What we know about the jury’s deliberations in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder case

How long juries debate is almost entirely up to them.

Here’s what we know about the jury and their considerations in the case while we await a forthcoming verdict.

Amid riots and riots in Kenosha, Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, took an AR-15-like rifle and joined a group of other gunmen in the city on August 25, 2020.

Here's what the jury in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial should weigh
There, Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum – who chased the teenager and threw a plastic bag after him – and then tried to flee the area. A crowd of people chased the teenager, and Rittenhouse shot at an unknown man who tried to kick him; fatally shot Anthony Huber, who had hit him with a skateboard; and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, who was armed with a pistol.
Prosecutors claimed Rittenhouse provoked the incident by pointing his weapon at Rosenbaum, while Rittenhouse testified that he shot the men in self-defense.

Rittenhouse, now 18, faces one charge for each of the four people in those incidents, as well as one charge for allegedly threatening a journalist who was not far behind Rosenbaum.

In total, he is charged with five crimes: first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment. Jury members are also able to consider minor offenses for two of the five counts.

The most serious charge among them is first-degree premeditated murder for the murder of Huber. The indictment comes with a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment if convicted.

An indictment for misdemeanor possession of a weapon and a non-criminal violation of curfew was dismissed by Judge Bruce Schroeder prior to the deliberations.

Who’s on the jury?

Kyle Rittenhouse reaches out in the tumbler to pull out a jury number on Tuesday.
A group of 20 people – 11 women and nine men – was initially selected to serve on the jury on November 1 among a group of 179 potential jurors. The selection of the jury consisted of just one day of voir dire in court without the use of background questionnaires.
Two people were fired from the jury during the trial. A jury member, a middle-aged man, was fired for telling a deputy to a deputy about the police shooting of Blake, an incident that received a reprimand from the judge. Another jury, a pregnant woman, was fired after experiencing discomfort and asked to be fired, the judge said.

Eighteen jurors thus sat through the entire two-week-long trial. On Tuesday morning, six of them were rejected via a random draw, with Rittenhouse himself picking jury numbers out of a tumbler.

The remaining 12 jurors consist of five men and seven women, according to a pool reporter in court. The deputies who were fired were asked to stay at the courthouse while the jury dealt with the case.

Where are they considering?

Juries arrived at the courtroom at. 9.00 CT Tuesday and began discussing shortly after.

During the jury selection, Schroeder told potential jurors that there was “less than a 1 percent chance” they would be sequestered, though he did not rule it out.

How long will they consider?

The juries will consider until they reach a unanimous decision on each of the five charges. This process can take hours, days or even weeks.

It is not clear how late at night this jury will consider each day. During the trial, jurors have been sent home around noon. 17 CT every day.

Judge Schroeder said he would not set his own time limits on how late they go, noting that he likes to take a vote among jurors.

The verdict must be unanimous. If the juries consider long enough and are unable to reach a unanimous decision on one or more of the charges, the judge may declare an error. This is what is commonly known as a “hung jury”.

What questions have they asked?

Juries can send notes to court with questions about the law, about evidence or even just logistics.

Shortly after the commencement of deliberations, juries asked the judges for additional copies of the jury’s instructions. Schroeder said the jury asked for copies of pages 1 through 6 of the jury’s instructions and that they were given an additional 11 copies, according to the courtroom pool reporter. Pages 2 and 3 focus on self-defense and provocation, page 4 focuses on crimes that require intent to kill, and pages 5 and 6 focus on the first case of first-degree ruthless murder.

How do we know there is a verdict?

The juries will warn the court that there is a verdict and the court will warn the media via email. The verdict will then be read out in court.

The judge said there will be a significant amount of warning time between when a verdict is handed down and when it will be read. He declined to specify how long, but said, “You could probably think of getting out of Chicago on time unless it was a Friday night.” Chicago is just over an hour’s drive from Kenosha.

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