The judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial did something that, on its face, seems pure and patriotic — but, arguably it could also, unjustly, impact the outcome of the trial.
Judge Bruce Schroeder opened proceedings Thursday in Kenosha, WI by saying he wanted to take a moment to recognize Veterans Day. He asked if there were any military vets on the jury, or anywhere in the courtroom.
Only one person responded … John Black, a member of Rittenhouse’s defense team. Judge Schroeder then asked everyone in court to applaud Black for his service, which they did.
Now, it’s Veterans Day and no one’s saying Black doesn’t deserve the respect. The issue here is … because Black is the defense’s use-of-force expert, should the judge solicit applause for him???
The questionable move by Judge Schroeder comes a couple of days after he ripped into the prosecutor for raising the fact Rittenhouse was silent after his arrest to jurors … which they could read as a sign of guilt.
To be fair … anyone with a passing knowledge of law knows you have a right to remain silent, so the prosecutor earned that tongue-lashing.
By the same token, the judge lauding a defense team member with applause — even on Veterans Day — might not be the best look in the middle of a murder trial.