As New York Self Defense lawyers, and as the providers of the only pre-paid legal plan for gun owners available in New York, we actively monitored the Kyle Rittenhouse case with both shock and amazement. Shock at the fact that the case was brought but also amazement at the lengths the prosecutor would go to get a conviction. To be clear, the jury verdict was correct and Kyle Rittenhouse appeared justified to use deadly physical force to protect his own life. At the very least, it is clear, that there was a reasonable doubt about whether he reasonably believed that deadly physical force was necessary to protect his own life, thus justifying the jury verdict.
The prosecutions’ own witnesses largely helped the defense. The testimony of the only surviving “victim” Gage Grosskreutz was critical for the prosecution but turned out to help the defense case when he admitted that Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t shoot him until he pointed a weapon at Rittenhouse and advanced toward him pointing a gun. The testimony of another prosecution witness, Richard McGinniss, also severely damaged the prosecution’s case when he testified that Joseph Rosenbaum, who was shot and killed by Rittenhouse seemed very angry as he lunged for Rittenhouse’s gun. Presumably, the prosecutor knew what these witnesses were going to say. Presumably, the prosecutor had interviewed these witnesses and prepared them for their testimony and cross-examination. Yet the case was brought anyway.
Additionally, the prosecutor’s cross-examination of Kyle Rittenhouse himself, shows a certain level of desperation. The prosecutor asked Mr. Rittenhouse about his post-arrest silence, a clear no-no which provoked a severe rebuke from the judge. That line of questioning was really bewildering considering that even a first year law student who has taken basic Constitutional Law would know not to ask a defendant about his post arrest silence. Then the prosecutor, in violation of the trial judges pre-trial rulings went into an area of questioning that he was specifically ordered by the judge not to ask. However, one of the most surprising and truly desperate questions came when the prosecutor asked Rittenhouse if his user name on TikTok was “4doorsmorewhores” in an attempt to make him look dirty.