neonzx wrote: ↑Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:27 am
Wisconsin permits parents to bring under-21 year old children into bars
AND give them alcohol.
Wisconsin has open-carry of guns.
What could go wrong?
As screwy as Florida may be, we don't permit either of those two things. Plus we have a bonus of no snow.
It's what you get in a state where hunting is practically a religious sacrament and the most powerful political lobby is the Tavern League.
Turning to noblepa's question: Ordinarily such things would not be within the realm of admissible evidence, but Rittenhouse is going to be arguing self-defense/defense of others/defense of property/prevention of felony. (Yeah, Wisconsin has a weird "prevention of felony" defense that hardly ever gets raised, but I suspect Rittenhouse's defense will try it.) Those defenses are highly dependent on his state of mind at the time and whether his actions were objectively reasonable. And remember: "Objectively reasonable" means for a reasonable person of ordinary prudence. "Objectively reasonable for a white nationalist" might mean something very different. People have tried that defense before - "I'm just so scared of black people, it's not my fault." It doesn't work.
If I were the prosecutor, the argument I would make at the other-acts motion hearing to bring this in would be something like this: The defendant is arguing that his actions were reasonable at the time to protect others, their property, or prevent a felony from being committed. To fully analyze whether his mindset when he pulled the trigger was reasonable, the finder of fact needs to understand the context for his thinking. Was this person just trying to protect the community out of sheer altruism, or was there some other motive in his heart? Was his decision to use deadly force purely motivated by concern for others, or was he a bigot looking for any opportunity he could to lash out? Those are fact questions that go straight to his reasonableness or lack thereof, which means the jury gets to decide them. As such, they are entitled to relevant evidence that contradicts his "good Samaritan" narrative.
The defense's argument is going to be that letting this in would be more prejudicial than it is probative, because the evidence could have the effect of inflaming the jury. Again, if there weren't an affirmative defense being raised that made his thinking relevant, this evidence should never come it. For instance, in a murder where the defendant is arguing that they didn't kill the victim at all, it would be a lot closer call, and a court would be very concerned about the State wanting to smear the defendant as a bigot in order to fit him for a black hat and make it easier for the jury to convict. But Rittenhouse doesn't have that option. He has to raise the affirmative defenses, all of which are dependent on what was in his mind when he pulled the trigger.
I think the State's argument is more persuasive. Moreover, I think the State would be remiss in its duty to aggressively prosecute the case if they didn't at least try to bring this in.