Laura Coates, CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, said she’s not surprised The jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges because of the jury’s instructions and the prosecution’s execution of the argument.
Prosecutors are trying to investigate the case of an active gunman, arguing that others who reacted to Rittenhouse’s actions that night were actually acting in self-defence. In the end, it’s not appealing, Coates said.
“That proved difficult to convince on this particular jury for two reasons. One, Wisconsin is a place where gun culture is not synonymous with criminal activity. The idea that you want to alienate your employer. owning a gun wouldn’t be convincing enough. The idea that, hey, they’re acting in self-defense can be very compelling, except under jury guidance,” Coates explained.
She said jury instructions say jurors must see the case through the eyes of Rittenhouse, then 17, and not in hindsight. Jurors must consider the rationality of Rittenhouse’s actions and decide whether he believes he must have exercised his right to self-defense.
“When you see him stand up and explain why he himself thinks he’s in mortal danger, that’s probably what sparked the needle,” Coates said.
“He believed it was reasonable to do so and now the burden goes back to the prosecution, where it always stays to say, hey, we’ve proven that he’s not reasonable with his beliefs. himself, that he’s either killing or being killed. script,” she added.
Wisconsin law requires that when making a self-defense claim, prosecutors must dismiss the right to self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, not the reverse as in other jurisdictions, Coates explained.
According to Coates, for the prosecution to make a successful argument about the shooter, attorneys must present evidence that disprove Wisconsin’s threshold of self-defense.
“Of course, the two people killed could have been in a position to do so, but they couldn’t testify, they were dead,” she said, adding that a third person had been shot, Gaige Grosskreutz testified that Rittenhouse opened fire when Grosskreutz aimed the gun at him.