Judge says he couldn’t determine how “illegal possession of a weapon” charge pertained to this case
The weapon charge against Kyle Rittenhouse has been dismissed by the judge who said he was confused by the law.
This was the only firearms-related charge held against Rittenhouse.
Previously, Judge Schroeder said he had “spent hours” analyzing Wisconsin firearm laws as it pertained to the Rittenhouse case and could not say with certainty how they applied.
“I have been wrestling with this statute with, I’d hate to count the hours I’ve put into it, I’m still trying to figure out what it says, what’s prohibited. I have a legal education,” he told prosecutors, adding that he couldn’t understand how an “ordinary citizen” could know what was legal.
Legal commentator Jonathan Turley believed if the charge stuck, it would have faced a “very strong challenge” on appeal by Rittenhouse’s defense team.
“Criminal laws are supposed to be interpreted narrowly,” he wrote. “It is called the ‘rule of lenity’ and has been around in the English system for centuries.”
“For example, in 1547, the court was faced with a law making it a felony to steal ‘Horses, Geldings or Mares.’ Given the use of plural nouns, the court ruled that it did not apply to stealing just one horse.”
Rittenhouse is still facing at least five other charges at the time of this writing.