye are in italics. From the Eye:
A woman over 50 who served as a juror in the Kyle Rittenhouse case spoke exclusively to Kenosha County Eye Monday night. We will call her Kimberly. Kimberly came across as genuine and kind. She kept all of her answers to our questions very positive. Kimberly told KCE many times times how proud she was of her fellow jurors. “I am very proud of our work. Justice prevailed.”
“Judge Schroeder told us to put away everything we’ve heard and read about the case and decide only based on the evidence seen in court. I thought long and hard about that, and I was able to do it., with honor,” Kimberly said confidently. This was Kimberly’s first ever time serving on a jury and she remembers hearing the same from many of the other jurors as well.
Kimberly didn’t have anything negative to say about any of the lawyers from either side. She did, however tell us that she thought Judge Bruce Schroeder got an “A+” for his overseeing of the case. During the long trial, which Kimberly described as “intense”, Kimberly wanted to act with honor and deliver the right verdict.
Many observers were concerned about how long the jury took to reach a decision. This correspondent wrote, at the time, that the jury instructions were long and complicated, and could take some time for the jury to figure out and understand. Kimberly confirms the observation.
When asked about the length of deliberations, Kimberly told us that the jury “went through the thirty-some pages of jury instructions sentence by sentence and every piece of evidence with a fine toothed comb. Every time you watch a video again, you see something new.”
During the trial, many people suspected one or more jurors were holding out for a conviction of some kind. The juror Kimberly implies such was not the case. Rather, the case was very complicated with numerous charges and extremely complex jury instructions. Kimberly says the jury was 100% confident in the decision.
“In my opinion, every member of the jury, all 12 of us were 100% confident in our decision.” said Kimberly. Now that 6 months have passed since the trial started, Kimberly still stands by the jury’s verdict, saying “This case renewed my faith in the Judicial System. When followed properly, [the Judicial System] makes me proud to live in this country.”
Kimberly also debunked the rumor that jurors were concerned about meals, or of the jury hearing shouting in the courtroom:
Kimberly assured us that the rumor of the Jury waiting for the pizza on the final day of deliberations was just a coincidence. “I didn’t even remember the last meal we ate together, but they fed us well.” Another rumor that Kimberly was able to squash is that the jury heard Schroeder’s multiple admonishments of the prosecution. “Even in the library, we didn’t hear anything in the court room, even when we stopped chatting. We didn’t hear any yelling, ever”
In this day of cancel culture, Kimberly showed courage in granting an interview, even anonymously. Everyone can profit from the information she offers as to what happened in the Kenosha jury room. From the Eye:
Kimberly’s generous decision to grant us an interview is appreciated and her attitude can be summed up as positive and optimistic. She said many times how proud she was of the 12 jurors that decided the fate of Rittenhouse. “He’s a young man with his whole life ahead of him and I wish him luck.” she said.
The safeguard of the jury system depends on jurors such as Kimberly, who take their duty seriously. This correspondent believes all jurors should be educated about jury duty, with its responsibilities and powers, long before they are selected to be on a jury. The public schools have failed to do so. The Fully Informed Jury Association is a good resource for education on the power and responsibilities of juries.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.