Rittenhouse Judge Made an Unusual Move With Jury

Defendant pulled numbers of alternates from a raffle drum
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2021 9:16 PM CST
Rittenhouse Jury Will Deliberate for 2nd Day
A raffle drum, that will be used to pick the numbers of the alternate jurors who will be excused when the Kyle Rittenhouse case goes to the jury, sits in the courtroom on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 in Kenosha, Wis.   (Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – The jury in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial had its first day of deliberations in Kenosha, Wisconsin Tuesday, and it got off to an unusual start. Judge Bruce Schroeder had the defendant pull slips of paper from a raffle drum to determine which six of the 18 people who had been in the jury box would be dismissed as alternates. Kenosha News reports that Schroeder often has the defendant pull the numbers for the alternates, though most judges in the county assign the task to the court clerk. Former Milwaukee County assistant district attorney Julius Kim tells Time that he's never seen a judge allow the defendant to draw the names before.

The move "might be a little unconventional but there’s nothing wrong with it that I could really see," Kim says. Schroeder later said that he has been having defendants draw the numbers for "20 years, at least." The dismissed jurors will not be deciding Rittenhouse's fate, but the defense has asked them to remain in the courthouse until a verdict is reached.

The 12 who were sent to deliberate included seven women and five men, all of them white except for one man, NBC reports. Three white women and three white men were dismissed. The jury failed to reach a verdict Tuesday and will return for more deliberations Wednesday morning, the AP reports. Rittenhouse, 18, killed two men and wounded a third during protests in the city last year. He faces five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, but the jury will have the option of considering lesser charges, reports Kenosha News. (Schroeder has told jurors to disregard the opinions of everybody else, including presidents.)

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