I have been watching the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse via live-stream for the past two weeks. It has been, quite frankly, exciting – from both a legal and factual perspective. Here are my highlights from the last two weeks:
For those unaware: here is an article recapping the events which made Kyle Rittenhouse a figure of public interest.
Opening arguments were uneventful, but once the state began calling witnesses, I got a sense that it was an uphill battle. Most of the state’s witnesses, in fact, appeared to lend credibility to the self-defense argument. Last Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Binger ended by attacking the credibility of every single one of his own witnesses.
Then, on Friday the 5th, we heard testimony from Gaige Grosskreutz, one of the three men shot by Rittenhouse. His testimony was a strategic inevitably – he testified to his perceptions on the night of the incident, and gave an account of how he’s been impacted. However, when defense attorney Corey Chirafisi began to cross examine Mr. Grosskreutz, he spent 45 minutes dominating the room. It was an exceptionally impactful cross examination. We learned that Mr. Grosskreutz was armed, and that he intentionally omitted that fact to law enforcement and in official pleadings. The examination ended with nothing short of a bombshell: Chirafisi elicited a sworn admission that Mr. Grosskreutz was aiming his gun at Kyle’s head before he was shot. The attorney let the room fall silent for nearly a minute; a prosecuting attorney could be seen abandoning his poker face to hold his head in his hands.
Then on Wednesday the 10th, we saw Kyle himself testify – a huge risk in any criminal trial. Ultimately, his testimony seemed to benefit him. When he began to testify about the start of the incident, he quickly broke into sobs and a breathing fit. Judge Schroeder called for a 10 minute recess, and Kyle resumed his testimony. In my opinion, this breakdown appeared credible and will go over well with a jury. It also meant that the prosecutor had to be delicate on cross examination; of course, in continuing a long line of prosecutorial blunders, Binger was nothing of the sort. He opened up the cross examination arguing that Kyle has had, by virtue of remaining silent, plenty of time to tailor his statement to existing evidence and testimony. Judge Schroeder ordered the jury to leave the room to reprimand Binger for what was about to become a “grave constitutional violation” by commenting on the defendant’s 5th Amendment rights. Mere minutes after this, Binger began a line of questioning that both violated a pretrial order and relied on propensity evidence – once again outside the presence of the jury, the Judge was now shouting furiously at Binger’s behavior.
Evidence has since been closed, and closing arguments will begin on Monday the 15th. While I could write an entire book about the events of this trial, I included above only the moments which stood out to me the most. After seeing the direction of these proceedings, I believe that we should be prepared for an acquittal on the most serious charges. I look forward to putting the accuracy of my predictions to the test.
This blog post is part of the CIMA Law Group Blog. If you are in need of legal help, the CIMA Law Group is a law firm in Phoenix, Arizona which possesses expertise in Immigration Law, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and Government Relations.
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