Local law experts react to the Rittenhouse trial as jurors deliberate

Local News

LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – Local law experts say the hardest part of a trial is often waiting for a jury verdict.

Jerald Podair, a lawyer and history professor, Lawrence University, said, “It is absolute torture. A trial lawyer whether he is a prosecutor or a defense lawyer will always say the worst moments are the moments or the time between when the case goes to the jury and you’re waiting, because you can do absolutely nothing.”

Jurors face a difficult decision — knowing civil unrest is possible no matter what they do in the deliberation room.

“What they’re going through is extremely difficult especially in these charged cases. They also know there is going to be a reaction to their verdict whichever way it goes,” said Podair. “It is possible there will be civil disturbances depending on how the rule.”

Podair and other legal experts such as Atiba Ellis, a law professor at Marquette University think the Rittenhouse case will be remembered with other high-profile trials in American history such as Trayvon Martin, Rodney King, and Emmett Till cases all involving serious racial issues.

“Even though the main players in this prosecution are white we can’t forget the background that led to these events as well as the larger dynamics around this kind of activity happening at a protest,” said Ellis.

Ellis said he thinks this trial could change the future regardless of the verdict.

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