If the jury in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial doesn’t vote to acquit, he’ll likely have excellent grounds for appeal on jury intimidation. A man claiming to be a friend or relative of George Floyd released a video that went viral, claiming activists were taking photos of jurors in the courtroom so they could retaliate if they didn’t vote to convict.
(Incidentally, the George Floyd/racism aspect of this case is a bit bizarre, considering Rittenhouse and the three men he shot are all white.)
Even if that video is nothing but Internet bluster, the very idea of such a threat might be enough to scare jurors out of being impartial, and that should be obvious grounds for an appeal.
However, despite the local bias against Rittenhouse (two-thirds of potential jurors said they’d already decided he was guilty), if the jurors are impartial, I don’t see how they vote any way other than acquittal on self-defense. The prosecution’s case has blown up in their faces so many times, you’d think the D.A. was Wile E. Coyote. Their “star witness” contradicted their narrative of Rittenhouse chasing the men down (they chased him down.) FBI surveillance video also contradicted it. Another witness testified that one of the men shot was acting aggressive and threatened to kill him and Rittenhouse.
On Monday, the prosecution called to the stand the only agitator shot by Rittenhouse who survived. He claimed he was running toward Rittenhouse to save him from the other two who were attacking him, and that he yelled at one to stop hitting Rittenhouse with a skateboard. But the defense attorney forced him to admit, “with the benefit of hindsight,” that that wasn’t true. He also got him to admit that he was advancing on Rittenhouse and pointing a pistol at him when Rittenhouse shot him. The state’s case imploded so thoroughly, a prosecutor was caught on camera face-palming (burying his face in his hand in frustration.)
The defense also pointed out that that guy is suing the city for $10 million in damages, but he didn’t mention in his filings that he was carrying and pointing a gun at the time he was shot.
The jurors might fear riots if they don’t vote guilty, but Nick Arama at Redstate.com offered an alternative: the defense could ask the judge for a directed verdict.
That means the judge could rule that no jury could possibly be convinced of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and throw out some or all of the charges. The mainstream media aren’t covering the terrible job the prosecutors are doing, but if there are riots, their bias could be a contributing factor. Anyone who riots over Rittenhouse being acquitted definitely wasn’t informed about what's going on in that courtroom.