Rittenhouse jury to resume after new request


KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) – The jury in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial had to move to a third day to weigh in on Thursday, even as a request to review video in the case sparked a fresh bid from judges. his attorney for a wrongful conviction.

Judge Bruce Schroeder did not immediately rule on the request, which stemmed from the defense team’s assertion that it received an inferior copy of a potentially critical video from prosecutors. It was the second wrong move from the defense in a week.

At Wednesday’s issue was a drone video that prosecutors showed the jury at the conclusion of arguments aimed at undermining Rittenhouse’s self-defence statement and portraying him as the boss. plotting the bloodshed in Kenosha in the summer of 2020. Prosecutors said the footage showed him pointing his rifle at protesters before the shooting broke out.

Rittenhouse attorney Corey Chirafisi said that initially, the defense received a smaller compressed version of the video and did not receive the higher-quality larger version that prosecutors used until the evidence portion of the case. end.

He said the defense would have approached things differently had they received better footage sooner and now they are demanding “a level playing field”.

Chirafisi said the mistaken claim would be made “without prejudice”, meaning prosecutors could still try Rittenhouse again.

Last week, the defense requested a biased sanction, which means Rittenhouse cannot be brought to trial again. That request was prompted by what the defense said were unwarranted questions prosecutor Thomas Binger asked during his Rittenhouse cross-examination.

Rittenhouse, 18, is on trial for murder and attempted murder for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle during a night of rebellion. for the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by a white man. Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old former police teenager, said he went to Kenosha to protect property from rioters.

He shot dead Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28. Rittenhouse was also white, as were the guys he shot. The case has become a focal point in the debate about guns, racial injustice, vigilism and the right to self-defense in the US.

Rittenhouse could face life in prison if found guilty of the most serious crimes against him.

Controversy over the video broke out after jurors asked to review the footage on day two of their deliberations.

Defense attorneys said they would object to the jury’s viewing of the drone video. The same footage sparked a heated argument earlier in the trial over technical questions about whether a still image taken from a video distorts when it is magnified.

Prosecutors say the video proves Rittenhouse lied when he said he did not point a gun at the protesters. But the key moment in the video is difficult to decipher because of how far the drone has flown and how tiny a Rittenhouse is in the frame.

Dennis Keeling, an adjunct professor in the department of film and television arts at Columbia University Chicago, says smaller file sizes or lower resolution video files will be more blurry and grainy, especially if viewed play on a larger screen. That’s why people who work with video footage carefully check the size, file length and other details after creating a copy to make sure the new version is what they want, he added. .

Prosecutors told the judge Wednesday that the jury viewed the highest quality version during the trial and that it was not the state’s fault that the file size was smaller than it was received by the defense.

“We’re focusing too much on a technology glitch,” prosecutor James Kraus said.

The judge said he was “apprehensive” about admitting the video during the trial, but because it was shown in court he will allow the jury to review the video during deliberation.

But if that video shouldn’t be admitted as evidence, “it’s going to be ugly,” warns Schroeder.

He said the false claim would have to be resolved if there was a guilty verdict.

If Rittenhouse is acquitted, the matter will be up for debate. But if he is found guilty, an erroneous judgment would essentially invalidate the sentence.

Julius Kim, a Milwaukee-based defense attorney who has followed the case, said it’s possible to claim an error even if the judge finds it to be an honest mistake or a technical problem. .

But to win over a traitor, the defense will have to meet high spirits and explain to the judge why what happened really hurt Rittenhouse, said Ion Meyn, an assistant professor at University of Wisconsin School of Law, said.

“You can’t just say, ‘The state gave me a lower quality video and so I got the wrong one,'” Meyn said. “It’s a losing argument for sure.”

Earlier in the day, the judge criticized the coverage of the case and second speculation from legal experts in the media, saying he would “think long and hard” about letting him know. allow trials to be televised in the future.

He made exception to news stories about his decision not to allow those shot by Rittenhouse to be called “victims” and let Rittenhouse draw lots to determine which jurors were to be substitutes. The judge also complained about criticism that he had yet to rule on the previous false claim.

Schroeder said he didn’t get a chance to read the motion because he just received it and wanted to give the state a chance to weigh in.

“It is regrettable that irresponsible statements have been made,” the judge said of remarks in a Milwaukee Sentinel Journal story from law school professors. Rittenhouse jury to resume after new request


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