We’ve been writing about how awful the Rittenhouse prosecution’s case has been.
But the prosecution’s falsehoods during their closing today were more than beyond the pale. Each lawyer strives to make the best case possible. But it doesn’t mean that you falsely frame the law or the facts to the jury. The prosecutor’s first obligation is not to win — but to seek justice and the truth, even if that means that they lose in the process. That wasn’t what we saw on display today in that courtroom.
However, if ADA Thomas Binger’s closing remarks earlier today were bad and troubling from an ethical point of view — and they were — they also had the potential to confuse the jury. The closing remarks were misleading and inaccurate. Binger attempted to make the provocation argument at the very last moment. In words of the defense, Binger came to that argument “after their case explodes.” If the jury believes Binger rather than the truth and is deceived into thinking there is no right of self-defense because Rittenhouse “provoked” Rosenbaum, that could be problematic to the argument of self-defense, as we previously explained.
The defense did bring the closing back to a little sanity with its argument, logically working through the panoply of lies told by the prosecution and reminding the jury what this really was about — not politics or media lies — but the life of a teenager who had been chased and attacked, who was now on trial because he lawfully defended himself. They successfully pointed out multiple lies by the prosecution — impeaching Binger’s credibility — so if any of the jury were inclined to believe anything Binger was saying during his closing argument, they now could see he wasn’t being straight with them.
The prosecution then had an opportunity for rebuttal — meaning they can respond to and rebut what the defense has just said in their closing argument. The prosecution didn’t finish with Binger; ADA James Kraus presented the rebuttal. Instead of helping the case, Kraus seemed to put the final stake in the prosecution’s credibility with what he said.
Kraus continued to argue that Rittenhouse had should have attempted to retreat more. However, he tried to withdraw. He was actually running away from Joseph Rosenbaum who tried to chase him after his threats to kill him. Rosenbaum was attempting to grab Rosenbaum’s gun and lunged at him. What would Rosenbaum have him do? How much further could he retreat from the threat of killing him?
The prosecution was, in the words of the defense, in “fantasy land.” In addition to retreating more, they were suggesting things nutty things like he could have shot in the air in that microsecond that Rittenhouse had before the wild crazy guy who threatened his life grabbed his gun.
Kraus tried to argue that the guy who threatened to kill Rittenhouse and grab his gun, and the guy who pointed his gun at Rittenhouse’s head, somehow weren’t going to hurt him.
“We’re supposed to believe that Rosenbaum is Jason Bourne or John Wick or some other movie star hero who’s capable of killing with his bare hands and deserved the treatment that he got from the defendant,” Kraus said [….]
Richards was trying to make the three victims seem like “bad people doing bad things,” Kraus said.
“We’re supposed to be so scared of Mr. Grosskreutz with his glock when the defendant is holding a loaded AR-15,” he said.
Yes, ADA Kraus. People are often seriously hurt from beatings by insane people like Joseph Rosenbaum. And if you think that a Glock is somehow less likely to kill you because it’s a Glock, I don’t know what to say with how ridiculous you are. He had it pointed at Rittenhouse’s head. Rittenhouse wouldn’t have shot him. Rittenhouse is likely to be dead.
Kraus then reached the pinnacle of stupidity. There’s no doubt Kraus saved his worst remarks for the end, when he argued that Rittenhouse was a coward for not fighting back with his fists against Rosenbaum, claiming he brought a gun to a fist fight.
“…he was too cowardly to use his fists” is one of the worst arguments against self-defence I could imagine the prosecution using. Yet, they did use it. pic.twitter.com/mlhCp7fwmY
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) November 15, 2021
Here he is arguing against all reality that a skateboard can’t be used as a deadly weapon. Apparently when “hero” Anthony Huber bashed Rittenhouse in the head with it as Rittenhouse lay prone on the ground, it was just a love tap.
🚨🚨James Kraus, the prosecutor in Kyle Rittenhouse’s closing arguments, argues that a skateboard is not a weapon of mass destruction and suggests parents give children AR-15s to celebrate Christmas. pic.twitter.com/NFjG1h8zJO
— crabcrawler (@crabcrawler1) November 16, 2021
Kraus is Kraus convinced that this jury would be too stupid to believe this? Plus which — he’s acknowledging there was a threat to Rittenhouse implicitly with his arguments.
Finally, Kraus went over the edge and he made an argument that’s going to have the jury thinking the prosecution has a screw loose, if they are at all reasonable people. Kraus claimed Rittenhouse ought to have been taken to the ground rather than defended himself. This is seriously twisted. “Everybody takes a beating sometimes, right?” Kraus argued.
🚨James Kraus the prosecutor seriously stated (paraphrased).
“everyone takes a beating once in a while. I don’t need a full metal jacket AR-15 because of that” regarding the Kyle Rittenhouse situation. pic.twitter.com/PuGSHyrgpk
— crabcrawler (@crabcrawler1) November 16, 2021
Oh, my. Enough. Is there a name for the prosecution that they are involved in? Prosecuticide? There isn’t actually a name for it but now we’ll have to make one up, because that’s what they just did. A clear-eyed jury has to look at all this and think they’re nuts. Let’s just hope after all this, there still is a clear-eyed jury there.