As this is written, the Prosecution is engaging in rebuttal to the Defense closing argument. Monday began with argument over jury instructions, which eventually turned into a disaster. But first, let’s review the major developments, prior to the judge participating in that disaster. The SMM Rittenhouse case archive is here.
*We learned a bit more about the provocation argument. It now appears Ziminski isn’t even in the blurry photo, only Kyle! I can’t make out any human form, but that’s what both sides are stuck with. Judge Schroeder ruled the Prosecution can’t claim it was a fact Kyle pointed his rifle at Ziminski. He was reduced to suggesting it was more or less, kinda sorta pointed in their general direction, which also can’t be seen in the photo. Remember: there was never any evidence this happened, only what ADA Binder wants people to see in the mass of undifferentiated pixels. He had the chance to have Ziminski testify and didn’t. That would come back to bite him later in the day.
*Regarding the reckless endangerment charge relating to journalist Richard McGinnis, the Judge ruled if shooting Rosembaum is self-defense, it would not possibly have been reckless conduct toward McGinnis, who said he was unharmed in any case.
*Perhaps the best thing that happened, after the jury instructions turned into such a disaster Judge Schroeder removed them from the courtroom, is he finally realized self-defense is absolute. If each of the charges was justified by self-defense, that’s it. The primary charge and every less, included offense mean nothing and can’t be considered. This is the law, and how it must be. The Judge, thankfully, finally, realized it and so instructed the jury. All they have to do with each charge is determine if it was self-defense. If so, nothing more is necessary and Kyle is acquitted.
I’ll reserve my comments on the closing arguments until later, when I’ve had a chance to collect everything I need. In the meantime, however, I recommend you take these links:
1) The Andrew Branca Live link, which features his in-real-time comments on what’s happening. I recommend you us the “Load More” bar—you’ll have to hit it quite a few times—to get to the beginning of the day. It’s a brief, informative format that shows you what has happened, minute by minute.
2) This link to earlier in the day, where Branca confirms what he and I both know: this is a Bizarro World, backward case.
As expected, The White House can’t keep it’ mouth shut about this case. Red Jen Psaki, who will obviously say anything, did, as Townhall.com reports:
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was confronted during Monday’s briefing about why President Joe Biden falsely smeared 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse as a white supremacist during the 2020 election. Conveniently, she said they don’t want to comment on an ongoing case as the jury prepares for deliberation in his trial.
‘I’m not going to speak to right now is anything about an ongoing trial, nor the President’s past comments,’ Psaki said. ‘What I can reiterate for you is the President’s view that we shouldn’t have, broadly speaking, vigilantes patrolling our communities with assault weapons. We shouldn’t have opportunists corrupting peaceful protests by rioting and burning down the communities they claim to represent, anywhere in the country. As you know, closing arguments in this particular case, which I’m not speaking to, I’m just making broad comments about his own view, there is an ongoing trial. We are awaiting a verdict, beyond that I’m not going to speak to any individuals or this case.’
Riiight. She didn’t “speak to [about] any individual.” Kyle Rittenhouse, and the many other men protecting Kenosha when the Politicians refused to protect it, were not vigilantes, and there are no such things as an “assault weapons. Is there any lie she won’t utter to support the narrative?
Consider this quote from Defense Attorney Mark Richards from his closing argument, via Fox News:
Provocation, another thing, think back to November 2nd when this case started, did you hear one word out of Mr. Binger’s mouth about provocation? You didn’t. Because it was never said,’ Richards told the jury. ‘But when his case explodes in his face, now he comes out with provocation.’
You also might want to take this link to Rumble.com, where you’ll find a compilation video of Judge Schroeder more than justifiably chewing out ADA Binger. Mark and Patricia McCloskey were also there in Kenosha, supporting not only Kyle, but the right to self-defense. You can find my writings on their case here.
Continuing, 11-15-21, 2115 MT: I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve sometimes been asked to demonstrate the handling and use of firearms in court, but in every instance I cleared the involved firearm, and pointed it only in a safe direction, and moved very, very slowly:
Oh. My. God. Trying to convince the jury Kyle was reckless, ADA Binger snatches up Kyle’s AR-15 and wildly points it at audience in the courtroom—with his finger on the trigger! Suffice it to say no sane gun owner ever points a gun at anyone or anything they’re not ready to destroy.
In addition, no responsible gun owner ever accepts any weapon without first confirming, manually and visually, its charge status. The same is done when handing a weapon to anyone; you don’t hand people loaded weapons. This absolutely matches the bizarre and juvenile behavior of the Prosecution in the Zimmerman trial. Coincidentally, ADA Kraus, also during the Prosecution closing, told the jury there is no such thing as a left-handed gun. This is factually incorrect. Left-handed guns not only exist, many contemporary sporting rifles are ambidextrous; they can be easily configured for right or left handed shooters. Is the Prosecution truly so oblivious to the realities of firearms, or are they just arrogant, stupid and desperate? All of the above?
Keep in mind, we have no idea who Jump Kick Man is. He never testified and has never been identified. Likewise with the guy who tried to brain Kyle with a piece of concrete, which is what caused him to fall, giving Jump Kick Man, Jacob Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz the opportunity to attack Kyle, prone on the ground, within the span of a handful of seconds.
Judge Schroeder had to tell the jury to ignore Joe Biden’s statements about Kyle?! How did we get to this point? It’s certainly not Kyle Rittenhouse’s fault.
Binger called the rioters, looters, arsonists, violent thugs, both local and national, professional and amateur, the mob that chased down a fleeing Kyle and tried to kill him, “a crowd full of heroes.” They could not possibly have known what transpired when Rosenbaum attacked Kyle. They were responding only to the mob screaming for Kyle’s blood. Why would anyone, particularly a prosecutor, call the people who caused untold millions of dollars of damage in the town he is sworn to protect, people who ruined lives and fortunes, committed hundreds of uncharged felonies, “heroes”? Because he had no case; because he needed to demonize Kyle.
The media have, for more than a year and continuing today, claimed Kyle was illegally carrying a gun. The prosecution, under direct questioning by Judge Schroeder, very grudgingly admitted he did not, in fact, violate that law, and the Judge immediately dismissed it–finally. The only two people illegally carrying guns that night were Joshua Ziminski and Jacob Rosenbaum. Neither have been charged.
The question is, why would prosecutors, who can presumably read the same law, have charged Kyle with an offense they knew he didn’t commit? Why would they, for more than a year, knowing that to be wrong, continue to argue Kyle violated that law, only to finally admit what they knew all along until the moment the judge forced them to admit it? There are many reasons from incompetence to malice, but mostly, they got to argue that, repeatedly, before the jury, a jury who now can’t forget it, a jury whose deliberations will surely be, in part, affected by that malicious prosecution lie.
ADA Kraus claimed a skateboard is not a deadly weapon:
This too is an outrageous lie. Perhaps he would consent to lay on the ground and let Kyle whale on his neck and head with a skateboard, or any object of similar size and mass to prove his assertion? That skateboard was heavier, as hard and no less dangerous than an even longer length of 2X4 or a baseball bat. A great many common objects are capable of causing serious bodily injury or death if used as a weapon.
Binger also said “you can’t claim self-defense against an unarmed man like this.” “You can’t claim self-defense if you brought the gun.”
These are outrageous lies, all the more outrageous, because they are a purposeful lie about the law. Self-defense does not rest on whether an attacker is armed or unarmed. If what Binger said is true, no tiny woman would be able to claim self-defense if she were attacked by a large, but unarmed man and used a handgun to save her life. No hale and hearty young man would be able to claim self-defense if he were attacked by a mob and used his gun to save his life, and the law isn’t the least bit unclear about this. Self-defense is lawful when employed by an innocent, non-aggressor facing the imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death, and as long as that’s a reasonable belief based on the circumstances at that moment, it doesn’t matter if the attacker is “unarmed.”
The second Binger statement is likewise an idiotic lie. He just wiped away the right to keep and bear arms. If he’s right, no one lawfully carrying a concealed handgun can ever claim self-defense, regardless of the circumstances, because “you brought the gun.” It doesn’t matter who brought the gun! Whenever anyone is out in public in a free state, they’re surrounded by people who “brought the gun.” It doesn’t matter who brought the gun. What matters is what they do with it, and if they are an innocent attacked by an aggressor, and if a reasonable person believed the criteria for the use of deadly force were present, they have an unquestionable right to self-defense.
Once again, gentle readers, take the link to the real time comments by Andrew Branca. In there, you’ll see the Prosecution’s arguments were full of outright lies about the facts, about witness testimony, about guns and about the evidence. It was rife with emotion and innuendo. The Defense was the opposite.
Also take this link to Branca’s followup article, which is essentially a rather negative critique of the Defense closing argument. While I agree, in principle, about some of the points he’s making, they seem to be more a matter of style than substance. There are many ways to make such arguments, and they are best made by people who were in the courtroom every moment, able to see the faces, body language and reactions of the jurors.
I wasn’t there, nor to my knowledge, was Branca. He has made no comments about the reactions of the jury. Mark Richards was present. Should the jury convict on any count, does that mean Branca was right and I am wrong? There’s no way to tell that either.
Indeed, I would have preferred Richards made some of the points he made more forcefully and more completely. I would have preferred he better anticipated the points made in the Prosecution’s rebuttal. But does that mean he was wrong? I’ve no idea. I know if I were on trial and I was using a self-defense argument, I’d certainly be glad to have Branca defending me.
Again, take that link and see for yourself.
Final Thoughts: Some say Kyle shouldn’t have been there that night. Binger certainly did. They say he certainly shouldn’t have been armed. But did he have no less right to be on the streets of Kenosha, intending to do good, than the hundreds, even thousands, who were there, intending to do and going bad? To who should we cede control of our streets when Politicians and police won’t do their jobs: people like Kyle or people like Rosenbaum, Ziminski and Grosskreutz?
I’ve written being there was a bad idea, and generally speaking, I likely would not have chosen to be there. None of that matters—at all—in the lawful calculation of self-defense. The place for Kyle—or anyone—to pay for exercising poor judgment, so long as it is not illegal, is not in the courts, and not in prison. Kyle is more than paying for whatever bad judgment he exercised. He’s going to pay for the rest of his life, which if his millions of enemies have their way, will be nasty, brutish and short.
It’s an issue I’ll deal with in a separate article in the near future. When those charged with upholding law and order, with ensuring public safety, refuse, when they abandon the public they are sworn to serve to the mercy of the mob, what then? Do honest citizens just give up and hope no one comes to burn their home or business and kill them? Do we plead for mercy from the merciless and insane? If we do that, do we surrender more than mere property?