A white conservative commentator was acquitted of obstruction of justice on Friday by a Louisiana jury that believed that he exercised his right to free speech. A liberal and a Trump supporter agreed with the jury and found Kyle Rittenhouse — whose defense was that his commentary was meant as a tongue-in-cheek critique of the leftist activists who wanted him arrested for criticizing them — not guilty.
I am an attorney and a conservative who works on criminal defense. My family and I hate to see the blatant political bias infecting the criminal justice system and holding American citizens in low esteem. How do we know that just because Rittenhouse was on the conservative side in this case, it doesn’t really matter to the jury? Look, I know some liberals who certainly despise Rittenhouse. How do we know that merely because they view him as a Republican-leaning conservative, it doesn’t really matter to the jury? Of course it does matter. There should be a systematic effort to ensure that it does not.
Too often this entire case has been spun into a defining moment of political difference, and I believe the real issue at hand is personal animus. It’s not a matter of political differences, or even whether Rittenhouse was a part of the alt-right. His conviction would have ultimately been considered beyond the pale because of his personal nature: He is a conservative, he is white, and he advocates for an America that values its own self-preservation.