Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax Friday afternoon that he believes the jury reached the right verdict by acquitting Kyle Rittenhouse of all counts, but that nobody should portray him as a hero.
Rittenhouse, 18, was charged with homicide, attempted homicide, and reckless endangering for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle in the summer of 2020 during a tumultuous night of protests over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer.
The verdict may come as a surprise to people who only saw some network coverage of it, but people who watched the trial unfold on television are not surprised, Dershowitz also told Newsmax's "John Bachman Now."
"You had the main witness, the alleged victims say 'he didn't shoot me until I raised my gun and aimed at him," Dershowitz said. "That really was the end of the case. It was the right verdict."
However, nobody should idolize Rittenhouse, because his actions were wrong, said Dershowitz.
"He shouldn't have come to Kenosha," the famed attorney said.
"He shouldn't have brought his gun, but that was not the issue on the trial. The prosecution tried to make that the issue. But the issue was whether he had a right to be there, and was his life in danger.
"Was his welfare in danger when people came to him with fists and skateboards and aiming a gun? The answer to that seems clear, particularly when you have the burden of proof on the prosecution to prove the absence of self-defense."
In the end, "it was the right verdict, and it's the American system of justice, working properly," Dershowitz said.
Reports that Rittenhouse had brought his gun across state lines were also incorrect, said Dershowitz, as the evidence showed that a friend bought it for Rittenhouse, and he picked it up in Kenosha.
"The issue is, he wasn't put on trial for crossing state lines and participating in a violent demonstration," said Dershowitz. "That wasn't the charge. The charge was murder and attempted murder."
He added that Rittenhouse could potentially sue for the wrong reports that have surfaced, but he probably won't.
"He's satisfied with the verdict," he said. "He's going to go on."
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