Some commentators have seen the Kyle Rittenhouse trial verdict last week as an indictment for America.

“There’s a dual-tiered system, here. [black Americans]Self-defense is not an option. [as white Americans],’ CNN political commentator Van Jones said on Cuomo Prime Time on November 22.  I don’t believe that the Second Amendment rights are available to me in the same fashion. 

Jones said Jones was speaking out about a “pain” in black communities and the progressive communities who believe America’s laws don’t apply equally.

Jones continued, “There is still pain about the feeling of difference.” Jones stated, “We don’t have the rights to self-defense and the Second Amendment as others.

Three different murder cases have resulted in verdicts over the past six days. This data can be used to evaluate concerns about the fair application in American courts of self-defense law. 

Van Jones, however, isn’t the only one to raise these issues following Rittenhouse.

Vice President Kamala Harris aired her disappointment with the verdict in Kenosha, telling reporters, ‘I’ve spent a majority of my career working to make our criminal justice system more equitable. There’s still much to be done, it’s evident. 

Buzzfeed focused its attention on Marc Wilson, 21, who faces felony murder charges after shooting and mutilating a 17-year old white girl. 

‘In a justice system that has historically treated Black defendants more harshly than white ones, Wilson’s case raises the question of whether a young Black man’s self-defense claim will carry the same weight as those made by other recent high-profile defendants,’ Buzzfeed wrote.

Wilson shot at the vehicle carrying the victim’s friends and family, according to reports. They allegedly shouted racist slurs and then swerved on the highway at Wilson and threw an object at the car.

Although it’s not prudent to draw conclusions from three separate trials under different state laws before different judges, and different juries, three recent cases suggest that American justice is much more complex than Van Jones or others believe.

Kyle Rittenhouse (left) in Kenosha Circuit Court on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Kenosha, Wis.

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, at Kenosha Circuit Court in Kenosha on Friday, Nov. 12, 20,21 in Kenosha (Wis.).

The jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin, acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse (a white teenage suspect) of first-degree intentional homicide. Also, Rittenhouse was found not guilty of attempted first degree homicide in the deaths of three other men.

Rittenhouse acted out of self-defense when he was called to the witness stand.

‘I didn’t intend to kill them. He said that he intended to end the attacks on me by those who attacked him. “I did whatever I needed to stop him from attacking me.”

Florida jurors convicted Andrew Coffee IV of not being guilty in a lesser publicized case. This included felony murder, attempted murder, and aggravated murder.

Coffee reportedly shot at Indian River County Sheriff’s Deputies in Florida. They raided Coffee’s home in 2017.

Coffee stated that he was asleep at the time when officers broke into Gifford, Florida.  They were searching for his father.

He claimed that he had not heard the law enforcement deputies identify themselves to him. 

They fired back with his.45-caliber pistol at him, apparently fearing for their lives. Alteria, his 21 year-old girlfriend who was pregnant, was also killed in the crossfire.

Deryl Loar from Indian River County accused Coffee at that time of using Woods for a human shield.

Andrew 'A.J."'Coffee IV (center) seated with his defense lawyers reacts to a jury verdict acquitting him of second-degree felony murder and other felony charges during his trial at the Indian River County Courthouse.

Andrew ‘A.J.Andrew “A.J.

Loar explained that Loar was cowardly protecting her because of his fear.

Investigators found drugs inside the Coffee house, including crack cocaine and powdered cocaine, as well as a cache of guns. 

Coffee was also charged with attempted murder first degree of an officer and second-degree felon murder in the Woods death.

Coffee claimed self defense under Florida’s “stand your ground” law. 

Coffee stated, “I was trying protect Alteria and me. I believed I was doing this.”

Although he was acquitted of murder, he was found guilty by the jury of possessing a firearm by an indicted felon. This is due to previous convictions.

Although the Coffee and Rittenhouse cases were not identical, both of them, one white, and one black defendant, claimed self defense and got away. 

A Georgia jury found three men guilty of the murder of Ahmaud Arkery in February 2020 on Wednesday November 24.

Travis McMichael’s defense team, Gregory McMichael his father, and William “Roddie Bryan their neighbor claimed their clients self-defense while making citizen’s arrests.

This photo shows, from left, Travis McMichael, William 'Roddie' Bryan, and Gregory McMichael during their trial at at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga.

The photo below shows Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan during their trial at Brunswick’s Glynn County Courthouse, Ga.

Travis McMichael was the one who shot and killed Arbery. He testified that he was in Brunswick, Georgia when his father said that a suspect burglar just passed their house. 

Arbery was pursued by the McMichaels with their weapons and a pickup truck.  Bryan, their neighbor joined them in the pursuit and captured the fatal encounter via his cell phone. 

Travis McMichael said that Arbery attempted to beat him, while he and his dad tried to question him.

Travis McMichael stated that it was evident that Arbery was targeting him. He confronted Arbery using a loaded shotgun.

This was not accepted by the jury. The jury convicted all three of them of murder. They will be sentenced to life in prison.

Each case presented a unique set of facts that influenced the jury. However, these cases show the diversity of possible outcomes in self-defense trial trials, regardless of race.

Kenosha: A white teenager claimed self defense and was not found guilty. Gifford saw a white man claim self-defense. He was later acquitted. Brunswick saw three white men convicted.

Perhaps commentators shouldn’t be quick to condemn the U.S. justice systems.