The Kyle Rittenhouse (KR) trial was a shameless exhibition of prosecutorial incompetence/ misconduct, judicial uncertainty, and ruined innocence.
Prosecuting attorney Thomas Binger drew a stinging rebuke from Judge Bruce Schroeder for violating long established court rules such as urging the jury to assume guilt when the accused chose to remain silent rather than undergo questioning. The 5th Amendment guarantees the right of an accused to remain silent with no assumption of guilt. Binger had already been warned about this and the judge brought him up short the second time he tried it.
Binger seemed completely unfamiliar with laws or practices relating to firearms. He brought a single charge of illegal possession based on the length of the AR15 that KR used that night. He (Binger) never even measured it. The law in question specified the short version of the AR15; Rittenhouse had carried the 4-inch-longer version which he was perfectly entitled to bear. Towards the end of the trial, Binger took the AR15 that was in evidence and aimed it in the direction of the jury with his finger on the trigger – two safety violations known to millions of gun enthusiasts and NRA members, but not to Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger.
Binger also withheld from the defense a better-quality video he had of a key sequence in the events in question. That is unethical. He seemed totally unaware that prosecution star witness Gaige Grosskreutz’ testimony would support KR’s innocence rather than his guilt. The many videos further supported Rittenhouse’s case of self-defense; the teenager was attacked by four adult males in rapid succession, all clearly out to hurt him and with death threats in the air, while surrounded by a hostile crowd cheering on the attackers. The videos made the self-defense case so obvious that one wonders why Rittenhouse was charged at all.
The judge mulled out loud over what to do at several junctures, giving the impression of not really knowing his job. There is also the question of why he did not sequester the jury to ensure that no enterprising news reporter could take their pictures or follow any of them home to discover where they lived. In his single ballsy act, Schroeder kicked MSNBC out of the courtroom for the remainder of the trial.
The Left did its best to intimidate the jury anyway, with noisy demonstrations outside the courtroom. Before the trial ever began – just a few days after the events that led to the trial – Joe Biden, with no proof, pronounced KR a militia member and white supremacist. That unlawful attempt to influence the decision added political heat to the trial. Fortunately none of it succeeded as the jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges. In an interview with Tucker Carlson Rittenhouse would later observe that at the time he didn’t know what a militia was.
One gets the distinct impression that this sterling young man escaped jail time by the skin of his teeth. Yet nothing presented at trial showed Kyle Rittenhouse in a bad light. He had shown up to help clean up after the prior night’s destruction. He was videotaped helping scrub graffiti off buildings. Asked to help protect a car lot that night, he agreed and retrieved his AR15 from a friend who lived in Kenosha. He also took along his medical kit in case of need.
Thomas Binger and his sidekick need to be investigated with a view to disbarment.
These guys acted in complete disregard of judicial ethics and Rittenhouse’s rights and made every effort to sneak around the edges of the law to convict him. They behaved like acolytes of the notorious Mike Nifong of Duke lacrosse fame. It’s worth noting that Nifong was subsequently disbarred; the players sued for defamation and recovered $20m each from Duke University.
Kyle Rittenhouse came across as the kind of young man you want your daughter to marry. Tested under the most trying conditions, he passed with maximum marks. He defended himself with deadly force against deadly attacks without endangering onlookers or other innocents. There was no collateral damage. He did not engage in bombast or bravado, and as soon as could be managed he presented himself to law enforcement. Under similar circumstances I wonder if I could have kept my head the way this magnificent 17-year-old kid did.
We can take several things away from this trial: First, given the Jacob Blake shooting and now the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, Wisconsinites are under the Leftist gun and had better wake up and get after their own self-defense; second, America is close to the totalitarian Left launching open war on us where we live. We cannot say there were no signs. A showdown is coming and we must be ready.
Third, and perhaps most important, is that openly televised trials such as that of Kyle Rittenhouse make it far more difficult for cheating lawyers to get away with it. Such fellows play to the crowd and don’t bother much with the facts or the rules of evidence. Criticism by other lawyers comes out on tv and in the papers, pointing out the law to us laymen. Unethical and incompetent lawyers get exposed and innocent people have a better chance of not getting crushed under the steamroller of crooked prosecutors.
The lying media can’t get away with its fabrications so easily when people can see the videos with their own eyes and don’t have to depend on reports by such unworthies as Joe Scarface and his posse of progressive harpies. These people have no allegiance to or interest in the truth or, for that matter, honesty; they have their side and that’s all they care about.
For these reasons, televised trials are one of the most powerful weapons we have to fight back with.
By Jack Rail
Jack Rail is a retired Army officer who writes mostly when something gets his goat.
Featured photo is a screengrab from CNN.