Rittenhouse’s attorneys asked the judge to declare the wrong trial based on the video

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Judge Bruce Schroeder did not immediately resolve the request, which was the second misunderstanding of the defense within a week.

Kyle Rittenhouse looks back before taking a break during his trip to the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wiss, on Monday, November 15, 2021. (via Sean Krajacic / The Kenosha News AP, Pool)
Associated Press

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) – Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyers asked the judge to declare the trial unfair, even though the murder jury discussed it on Wednesday, saying the defense received a poorer copy of a potentially decisive video from prosecutors.

Judge Bruce Schroeder did not immediately resolve the request, which was the second misunderstanding of the defense within a week. The jury considered the second full day without judgment and will return in the morning.

It was a drone video that prosecutors showed to the jury in their closing remarks in an effort to undermine Rittenhouse’s self-defense demands and portray him as the instigator of the bloodshed in Kenosha in the summer of 2020. Prosecutors said the material showed him. showed protesters with his rifle before the shooting began.

Rittenhouse attorney Corey Chirafisi said the defense initially received a compressed version of the video and did not receive a higher quality video used by the prosecutor until the evidence in the case was over.

He said the defense would have approached things differently if it had received superior material in the past and that it now demands “steady, fair opportunities.”

He said the criminal trial request would be made “without prejudice”, meaning prosecutors could still try Rittenhouse again.

Last week, the defense called for an unfair trial without prejudice, which means Rittenhouse could not be convicted again. This request was due to what the defense considered to be inappropriate questions raised by prosecutor Thomas Binger at Rittenhouse’s cross-examination.

Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with murder and attempted murder because he killed two men and wounded a third AR-style semi-automatic rifle during a stormy night in protests involving the shooting of a black man by police. At the time, 17-year-old former police youth cadet Rittenhouse said he had gone to Kenosha to protect the property from rioters.

He shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28. Rittenhouse is white, as was the shooting. The case has become a flashpoint in the debate on arms, racial injustice, vigilance and self-defense

He can face life imprisonment if convicted of the most serious charges.

The controversy over the video sparked after the jury asked to re-watch the material on the second day of its discussion.

Defense attorneys said they objected to the jury watching the drone video, which sparked a heated debate in the past over technical issues as to whether the still image taken from the video was distorted when magnified.

The key moment in the video is hard to explain because the drone was far away and how small the character Rittenhouse is in the picture.

A compressed or lower-resolution video file is blurrier and more granular, especially if played on a larger screen, said Dennis Keeling, a docent in film and television art at Columbia College Chicago. That’s why people working on video footage carefully check the file size, length, and other details after copying to make sure the new version is what they wanted, he added.

Prosecutors told the judge on Wednesday that the jury saw the highest quality version during the trial and that it was not the state’s reason the file was compressed when the defense received it.

“We are focusing too much on technological failure,” prosecutor James Kraus said.

The prosecutor claims the video shows that Rittenhouse lied on a rack when he said he did not aim his rifle at protesters.

The judge said he had “trouble” approving the video during the trial, but since it had already been filed in court, he let the jury look at it again during the deliberations.

But if it turns out the video shouldn’t have been taken as proof, “it’s going to be ugly,” Schroeder warned.

He said the criminal request must be addressed if the guilty conviction comes.

If Rittenhouse is acquitted, the matter is controversial. But if he is found guilty, an erroneous verdict would overturn the verdict.

The Milwaukee-based defense attorney who followed the case said the misunderstanding could be declared even if the judge considered it to be an honest mistake or a technical problem.

But to win the wrong trial, the defense has to face a high bar and explain to the judge why the incident really offended Rittenhouse, said Ion Meyn, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Law.

“You can’t just say the state gave me a lower quality video and that’s why I get the exam,” Meyn said. “It’s definitely a losing argument.”

Earlier in the day, the judge criticized the news coverage of the case and another speculation by legal experts in the media, saying he would “consider for a long time and earnestly” allowing televised trials in the future.

He took an exception in the news for his decisions not to call Rittenhouse’s shot men “victims” and gives Rittenhouse a lottery to determine which judges were deputies. The judge also complained of criticism that he had not yet ruled on the previous defensive trial.

Schroeder said he did not have the opportunity to read the bill because he had just received it and wanted to give the state a chance to take a stand.

“It’s just a shame that irresponsible statements are being made,” Schroeder said of comments in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about law school professors.

Forliti reports from Minneapolis; Bauer from Madison, Wisconsin. Associated Press author Tammy Webber attended Fenton, Michigan.

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