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Rittenhouse Verdict: “if somebody so clearly acting in self-defense had been found guilty, it would have been almost unimaginable”

Rittenhouse Verdict: “if somebody so clearly acting in self-defense had been found guilty, it would have been almost unimaginable”

My interview on the Tony Katz Show just after the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict was announced.

I appeared today on the Tony Katz Show shortly after the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. Here is my segment:


(Auto-generated, may contain transcription errors. Time stamps approximate.)

Tony Katz (00:00):

We’re following this case. William Jacobson, Cornell law professor here to break down his take on the verdict and how he thinks it played  out in the jury room. Kyle Rittenhouse, not guilty. All charges, Tony Katz. This is Tony Katz today….

It’s not guilty on all charges in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial…. William Jacobson joins us right now from Legal Insurrection, Cornell law professor that he is, he has been following the case at Legal Insurrection, and they’ve already got the email out. It is up at the site,, not guilty on all counts. Let’s break it down from some interesting perspectives there. William Jacobson is this the result you expected and what makes you think it took four days to get there?

William Jacobson (01:46):

Well, it’s certainly the result that should have been. I mean, everybody was wondering why is it taking so long.  I guess it took them that long to get to the right result. I’m assuming that there was a hold out, that there’s maybe one or two or three people who had to be convinced.But if somebody so clearly not guilty, so clearly acting in self-defense had been found guilty, it would have been almost unimaginable.

Tony Katz (02:27):

One of the things, one of the things that we we see, one of the things that, that, that we, we, we looked at as, as we look at this case, is that the prosecution really wanted to make the claim that the problem is, is that Kyle Rittenhouse was there. If Kyle Rittenhouse wasn’t there, none of this would have happened. Why did that not work as a defense?

William Jacobson (02:54):

Because there was nothing illegal about him being there. They even had to throw out the gun charge. That was kind of the prosecution’s hook into him doing something wrong, that he was under age carrying a gun in violation of Wisconsin law that turned out not to be true, and the judge threw it out before it ever got to the jury. So without that, what is it that he did wrong? What is it that he shouldn’t have been there?

He was entitled to be there like every other citizen, and he was not committing a crime when he was there. So I think it just fell apart. I mean, that’s kind of immediate shorter of narrative. That’s a frankly anti-Trump Republican narrative. You’re hearing from a lot of them, well, maybe he acted in self-defense, but he shouldn’t have been there. Well, he’s entitled to be there just like everybody else.

Tony Katz (03:41):

… Did anybody, did any of these charges make you think, well, it’s possible a jury could do this, that or the other?

William Jacobson (04:30):

No, actually not in a rational way. Yes, could something strange have happened? Sure. I mean, that’s what we’re always fearing. But no, there was nothing there that led me to think this was likely to result in a guilty finding other than the fact that I couldn’t understand why they’re taking so long.

Tony Katz (04:55):

Let me get into what we had heard from the defense, which was a series of conversations about mistrials. There was a conversation about a mistrial during the case when the prosecution brought into evidence pieces that were already ruled inadmissible. There was a conversation about mistrial when the video evidence wasn’t turned over in a timely manner and possibly was the wrong video evidence, there was a conversation of with prejudice, meaning the trial could not be brought, Rittenhouse could not be brought back to trial, without prejudice, which means the prosecution could have gone at the case. Again, the judge didn’t act on those things. He only heard those things. He didn’t rule on them. Was he saving that? Was he saving that for, if they decide to declare guilty that he could have then said, all right, we’ve got a mistrial start all over.

William Jacobson (05:44):

Yes. Why should he rule on things he might not have to rule on? And he knew that first of all, it’s a powerful self-defense case. So the judge had to know there was a strong likelihood, if not a certainty, that there would be a not guilty finding and the not guilty finding washes away all of that stuff. It doesn’t matter in the sense that they withheld all this stuff, that they maybe manipulated, things that they did all these bad things because he’s not guilty. So I think the judge was doing what so many people, you know, do that. So many judges do, which is don’t decide something you may not have to decide.

Tony Katz (06:24):

… Do these prosecutors have, these assistant district attorneys, will they find themselves in a world of hurt? Will there be a conversation about their actions on the stand, how they presented evidence, evidence that was ruled inadmissible, how they questioned Kyle Rittenhouse on whether or not he had the right to stay silent? Is there, is there a, a future problem for these ADA’s?

William Jacobson (07:04):

Possibly depends how big a deal the defense wants to make out of it? I think if the defense wants to make something out of it, then maybe somebody will do something. I don’t think it’s kind of going to happen on its own, but, you know, there were some  real weird, you know, stuff that went on here.

Tony Katz (07:30):

I don’t disagree. There was tremendous, weird stuff that went on here…. Does Kyle Rittenhouse have that kind of case against news outlets that have referred to him as a white supremacist and a murderer?

William Jacobson (08:33):

Well, I think  you’ll have to look at the words that were said, if they made false statements of fact knowing that those statements were false, potentially you do, but you gotta remember he was a very public figure. Maybe not before this, but for the purpose of this case certainly, what I think is often referred to as a special purpose public figure. So you’re going to have to show actual malice. You’re going to have to show more than negligence. And so there probably are some people out there that would be potentially subject to suit, but there probably are also a lot who just had sloppy opinions and those people probably will not be subject to anything.

Tony Katz (09:16):

William Jacobson, Cornell law, professor the mind behind legal I appreciate you taking the time to be with us. We’ve got more.



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The only comment to this post is “Ditto, Mega Ditto!”

They never prefaced the accusations with “alleged” and definitively stated he was a murderer. The fabrications and falsehoods are quite obvious. He was catapulted into the limelight rather than seeking it. He was in reality the real victim of the night… but amazingly held firm under intense threats. These were not editorial comments but broadcast as fact… intentionally.

The Chauvin verdict was unimaginable.

Glad this one ended up on the right side of history.

May all prosecutors like Binger end up working at the Mike Nifong school of typewriter repair.

    Danny in reply to Andy. | November 19, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    The Chauvin verdict was not unimaginable.

    In this case video showed self defense, what was seen on video in the case of Chauvin did look like murder to the untrained eye that didn’t realize how often that is done.

    In this case every witness was a defense witness including the ones called by the prosecution (see the coverage here at LI) in the Chauvin case LI coverage showed that the prosecution “breathed life back into a dead prosecution” with their medical experts.

    There are things about the Chauvin case I am concerned about particularly the way the jury wasn’t sequestered, and the fact that at least one juror was shown to be extremely biased afterwards but it wasn’t even remotely close to being the Kyle Rittenhouse case. From the reporter who gave nothing to the prosecution that called him on direct while being even more helpful to the defense on cross to the supposed victim who admitted he aimed the gun at Kyle first when he was shot (which establishes self defense) the prosecution case was just hope they drew 12 partisan Democrats who would convict no matter what.

    In contrast 12 jurors who knew nothing about the subject got asked to determine which medical experts are correct in the Chauvin trial.

      Andy in reply to Danny. | November 20, 2021 at 3:08 pm

      The entire Chauvin case was based on knee on neck, not calling for aid and not providing aid.

      Chauvin was not guilty of all 3. The jury didn’t even deliberate. It was a lynching. It was an abortion of the justice system.

      Police no longer respond to most calls in my state. The unimaginable is now a reality. Criminals have the upper hand and they know it. There’s about 5 cops in my state awaiting trial for doing their jobs and confronting seriously dangerous people committing crimes. Our state AG is a Binger clone and so are the prosecutors for the more populated counties here. For family reasons I can’t move away.

      That is why the KR case was so important – because ANYONE defending themselves may find themselves subject to a Soros prosecutor and a woke jury.

    Flatworm in reply to Andy. | November 20, 2021 at 5:07 am

    I agree with Danny. The Chauvin prosecution checked all its boxes. What killed Floyd? Chauvin’s restraint techniques. Not fentanyl? No. Were those techniques lawful? No. You may have found their witnesses’ testimony less credible and the defense’s more so, but all the elements were there and the jury was entitled to make its own judgements as to credibility and weight.

      Ben Kent in reply to Flatworm. | November 20, 2021 at 9:40 am

      @ Flatworm . . . Did you actually follow the case ? ? If you did, you would know that there was no way a jury could convict on any murder charge – BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. Floyd ingested a lethal dose of Fentanyl and then resisted arrest – likely speeding up his metabolism and the fatal effects of the drug.

      Now, as to the manslaughter charge – one might have been able to see that one as valid – but even that was questionable.

        EEllis in reply to Ben Kent. | November 20, 2021 at 1:22 pm

        I watched the case and what I saw were dueling experts. One guy said yes he killed him and this was the exact moment and the other said nope it wasn’t. The jury decided the other guy was more credible. The defense was undermanned and likely underfunded and couldn’t get past the other sides experts. While I think it was a bad decision it doesn’t compare to Kyle’s case.

        Danny in reply to Ben Kent. | November 20, 2021 at 6:03 pm

        The Chauvin trial was not the clown show of every prosecution witness testifies exclusively in favor of the defense, video showing it was an act of self defense, and even adding pixels to unclear images (evidence tampering) fails to show anything proving the prosecutions claims.

    Everything about the George Floyd case is odd. The 9 minute video? Is there a cop in his right mind who would kneel on a perp for 9 minutes, especially, while someone was filming? No! The media was all too ready with the narative. Within hours of the event it all took off. I don’t know where Chauvin is now, but I doubt he’s in prison

caseoftheblues | November 19, 2021 at 9:14 pm

So he has been found not guilty and the same sources and people are saying the same if not worse things……they are going beyond sloppy opinions at this point surely

The hysterical and hateful reaction will reinforce the ideas that sprouted the counterculture. It grows each day. People know that America is not such a bad place, and see those who are dividing the country with hustles of hate. Sad that it takes things like this to bring things into the open.

    It only takes a small percentage of the population to successfully take over the nation. Considering that small percentage controls our media, educational system and our government, watch out.

    Kyle will be targeted by the Merrick “Heinrich” Garland.

      Understood. But there has never been a place like America, either. People take consent of the governed literally, as they should. Something is going on, and the “control” not omnipotent, even if formidable. That said, nothing is for sure.

      There may be a small group of people in government working on consolidating power but the general population seems to be moving in the other direction at this time, but 5he pendulum swings both ways. Maybe it swung too far with BLM riots and it’s moving back to normal.

      E. Zach Lee-Wright in reply to | November 22, 2021 at 2:54 am

      The Fine Report said “Kyle will be targeted by the Merrick “Heinrich” Garland”.

      There have been a few murder cases where the feds have jumped the double jeopardy line and prosecuted the offender for denying the victim’s civil rights. One was the murder of Code Enforcement Officer Mickey Wright by Memphis, TN business owner Dale Mardis. Mardis was white and evidently made racial comments about Wright who was black, allowing the Feds to hit Mardis with a hate crime charge after he had entered into a plea deal with state prosecutors.

      That will be a hard argument to make against Rittenhouse.

I’m still interested in the Professor’s opinion on the fairness and legality of the media being able to claim that you are a public figure (special-purpose or otherwise) when it was solely their heavily libelous reportage that catapulted you there. Clearly an unfair “heads I win, tails you lose” principle.

It doesn’t matter in the sense that they withheld all this stuff, that they maybe manipulated, things that they did all these bad things because he’s not guilty.

But it does matter. It just doesn’t matter to this case. Unless somebody with some actual authority (as opposed to us Internet ninjas) slaps this sort of neo-Beriaism down hard, it will only get worse.

There must be penalties for crimes. Not to “get even” but to make such things unattractive in future. Right now even the most egregious misbehavior by leftoids has no downside – it’s all win-win for them.

The team which won’t even fight is the team which loses by default.

The ‘public figure’ thing in cases like these always seems bizarre to me. Like the guy who killed his parents asking for mercy from the court due to him being an orphan.

“Well, you should have a higher standard because you are a public figure … because WE made you into a public figure and it’s the actions that made you into a public figure that are at question. Seems like sort of a bootstrap defense.

In the CJS the first rule is ‘It Depends”. The ability of a citizen to rely on basic constitutional guarantees of protection now, unfortunately depends upon which jurisdiction he is charged in, who is charged, and what he is charged with. Sadly many jurisdictions have succomed to Social Justice which is just another word for undue process.

“Maybe not before this, but for the purpose of this case certainly, what I think is often referred to as a special purpose public figure. So you’re going to have to show actual malice.”

Many in the media, and I include Fraudident Joe* are repeating there past statements that Kyle is a murderer and white supremacist after his acquittal. To me, that shows actual malice.

    jb4 in reply to rbj1. | November 20, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Exactly! After his acquittal and even if he is deemed a public figure, how could anyone maintain they are not showing actual malice? I am perplexed MSM legal departments did not put their foot down in advance.

The Governor of Illinois, where random gunfire at night in Chicago is a common thing, weighs in on the side of criminals instead of lawful self-defense. I’m shocked.

Professor Jacobson deserves much kudos for his cogent analysis and insistence that this case be tried on the facts and the applicable legal principles as opposed to a predetermined narrative

The most bizarre and frightening aspect of the prosecution’s case is that by bringing the means of self defense with him he negated the right to self defense. Had this precedent stood, it would have invalidated every concealed carry permit ever written in this country. We should all be eternally grateful that the jury saw through this sham. The prosecution should be disbarred for even suggesting such a hoax.

    E. Zach Lee-Wright in reply to ArmyStrong. | November 22, 2021 at 3:37 am

    This argument would turn on the difference between concealed carry and open carry. Different states treat this differently. A bigger issue would be if a prosecutor said having a concealed carry permit was proof of ill intent, “he wanted to pack a pistol”.

The one major factor which saved Rittenhouse was the tremendous amount of Video which had been taken by several different people. All this Video information in addition to the testimony from those who took the Video acted in unison to counter the Lies which the MARXISTS Media had tried to push onto the people. The MARXIST MEDIA was trying to say, ‘don’t believe your lying eyes’.

A Punk Named Yunk | November 22, 2021 at 12:02 pm

Some years ago (1987?) in NYC, a woman named Karen Straw had an order of protection against her violently abusive ex-husband. He was climbing into her apartment through the window when killed him. (I think she stabbed him.) The case was SO open & shut I could not understand why it came to court. If I recall correctly, the jury returned their verdict in less than an hour.

I think that Rittenhouse should stay off the media and instead follow the Sandman approach and commence actions for defamation and slander against every legacy press organization that called him a white supremacist. He would have an uphill battle under Times v Sullivan but so did Sandman whose lawsuits survived pre trial motions to dismiss and resulted in substantial settlements.

Watch RIttenhouse on Tucker Carlson It is a very compelling interview He was truly a victim of a legacy media lynching and I wish him the best of luck as he considers his civil remedies against those who defamed his character