Rittenhouse should absolutely be found innocent of all charges. This is classic common law self-defense. His gun was legally owned and carried in WI (although this is largely irrelevant to self-defense). He legitimately feared for his life. Video evidence shows he was running from those chasing him, and he tried to avoid conflict first. Everything else is smoke and mirrors designed to distract from the fact the three chasing him (including a convicted pedophile) all said some permutation of "let's get/kill him" and he only shot back when it was clear his life was in danger.
In the alternative, this case should be dismissed with prejudice. The prosecution committed a grave 5th amendment violation by commenting on Rittenhouse's silence. The state also did not provide a material high definition video (which demonstrated Rittenhouse did not raise the gun to provoke his assailants) to D's until after the trial ended--instead allowing an ambiguous low-definition version to be introduced in evidence against Rittenhouse. This is a Brady violation given the state's argument that Rittenhouse provoked his assailants. Finally, the jury was being recorded, threatened with doxxing, and the court has been surrounded by left-wing activists echoing calls around the nation for mass-violence if he is not convicted. This is not a fair trial under American law.
100% agree with the above. Nothing to add. Binger will go down as the most incompetent prosecutor since the O.J. Simpson trial. I went into this trial with a massive bias against Rittenhouse (stemming from the grave misrepresentation of the facts by nearly all left-wing media sources) but now have no doubt that he should be found innocent on all charges. I just feel bad for the jurors who know fear for their lives.
Setting aside the potential constitutional issues raised by the defense in their motion for dismissal with prejudice, I believe Rittenhouse should be found guilty on Counts I-III and innocent on Counts IV-V (that is, the prosecution has failed to prove an intent to kill). Rittenhouse's parading and pointing his AR-15 style weapon at protestors qualifies as provocation. So, even if one believes that the prosecution failed to show that Rittenhouse acted on a fear for his life—query whether or not that bar was met—he is not entitled to act with deadly force. As the prosecutor noted, Rittenhouse is afforded the right to defend himself in any non-lethal way. He simply cannot shoot three people dead.
Per Grosskreutz's own admissions during cross, he pointed a gun at Rittenhouse. Minutes after people were chasing him screaming "kill him." I guess this does not warrant lethal force? By what standard? Rosenbaum grabbed the barrel of his gun, trying to pull it. I guess should have let him have the gun or said "stop! you're not allowed to take my gun!" The the person who attacked him with a skateboard - he should have put down his weapon and found a different weapon more on par with a skateboard?
@Centaurus: I don't understand your provocation argument. The instructions clearly state that "provocation" includes an "unlawful conduct of any kind." "Parading" a gun was not unlawful and the prosecution failed to prove (by the proper standard, or even a lesser standard) that Rittenhouse pointed his gun at anyone, especially unlawfully. Please elaborate.
Based on the evidence and the charges chosen by the prosecution, I have to say that Rittenhouse is likely innocent. The prosecutors erred by choosing the murder charge when manslaughter would have been better for a guilty verdict. The self-defense claim is likely met since one of the witnesses conceded on cross that he had pointed his gun at Rittenhouse before Rittenhouse pointed his gun at the witness. The prosecutor is also wildly incompetent with terrible cross arguments as well as a poor closing.
Rittenhouse said that he feared for his life several times during his direct and cross. Also, nobody seriously contested that somebody trying to take away your gun, hitting your in the head with a rock and a skateboard, and pointing a gun at you would not elicit "fear for one's life."
Not guilty on all counts. @Centaurus: Even if Rittenhouse did provoke the attack (which, as @Earth pointed out, seems far from a foregone conclusion), per the jury instructions he can still use deadly force in self-defense if he "reasonably believes he has exhausted every other reasonable means to escape from or otherwise avoid death or great bodily harm." I'm not intimately familiar with the facts, but assuming he had such a belief, are you saying it was unreasonable?
My sense is similar to Orilla's: not guilty on all counts. Setting aside the prosecutorial failures in the case, I find it hard after cross to accept that Rittenhouse did not reasonably fear for his life--following the jury instructions, his act of violence was privileged.
Seems like COUNT 1: FIRST-DEGREE RECKLESS HOMICIDE, USE OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON could apply - the guy threw a plastic bag at Rittenhouse and tried to disarm him. I'm not entirely sure that pulling someone's gun away - especially under those circumstances - is necessarily an indication of intent to kill them? Not a proportional response to kill the person pulling a gun away.
It's certainly not unreasonable to think, in the midst of a violent overall situation, that somebody who is aggressively threatening you and attempting to take your gun will, if they succeed in "disarming" you, then use that very gun to end your life. And self-defense / provocation hinge on reasonability
Wisconsin law prohibits minors from possessing firearms except for hunting or when supervised by an adult in target practice or instruction in the proper use of a dangerous weapon. Rittenhouse’s attorneys argued that another subsection of the law, regarding short-barreled rifles, provided grounds for dismissing the charge.