While answering questions from the grand jury on Wednesday, Judge Bruce Schroeder defended his practice of allowing Kyle Rittenhouse to draw random numbers from a lottery person who would become a substitute juror, before the trial begins.
“I admit that I didn’t know there were a large number of courts that do that, maybe there aren’t,” he said.
Eighteen jurors sat for the entire two-week trial. On Tuesday morning, Rittenhouse personally picked six juror numbers from a dice in a random draw. Those six did not participate in the jury deliberations.
Schroeder said he’s handled surrogates this way since the Racine case about 20 years ago, when the court clerk pulled the numbers and the only Black juror was dropped from the related case. regarding the Black defendant.
“Since that case, I have had a near-universal policy of letting the defendant do everything, and that has nothing to do with anyone’s race or anything like that, and I have never complained about it before,” he explained.
“I think people feel better when they have control,” says Schroeder.
The judge also criticized media coverage of the trial and said he plans to “think long and hard” about next time televising the trial, although he is confident that the public will can see what’s going on.