By AMY FORLITI, GENE JOHNSON and TODD RICHMOND
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — As Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial has played out, moments of apparent deference to the defendant by the judge have struck observers as curiously different from other murder proceedings. At one point, the 18-year-old defendant stood behind the seated judge, Bruce Schroeder, and peered over him to review evidence. As the case neared its conclusion, the judge let the defendant draw numbers from a raffle drum to determine which jurors would serve as alternates. The discussion about the judge’s conduct has underlined the importance of how the judicial system is perceived, especially in a high-profile case.
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