Commentary

 By Jack Gist  November 2, 2021 at 2:30pm

In America, justice is supposed to be blind. But is this even possible when everything from the media to the classroom is charged with politics?

Bruce Schroeder, the Wisconsin Circuit Judge in charge of the politically-charged Kyle Rittenhouse trial, is determined to uphold the ideal of justice by ridding the courtroom of preconceived political distortions spread by the mainstream media.

Schroeder stressed, “This is not a political trial,” as reported by the New York Post.

The judge went on to say that the Rittenhouse case “was mentioned by both political campaigns and the presidential campaign last year, in some instances very, very imprudently.”

He told the jurors that inaccurate information has been shared by people who “don’t know what you’re going to know.”

Schroeder emphasized another important point, “Those of you who are selected for this jury … are going to hear for yourselves the real evidence in this case.”

Mainstream media has presented the Rittenhouse case based on a narrative they are attempting to forward, not the facts. This is not justice. This is madness.

To carve out the neutral ground necessary for a fair trial, Judge Schroeder instructed the defense team that they can refer to the three men shot by Rittenhouse as “rioters” and “looters,” but the prosecution will not be allowed to characterize the men as “victims” because it is a loaded term that implies guilt.

In America, those accused of a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Has the justice system been tainted by mainstream media?

Though the Constitution does not mention this right by name, the general principle comes from English common law. It has been backed up firmly in numerous court rulings, such as Coffin v. United States in 1895.

When the mainstream media promotes leftist lies, the courtroom can fall prey to the invisible pressure of the irrational. Judge Schroeder won’t have it.

The judge cautioned lawyers to avoid pejorative terms in opening statements, which began Tuesday. He advised that this kind of language should be reserved for closing arguments, after evidence has been produced to justify such claims.

Rittenhouse, who is 18, faces homicide charges for fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26.

He also faces attempted homicide charges for shooting Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, and several lesser charges.

Armed with an AR-15-style rifle, Rittenhouse shot the men during rioting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 25, 2020.

The unrest occurred in reaction to a police shooting days earlier of Jacob Blake, a black man who was left paralyzed from the waist down.

Is it just me, or does the mainstream media focus on tragedies that they can then twist to fit narratives designed to divide people into opposing camps? For politically blind ideologues, there can be no middle ground, no pause for justice to germinate and take root.

Those who jump into tragic situations politically headfirst want no justice. They want no peace. Justice requires reason to trump emotion in order to get to the truth.

When the mainstream media promotes leftist lies, the courtroom is threatened by the irrational that lurks at the borders of reason. The mainstream media seeks not justice but mob justice.

True justice shines light on the darkness that engenders the primal emotions of fear and hate. There are plenty of dark forces afoot. Cultural Marxism in all of it guises — from the Critical Race Theory that was spawned in law schools to the 1619 Project designed to rewrite history and cause Americans to hate one another — withers under the light of reason.

Reason and justice are akin to faith and reason. Each serves to enhance the other.

Judge Schroder, to this point, fears not the maddening crowd. He appears to be a reasonable man who will oversee a process that leads to justice.  Shine on.

Jack Gist is an award-winning writer who has published essays, poetry and fiction in Catholic World Report, First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, New Oxford Review and others.

Jack Gist is an award-winning writer who has published essays, poetry and fiction in Catholic World Report, First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, New Oxford Review and others.

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