Rittenhouse Defense Asks Again for Mistrial

They say they were given lower-quality copy of key video evidence
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2021 3:19 PM CST
Rittenhouse Jury Asks to Review Video Evidence
Kyle Rittenhouse, left, and his attorney Corey Chirafisi stand up after meeting with Judge Bruce Schroeder at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.   (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

(Newser) – As the jury in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse deliberated for a second day, the teen's defense team made its second request for a mistrial. Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi said prosecutors had given the defense team a lower-quality version of a key drone video, the New York Times reports. Prosecutors countered that the higher-quality version was played during the trial. Judge Bruce Schroeder did not immediately rule in the request, reports the AP. He has also yet to rule on a request for a mistrial the defense team made a week ago. Chirafisi said that, unlike in the earlier request, the defense was seeking a mistrial "without prejudice," meaning Rittenhouse could have another trial.

The video in question shows Rittenhouse shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, the first of two men Rittenhouse killed during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Aug. 25 last year. Before the mistrial request, the jury asked to review video evidence including footage of Rittenhouse fatally shooting Anthony Huber, sparking debate over how the request should be handled, CNN reports. Defense lawyers argued that jurors should only be allowed to watch the videos a limited number of times, but Schroeder said that if jurors want to watch a video 80 times and debate its contents, "they should be allowed to do so without interference on our part."

Schroeder also complained about media coverage of the trial and said he would "think long and hard" before allowing another trial to be televised. He addressed controversy over allowing Rittenhouse to pull the numbers of jurors to be dismissed from a raffle drum Tuesday, a task usually performed by a court clerk. The judge said he has handled the selection of alternates this way since a case 20 years ago when the only Black juror in the trial of a Black defendant was dismissed. "I think people feel better when they have control," Schroeder said. (Read more Kyle Rittenhouse stories.)

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