Skip to content

Professor Chin Talks to Washington Post, Davis Vanguard About Rittenhouse Trial

News Posted on November 22, 2021

Ideas about self-defense have changed in recent years in the United States, Professor Gabriel “Jack” Chin told the Washington Post as part of the Post’s Nov. 16 coverage of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. Rittenhouse was accused of first-degree homicide and attempted first-degree homicide after shooting three men – two fatally -- during the August 2020 unrest over police conduct in Kenosha, Wis.

“There’s a much wider window for use of deadly force than there used to be,” Chin told the Post. “Forty years ago, the courts might have deprived you of your right to use force as self-defense, but now much less so.” Read the story.

On Nov. 19, a jury acquitted Rittenhouse on all counts, accepting the argument that he had acted in self-defense. On Nov. 20, Chin was quoted in a Davis Vanguard op-ed by David Greenwald headlined “My View: The Troubling Implications of Rittenhouse’s Acquittal.”

The law in all 50 states is now “designed to let people use self-defense more freely, pull the trigger more freely,” Chin said, and reflects the National Rifle Association's influence.  “The Rittenhouse case went just the way the changes that have been pressed intended it to go.”

Gabriel "Jack" Chin is Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law and holder of the Edward L. Barrett Jr. Endowed Chair at UC Davis School of Law.  He is a prolific and much-cited criminal and immigration law scholar whose work has addressed many of the most pressing social issues of our time.