A disgraceful prosecution finally rested in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial

On Tuesday, the Kyle Rittenhouse prosecution rested its case after its witnesses once again strongly supported Kyle's assertion that he only acted in self-defense.  In a righteous world, the judge would, on his own initiative, order a directed verdict in Kyle's favor.  Instead, it emerged that there's a plan to terrorize the jurors (and, by implication, the judge).  Also the mainstream media, of course, pretended the prosecution had actually proved its case.

Once again, I've turned to Andrew Branca's excellent post summarizing what happened at the trial, and, again, I'm just skimming the surface of his analysis.  To orient those of you who haven't been following this, Kyle Rittenhouse borrowed a rifle, gathered his medical kit, and headed to Kenosha in the wake of the Jacob Blake riots.  His goal was to help clean up the damage, offer first aid, and protect businesses from being destroyed.  Instead, he shot three White communist felons, two of whom died.  Video footage supported the claim of self-defense, and, as the six days of trial have shown, witness testimony did, too.

The prosecution put on two final witnesses before resting its case: James Armstrong, an imaging expert witness, and Doug Kelley, M.D., who performed autopsies on the two men Kyle killed.  Armstrong was a substantively useless witness, while Kelley's evidence affirmatively helped the defense.  I'll ignore Armstrong and focus on Kelley.

One of the things Kelley testified about was whether the decedents were near or far from Kyle when he shot them.  If they were within inches of the gun, there'd be soot around the wounds; if they were within four feet of the gun, there'd be gunpowder stippling; and if they were farther away, all those marks would be missing.

Despite the prosecutors' desperate efforts to increase the decedents' distance from Kyle when he shot them, the doctor would not agree that the soot on Rosenbaum had magically traveled farther than is normal for a soot-marked wound.  Ultimately, as the prosecutor's magic rifle theory got increasingly unreasonable, the doctor said that test-firing Kyle's weapon would answer that question — which, as Branca said, "just highlighted that such test firing had not been done by the State, most likely because they were afraid the answer would be unfavorable to their prosecution."

Worse (for the prosecution), on cross-examination, Kelley testified that the dead men's wounds were entirely consistent with their being shot in the midst of attacks against Kyle.  "In particular," writes Branca, "the soot pattern on the right hand of Rosenbaum suggested that it had been on the muzzle of the rifle when the hand was shot."

After the judge denied the defense's motion for a directed verdict, the defense began its case with four witnesses.  All of them testified to facts supporting self-defense.  Branca discusses their testimony at length if you're interested.

A significant moment was the judge's announcement that the police had caught someone filming the jurors, implying jury tampering.  Both the judge and the jurors now have reason to believe that if the case's outcome doesn't suit the mob, they are at risk.  I think that's why the judge denied a directed verdict for the defense on what should have been a no-brainer, for the prosecution utterly failed to make its case.

My concern is that the jurors will keep themselves safe by finding Kyle guilty, and the judge will agree.  They'll all assuage their consciences by telling themselves the state's appeals court and, if necessary, the Supreme Court will remedy the problem.  This process can take years. Kyle, like Derek Chauvin before him, may find himself staring at prison walls for a long time before any appeal gets heard (although I think a reversal for Kyle is more likely than for Chauvin, also the victim of a tainted trial).

And then there's the drive-by media.  The Federalist collected the headlines following Gaige Grosskreutz's testimony proving that he chased Kyle, that he lowered his gun when Grosskreutz put up his hands in a surrender gesture, that Anthony Huber (also dead) was trying to decapitate Kyle with a skateboard, and that Grosskreutz had a loaded gun aimed at Kyle's head when the latter shot his arm.  For the drive-bys, Grosskreutz is still an innocent victim, and they focused on his proven lies to make that point:

New York Times: "Man Shot by Kyle Rittenhouse Describes the Encounter on a Kenosha Street"

Washington Post: "Gaige Grosskreutz says he feared for his life, pointed gun at Kyle Rittenhouse before getting shot"

CNN: "Armed paramedic who was shot by Kyle Rittenhouse testifies he thought teen was an active shooter"

USA Today: "Gaige Grosskreutz testified 'That I was going to die' as a witness at Rittenhouse trial"

BBC: "Man shot by Kyle Rittenhouse says he pointed own gun amid fears for life."

Meanwhile, after Tuesday's hearing, MSNBC ran the ominous headline that "A movement formed around Kyle Rittenhouse. It's a serious threat to democracy and justice."  Apparently, the trial isn't about Kyle at all.  "What's really on trial...is citizen vigilantism."  Destroying cities, good.  Defending cities, vigilantism.

As I often do, I'll give Tucker Carlson the final word about this bizarre trial:

Image: Dr. Doug Kelley.  Screen grab.

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