Purported ‘Criminal Justice Reform Advocates’ Show True Colors During Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP

You know, I’m not a lawyer, I don’t play one on TV, and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But even I can spot bad hot takes on criminal trials when I see them, and today social media was chock full of them.

As we’ve previously reported, the prosecution in the closely-watched Kyle Rittenhouse trial has suffered from numerous shall we say “setbacks” over the last few days, among them the judge in the case (Judge Bruce Schroeder) repeatedly ripping them new ones, and the biggest development being that one of the prosecution’s star witnesses admitted that Rittenhouse only shot at him after he (the witness) pointed a gun at him.

The latter moment caused Kenosha District Attorney James Kraus, who is one of the prosecutors, to do the facepalm of the year on live TV:

But back to the bad hot takes, as I said earlier there were a ton of them today when Rittenhouse took the stand, especially after he started crying during his testimony. The actor Ricky Schroder’s name trended for a time, presumably because a) he helped fund Rittenhouse’s bond and posed for a picture with him, and b) he’s done some pretty convincing crying scenes in some of his movies/TV shows or something.

What I found especially interesting in all the dunking from leftists on Rittenhouse today was the fact that most of them, if you ask them, would describe themselves as criminal justice reform advocates. You may recall that one thing criminal justice reform advocates fight for is for more fairness for defendants in criminal trials because in their view they rarely get fair shakes and oftentimes get railroaded by a “system” that supposedly automatically assumes guilt, especially for defendants of color.

One such proponent is South Carolina attorney Bakari Sellers, who has taken on a number of high-profile local cases and is sometimes seen on TV here in the Carolinas providing comments to reporters.

Sellers rose to prominence in the state in 2006 by becoming the youngest person (22) elected to the state legislature, beating an entrenched incumbent. Eight years later, he was the Democratic Lt. Gov. nominee in a failed campaign. Sellers has become a prominent Democrat figure nationally as well, speaking at the DNC, building up a resume of working with prominent black politicos like former President Barack Obama, and so on. In 2019, Sellers was the state co-chair of then-Sen. Kamala Harris’ failed presidential campaign.

We know Sellers is a staunch advocate for criminal justice reform because he talks about it frequently during his media appearances and on social media, as he did back in September when he tweeted this swipe at Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.):

“Honestly, we knew Criminal Justice reform was dead when we read last week that @Sen_JoeManchin weighed in. That man could care less about Justice issues.”

Trust me when I tell you that Manchin not receiving the endorsement of his fellow Democrat Sellers is a big point in Manchin’s favor, as I suspect you’ll agree when you see what he tweeted about Rittenhouse crying:

Relatedly, this was another bad hot take that got to trending on Twitter as well (just to further demonstrate the mind-numbing stupidity on full display):

As to Sellers’ comment, it was a sentiment expressed by many leftists on Twitter, some of them with large followings. But Sellers’ comments, in particular, stuck out to me, perhaps because of the Carolinas connection.

When I read what he wrote it just rubbed me all kinds of the wrong way. I’m not here to tell people what they should and shouldn’t say, but I danged sure will tell them how dumb (not to mention unprofessional) they sound when they say it if that’s the opinion I’ve formed. This is from a *criminal defense attorney* and one who, as I noted earlier, is a proponent of criminal justice reform in part on the basis that defendants often get raw deals.

I responded accordingly on the Twitter machine, first with this comment:

“Man on trial for killing in self-defense and these are the types of scorching hot takes we get from our enlightened betters on the left. When/if Rittenhouse is cleared of the charges I hope he sues the hell out people like Bakari Sellers for defamation – and wins.”

And then this one:

“Most of the people spilling lattes all over their custom-made Armani suits to get to their computers to rail on Kyle Rittenhouse are the same people who proclaim we need criminal justice reform in part so defendants can receive fairer trials. Truly illuminating moment. 🙄🥴”

I guess maybe for Sellers and those who agree with him, there are exceptions to the “we shouldn’t judge a defendant until all the facts come out” rule (and let’s hope it’s not based on a person’s race, because that would mean Sellers is a racist). Unfortunately for Sellers, the facts have long been established in the Rittenhouse trial, as the prosecution has shown over and over again, although rather unintentionally (and with the defense swooping in for the alley oop).

As the old saying goes, you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. And as the modern version (via Ben Shapiro) of that goes, facts don’t care about your feelings, either, and that goes double for pompous lawyers who have distinguished legal pedigrees but who also happen to talk out of both sides of their mouth.

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