Kyle Rittenhouse, much to the chagrin of certain parties, is still a free man. While prosecutors certainly tried to lock him up for defending himself, they were unable to do so.
However, anyone who watched the video should be well aware of the fact that he never should have been prosecuted in the first place. It was clear the mob attacked him despite him doing everything he could to get away.
Now, a Tennessee lawmaker is hoping to prevent that with a new bill he introduced in honor of Rittenhouse.
A Tennessee lawmaker has filed legislation “in honor of Kyle Rittenhouse,” who was cleared of homicide charges after killing two men during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Now, a Tennessee lawmaker has proposed a bill in Rittenhouse’s name in an effort to “strengthen protection of self-defense and Second Amendment rights in the state.
HB1769, otherwise known as “Kyle’s Law,” would require the state to reimburse costs to a defendant who is charged with criminal homicide but found not guilty due to self-defense. Defendants would make a motion for reimbursement following their not guilty verdict and leave it to the court to determine how much the defendant is awarded.
The court can also deny reimbursement if it is found a defendant’s actions were justified but the defendant was engaged in criminal conduct.
Honestly, it’s not the worst idea I’ve ever seen.
Rittenhouse was prosecuted for political reasons. It was believed failing to prosecute him would incite the same mob Rittenhouse was trying to defend himself from – those who were left, anyway – but that doesn’t change the fact that he shouldn’t have been prosecuted in the first place.
Providing some degree of disincentive for such things is, ultimately, a good thing for the people of the state of Tennessee.
While Tennessee isn’t the kind of state you’d expect someone like Rittenhouse to be prosecuted in, there are counties where the DA would have loved to take actions like his to court. It can happen in any state in the nation, so protections aren’t a bad thing at all.
And the way this bill is structured, it doesn’t necessarily penalize good faith prosecutions. Yes, someone may be found not guilty, but if there was enough ambiguity that it would require a court to make that determination, then there’s likely to be no payout. It’s up to the judge to determine that. There’s no automatic payout just because.
This is a pretty good bill, one I’d love to see become law.
Prosecuting people who act in self-defense is a problem. It’s why a lot of self-defense instruction revolves around making sure you can survive prosecution afterward. That includes cases where it’s clear it was an act of self-defense.
For those who oppose Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws, this is why those laws exist, to try and prevent such wrongful prosecutions.
So yeah, I hope this bill passes in Tennessee. I also hope it passes the inevitable legal challenges and gets picked up in all 50 states, though I’m realistic enough to know that’s not going to happen.