And The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman/ George Floyd/ Kyle Rittenhouse Ethics Train Wreck Rolls On…..

Prosecutor-square

In the tricky practice of ethics train wreck taxonomy, placing the Rittenhouse trial in the proper category is a challenge. Is the Tale of the Gun-toting Teen its own media bias and activist -fueled social and legal disaster, or is it just an extension of another?

I lean toward assigning this fiasco to the latter category, making it just one more extension of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck, which eventually begat the George Floyd Freakout, which in turn led to the contrived outrage over the police shooting of Jacob Blake that spat out Rittenhouse’s unhelpful improvisation. After all, Martin, Floyd and Blake all were episodes that had nothing to do with race but that were hyped into divisive racial controversies and trials by irresponsible demagogues, protesters, politicians and reporters.

What I especially like about attributing all of this societal wreckage into a single ethics train wreck is that it demonstrates just how disastrous President Obama’s inflammatory comments equating Martin to “his son” were—as Ethics Alarms pointed out at the time. Maybe if the blame is squarely placed at the metaphorical fish head, Presidents will stop shooting off their mouths like that. (President Biden, do recall, falsely called Rittenhouse a white supremacist.)

This is all prelude to pointing out what a projectile vomit debacle yesterday’s closing arguments were. Both the prosecution and the defense stomped all over proper criminal trial practice and professional ethics.

For the prosecution…

  • Thomas Binger pointing a real gun at the jury as he is shown above, with his finger on the trigger (now known as the Alec Baldwin technique of gun handling) is probably grounds for a reversal all by itself. It also violates Wisconsin Bar Rules of Professional Conduct 3.5, which prohibits a lawyer from intentionally creating a disruption in a courtroom, as well as Rule 8.4, forbidding conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Of course, prosecutors never get punished for such violations….but they do have their wins reversed for them.
  • Binger showed the jury video clips frame by frame, which deceptively made Rittenhouse appear as if his decisions were not made quickly and under great stress. That should have been stopped by the judge.
  • He told the jury, “You lose the right to self-defense when you’re the one who brought the gun.” Citation, please? That’s a false characterization of the law. Mistrial.
  • Binger repeatedly referred to Rittenhouse as “an active shooter.”
  • There was more, but the totality of the State’s closing (including the rebuttal after the defense’s summation) was unethical, and deprived Rittenhouse of a fair trial. I have seen reversals and new trials ordered for less.

For the defense:

  • Defense attorney Mark Richards referred to Jacob Blake being shot 7 times in the back by police and said the response it had been found to be “OK.” That’s not exactly true: the response was found to not constitute a crime. That doesn’t mean it’s “OK.”
  • Richards said of the Rosenbaum shooting: “I’m glad [Kyle] shot him.” That’s improper: the lawyer’s feelings about the acts under consideration aren’t evidence, and should not be presented to the jury.
  • Richards argued that Rosenbaum would have taken Rittenhouse’s AR-15 and shot Rittenhouse and others. That’s not fact, it’s not evidence, and it’s improper.

It looks to me as if Judge Schroeder has stacked the deck: he allowed enough improper summation conduct from the State to ensure a reversal if Rittenhouse is convicted, and also allowed sufficient cheats by the defense to make an acquittal more likely. The “beauty part’ is that while the conviction can be appealed, an acquittal, however it is achieved, cannot.

And the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck keeps on rollin’, just like Proud Mary…

…but there’s nothing to be proud of.

By anyone.

__________________

Sources: WISN; Victory Girls

23 thoughts on “And The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman/ George Floyd/ Kyle Rittenhouse Ethics Train Wreck Rolls On…..

  1. “He told the jury, “You lose the right to self-defense when you’re the one who brought the gun.” Citation, please? That’s a false characterization of the law. Mistrial.”

    I had the exact same thought! I was scratching my head when I heard him say this because that statement is basically a direct violation of the second amendment if you take it a certain way. I suppose he would argue that his statement wasn’t to be taken literally but instead to make the general point that someone who comes armed and ready to fight is trying to provoke a fight and just waiting for one.

    • You mean like the Antifa thugs who went to Charlottesville with clubs and body armor, but no permit? Nah, couldn’t be. Or those armed maniacs who call themselves the John Brown Gun Club and who provided firepower for secession in Seattle? Never, they were just there to protect democracy in the summer of love 2.0. Or that de facto occupying army in Portland who tried to burn the courthouse down and flashed laser lights in police officers’ eyes? Nah, their moms said there was no riot there, and they wouldn’t lie. Then there was the moment when Lori Lightfoot told her own citizens that she knew some of them had weapons at their disposal, but please not to use them to protect themselves or their property.

      Apparently guns are only a problem when the law-abiding take them up to protect anything. The law-abiding are just supposed to be good little sheep who either run away or roll up in a ball and take a beating, or just stand there as their life’s work goes up in flames, then tell the media that a house or business can be replaced, but black lives can’t. The minute the law-abiding say “no, we aren’t going to let you destroy property or businesses or public art that aren’t yours to destroy, no, we aren’t going to let you beat up ordinary people that want no part of your cause and won’t join it, no, we aren’t going to let you take out your anger on the rest of us, and if you try to do any of these things we’ll use force to make you stop and be sorry you tried,” then, that’s a MAJOR problem and whoever does that has to be arrested, prosecuted, and hit with the maximum possible penalty.

      The thing is, the left doesn’t seem to get that the right and a good amount of the center are sick of this double standard. That’s why they got clobbered on Election Day this year, are probably going to get clobbered in the midterms, and the polls are right now showing that if Trump ran against Biden today, Biden would be out on his ass. My only question is why it took everyone this long to “get it.”

      • From what I’ve been able to gather from listening to some of the less informed but emotionally vocal responses, people think Rittenhouse is a white supremacist who went to kill people who were supporting black lives matter. I pointed out that Rittenhouse killed two white men, so he’s a strange white supremacist. I was told he killed these white guys because he was mad they were supporting equal rights for black people.

        That’s the level of analysis the police are going to have to deal with if he is acquitted.

      • “and the polls are right now showing that if Trump ran against Biden today, Biden would be out on his ass..” You’re assuming that the last presidential election was above-board, or that they weren’t emboldened and allowed to draw up a nearly fool-proof blueprint for success in 2024 by our acquiescence.

  2. But as we are starting to see, it may not come down to “evidence beyond a reasonable doubt” or even the machinations of the two sides in the courtroom. Instead, it may be more about implied (or overt) threats from potential rioters and how fearful the jury is of having their homes burned down and their lives (and those of their families) threatened based on how they rule.

    Welcome to the new definition of the Pledge’s promise of “liberty and justice for all.”

    You are right, this Train Wreck has the potential to be devastatingly bad.

  3. On the prosecution side you left out:
    – Binger making statements that Kyle didn’t talk to the police as proof of his guilt. This was the cause of first of two judicial rants.
    – Attempting to bring in Kyle’s previous statement about wanting his AR15 when he witnessed what Kyle thought was a robbery. This was cause of shouting match #2.
    – Stating that Nathan Debruin hiring a lawyer means he must be lying to the police / prosecutor (Nathan is the photographer of the famous photo of Kyle cleaning graffiti). Nathan’s testimony of the ADAs asking him to change his testimony clearly got under both prosecutor’s skin.
    – Binger suborning perjury by directly asking Gage Grosskreutz “Your (concealed carry) permit was expired, right?” when Binger knew it was revoked, not suspended. Gage shared his permit on social media, and it showed expiration as 2023. A fail on the defense for not nailing this one.

    I think Judge Schroeder is buckling under the press attention. I think he is banking on a jury letting him off the hook because he thinks they will acquit. If that happens, the judge won’t be blamed as much. The judge knows there is very little chance of a conviction. The real mess for the judge is what happens if there is a hung jury.

        • Old, old school (the veterans’ thing), and probably so close to retirement his bag of damns is almost empty. He HAS probably stacked the deck for an acquittal, however, I half don’t blame him, since he got signed death threats. Presiding at a politically unpopular trial and not trying to railroad the defendant should not be a potential death sentence.

          • The ADA sure did seem to be intent on reducing his court room to a circus. Do you think the guy was trying to get a mistrial declared as the best way out of an untenable situation?

  4. “After all, Martin, Floyd and Blake all were episodes that had nothing to do with race but that were hyped into divisive racial controversies and trials by irresponsible demagogues, protesters, politicians and reporters.”

    Au contraire, mon frere.

    These cases are ALL ABOUT RACE. The race baiters of the world want criminal behavior by black guys to be normalized and accepted. It’s part of the anti-incarceration movement. Too many black guys in jails? Change the judicial and penal systems to remedy the problem. Too many black guys arrested? Change the criminal laws to decriminalize the behavior. Too many black gang bangers killing people in poor areas? Get used to it. Don’t expect these young black guys to act white. They’re keepin’ it real. Bottom line: Don’t expect black people to adhere to white standards of behavior. Those standards are white supremacist and systemically racist. Black people conduct themselves by different standards. This is what diversity ensures. Face it as a reality, Whitey. This is what is now considered true equality.

  5. And the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck keeps on rollin’, just like Proud Mary…

    …but there’s nothing to be proud of.

    And it all goes back to former President Obama’s obsessive race-baiting and racial politics. To be fair, we have to place the media right beside him as a co-conspirator in this catastrophe.

    I have a feeling we have yet to see the last of this train wreck, sadly. It’s like the proverbial bad penny.

  6. The line I see, rather, is: The Trayvon Martin-Michael Brown-George Floyd Train Wrecks (and other names I can’t bring to mind immediately)

    These false histories have turned city streets into mob lanes, fostered deliberate racial division, and created legendary hero/victims out of petty criminals. I don’t see Riittenhouse belonging in the same group even if he is the recipient of the same kind of yellow press and bad law.

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