The jury in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse asked Judge Bruce Schroeder in the Kenosha County Court on Wednesday morning whether it should view video evidence in court or in private, prompting the judge to quip: “My nightmare has come true.”
The judge was referring to controversies over the video evidence presented by the prosecution during the trial, including whether zoomed-in images enhanced by artificial intelligence were admissible, and whether the prosecution withheld a higher resolution version of a video than the version that had been provided to the defense until the last day of the trial.
The defense moved to dismiss the case on Tuesday, arguing that the prosecution had improperly withheld the evidence.
It was not immediately clear which video, in particular, the jury was asking to review, on its second day of deliberations.
The jury asked two questions — one about where to view the video, and the other about the numberings of video evidence exhibits.
During closing argument last Friday, the prosecution attempted to use high-resolution video to argue that Rittenhouse had raised his rifle and aimed it before he was charged by Joseph Rosenbaum, the first person he shot during the riot on Aug. 25, 2020. The defense argued — with the jury absent — that the prosecution had used an invalid method to enhance the image, and told the jury that Rittenhouse had been facing the opposite direction and would not have aimed a rifle with his left hand.
Ultimately, the judge said that the jury would view the video in court, with all spectators and lawyers absent.
Judge Schroeder also addressed controversies in the media, including his decision to prohibit the prosecution from referring to the three men shot by Rittenhouse (one of whom survived and testified) as “victims,” his unusual practice of allowing the defendant to draw the numbers of six alternate jurors out of a barrel, and his delay on defense motions to dismiss the case.
He also blasted harassment directed against both the prosecution and defense attorneys, calling it “shameful, some of the things that are being done to these people.” He added that he might not be inclined to allow trials to be televised in future.
On Tuesday, the first day of deliberations, the jury asked specifically for 11 additional copies of the instructions on self-defense. The request to review video evidence suggests that they are studying the question of self-defense very closely.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.