Not Guilty

I followed the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse very closely, particularly the closing arguments by the prosecutors and defense. It was riveting. I was convinced that Kyle acted in self-defense and hoped that the jury also came to the same conclusion. Just a couple of hours ago, the jury reached a verdict after four days of deliberations: Not guilty on all five counts. For a quick summary of the case, see

I am delighted and relieved.

Trial by a jury of one’s peers is one of the most admirable features of the US justice system. As a method for determining the guilt or innocence of a person accused of a crime, it is perhaps the least flawed compromise. Juries are not always reasonable but trial by jury is the best of a set of imperfect alternatives. A quick look at the rules in the US:

(a) Jury trial should be available to a party, including the state, in criminal prosecutions in which confinement in jail or prison may be imposed.

(b) The jury should consist of twelve persons, except that a jury of less than twelve (but not less than six) may be provided when the penalty that may be imposed is confinement for six months or less.

(c) The verdict of the jury should be unanimous.

(d) This chapter does not apply to procedures of military justice tribunals. [Source; American Bar Association.]

India does not have trail by jury. See wiki.


Author: Atanu Dey


18 thoughts on “Not Guilty”

  1. Just a minor point – the jury system originated in England around 829 AD.
    It continues in the UK to this day. When the Americans rightly threw out the Brits,
    they retained the system. Just as well or the defendant would prob be found guilty,
    especially if black shooting 2 whites.


  2. Are the US judges paid in proportion to the number of cases they hear? How exactly have we managed to mess up our judicial system with huge backlogs in India? Will it help if we pay the judges proportionate to the number of cases they dispose of?


    1. That is an interesting question. Answering that question would require explaining how courts, governments etc. in both countries are structured and whose purpose they serve.

      Most courts in USA are designed for the benefit of the society. A Municipal court for example is meant to benefit the people in the City. Indian courts are designed to benefit the British colonial masters or their successors.

      The incentives matter.


      1. “Indian courts are designed to benefit the British…”, “courts in USA are designed for the benefit of society”, are motherhood and apple pie kind of statements. Can you be a little bit more specific?

        Do you have any guess/theory on what specific incentive differs between the US judges and Indian judges?


        1. Explaining the whole thing will take a lot of time and since I am not being paid to explain this I will be brief.

          Limiting ourselves to criminal cases check how district attorneys in USA are appointed and how public prosecutors in India are appointed. The very fact that DA is directly elected by people makes them answerable to people every election cycle. Their conduct is under close scrutiny by media. In India PP is an appointed babu. He does whatever fuk he wants as he is not answerable to anyone but those who can offer him a carrot.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. baransam1:

          I do have a theory regarding why the incentives differ between US judges and Indian judges. I will have to take a bit of time to do so. So here’s the short version. The Indian judicial system was created by the British and adopted by those who took over the colonial administration of the Indian people from their British overlords. The British definitely (and understandably so) regarded the Indian natives to be sub-human relative to them. So the judges judged the sub-humans to be their serfs and they themselves the lords. The natives had to address the lords as “My Lord(s)”. Does that provide a clue about the distinction between the US and Indian systems? I will elaborate. Thanks.


          1. Not sure this is the reason for Indian Courts. The Courts in Britain still use the term M’Lud etc
            but this is to signify respect for the rule of Law and the person who represents that.
            Respect and courteousness is required at all times in a court and if this is abandoned, it descends into a fish market.
            As we know, Justice is the core attribute in a society and although there may be say10pc of bad decisions, these can be challenged in higher courts and the judgements are made public.
            If this system did not work, a society would crumble into mayhem.

            So far European societies have survived and even set up the European Court of Human Rights which all EU members have to accept, regardless of their own country’s legal system.


        3. One of the reasons of backlog in Indian court system is inter-governmental litigation. Various babus of various department routinely bring litigation in court on things that should be handled by the executive, but since the system of bureaucracy and incentive structure is such that NO one wants to take a decision (they just want the paycheck, perks etc).
          I have NO experience on India judicial system so whatever I am saying comes from reading other reliable sources. So take it for whatever its worth.
          But 100% truth is that it is not some uniquely intractable problem. Just a case of priorities, incentives and state capacity


            1. I think any incentive to complete cases would help. Disincentive to other bureaucrats from clogging the system will be more effective. It is almost like these parasitical bureaucrats are launching a DoS (Denial of Service) attack on the system. That needs to be prevented by executive action.

              But I am 100% sure there are plenty of smart people in India who know what needs to be done. Executive action is what is missing. Executive action is missing because government is too scared of the judiciary. India’s supreme court judges routinely make a fool of themselves by taking up frivolous cases yet the people at large have more trust and belief in judges then any politician. Since politicians (executive) are so maligned they cannot mount an effective campaign against the most inept and corrupt part of India government structure – the judiciary.


            2. Perhaps “pay for performance” may help. What India needs is fewer bureaucratic laws, and a constitutional amendment that limits the time within which judgement has to be rendered.

              But the real problem with the Indian judicial system is that the judges are thoroughly corrupt. The public does not know this. And I wonder if the public even cares about judicial corruption.


  3. I am super happy with this verdict. This verdict is a tight slap on the face of leftist extremist social justice warriors of MSNBC and WaPo, CNN etc – in fact the entire main stream media
    I call this America’s come back verdict, and hope Kyle’s team sue CNN for defamation


  4. I have been watching this case very closely. I do not think justice has been served here.

    True justice will be when the prosecutor Binger’s bar license is cancelled and if the WI laws permit he must be criminally prosecuted.

    Prosecutor Binger :

    Fabricated/tampered with evidence.
    Withheld evidence (by providing only a low resolution video to defense).
    Tampered with witnesses.
    Refused to honor judges ruling about the CVS video.
    Withheld identity of jump kick man.

    The most disgusting part however was when he tried to use KR’s silence and choice of having attorney represent him as admission of his guilt. Even the most rookie lawyer will not make such a mistake.

    See how judge shouts at him :

    Thats basic law, that has been basic law in this country for 50 + years.- Says the judge.

    This however will mean only one thing :

    Left will claim “Kyle should have been found guilty of SOMETHING”. Since he was not found guilty we need more laws.

    Prosecutor’s defense involved things like :

    Kyle was playing Call of Duty video game a lot.
    Rosenberg who attacked Kyle did so because Rosenberg was the good samaritan who believed Kyle was an active shooter and attacked Kyle to protect people. Plot twist: Rosenberg is a convicted se x offe nder on 11 counts who s o d o m ized 5 young minor boys forcibly.


  5. Hi Atanu,

    Would you be in favor of bringing the jury system back to the Indian courts?

    Are you familiar with the case of Nanavati vs. The State of Maharashtra? Even though the case was an open and shut case, the jury declared Commander Nanavati as not guilty. Wouldn’t that have been a miscarriage of justice? As in this case, is the jury not likely to be influenced or misled by popular media?

    Why do you say a jury trial is “the least flawed compromise”?

    Liked by 1 person

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