What Next

Was the Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict Inevitable?

And why Kenosha didn’t erupt after the verdict.


Episode Notes

Last August, then-17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse and fatally shot two people and wounded another with a semi-automatic rifle during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.* Rittenhouse’s lawyers leaned heavily on the teenager’s right to defend himself. In Wisconsin, that means the prosecution had to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Was it inevitable that Rittenhouse would walk free? And how did the community react when he did?

Guest: Stacy St. Clair, reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Davis Land, Danielle Hewitt, Elena Schwartz and Carmel Delshad.

Correction, Nov. 23, 2021: This page originally misstated that Rittenhouse crossed state lines with a semi-automatic rifle. He came into possession of the rifle once he was already in Wisconsin.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.