Why Did Judge Dismiss Weapons Charges Against Kyle Rittenhouse?
The Chicago Tribune (Christy Gutowski & Stacy St. Clair) reports:
A Kenosha County judge handed a huge win to Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense team before closing arguments when he dismissed a misdemeanor gun charge against the teen.
Legal experts had considered the misdemeanor gun charge — which carries up to 12 months in jail — to be the easiest charge for the state to prove.
Ahead of Monday’s closing arguments, Judge Bruce Schroeder ruled Wisconsin’s open carry law is so confusingly written it can be interpreted to mean 17-year-olds can openly carry firearms as long as they’re not short-barrel rifles. He believed the jury could only convict if prosecutors proved the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle was less than 16 inches and has an overall length shorter than 26 inches….
The judge’s decision stunned prosecutors, who argued his interpretation of the law does not make sense. Under the judge’s interpretation, it would be illegal for a 17-year-old to carry brass knuckles in Wisconsin but permissible to carry a semi-automatic rifle.
That seems strange as a policy matter, and it surprised me; but my quick look at the statute suggests that the judge is likely correct:
948.60 Possession of a dangerous weapon [defined to include any firearm, as well as many other weapons] by a person under 18.
Article from Reason.com