News Release

Rittenhouse Verdict Highlights Need to Revive Trials to Ensure Justice for All American and Redress Racial Injustice in the Criminal Legal System



Washington, DC (Nov. 21, 2021) – "Americans are deeply divided over the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. All Americans, however, should celebrate the constitutional right to a public and speedy trial by a jury of our peers. Unfortunately, coercive plea bargaining has virtually eliminated trials from the legal landscape and, as a result, we have suffered decades of mass incarceration of Black and Brown communities and the poor. Every American deserves a trial if accused of a crime and every American should receive fair, humane, and rational treatment in the criminal legal system – a constitutional guarantee which we have failed to honor for every accused person especially for people of color and the poor. NACDL will work tirelessly to revive the right to trial which John Adams called the 'heart and lungs of democracy,'" said NACDL President Martín Sabelli.

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Kate Holden, NACDL Public Affairs and Communications Associate, (202) 465-7624 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.