Daily Bread for 11.2.21: The Concerns of the Rittenhouse Jurors

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 45.  Sunrise is 7:31 AM and sunset 5:45 PM for 10h 13m 18s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 8% of its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.

 On this day in 1960, Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the trial R v Penguin Books Ltd, the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case.

 Bruce Vielmetti reports Potential jurors express fear, anxiety at idea of serving on Kyle Rittenhouse panel:

KENOSHA –  One man described a growing anxiety. A woman feared what her husband would say if she voted for a verdict different from what he expects.

Some people talked of moving their cars to backyards, boarding up windows, leaving town, or getting guns as violence wracked Kenosha last year in the aftermath of a police shooting.

One woman said she swapped out the blue porch light — normally lit to show support for police — as protests spread and grew violent.

Others expressed fear of damage to their cars, or people coming to their homes.

“Nobody wants to be in this seat,” said one woman.

Those were just some of the responses to questions Monday during jury selection in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, which ended around 7 p.m. He is charged with killing two men and wounding a third man on Aug. 25, 2020, during a night of protests that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Rittenhouse plans to raise self defense to charges of intentional, reckless and attempted homicide. He’s also charged with reckless endangerment, having a firearm as a minor, and was cited for violating curfew.

The trial is being closely watched nationally and internationally. But for the prospective jurors, it calls up a dire local chapter in Kenosha history.


By late afternoon, some people of the remaining panelists became more forthright about fears of serving.

“Believe me, no one wants to be sitting in this chair,” said one woman. “It’s scary. I live close to where he’s from.”

Rittenhouse was living in Antioch, Illinois in 2020, with his mother and sisters.

Another woman testified she took a Lyft to court Monday. She didn’t want anyone to see her car.

“Either way this goes, you’re going to have half the country upset with you,” said another.

Schroeder tried to assure worried panelists the degree of risk to them is probably far less than they think, and that security measures he couldn’t reveal will substantially address those fears.

“Maybe the country would calm down if they saw a verdict from a fair trial,” Schroeder said.

Around 7 p.m., lawyers from both sides had finished applying the seven strikes each to a panel of 34 jurors and arrived at 20 to hear the case, including an unusually large group of eight alternates. The group includes 11 women and nine men and one person of color.

The trial continues Tuesday morning with opening statements, followed by the state’s first witnesses.

These jurors are ordinary people serving in an extraordinary trial. It’s no easy task, and it’s understandable that they would have worries, both founded and unfounded.

Hundreds of dolphins stampede alongside boat in California:

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