Defense Asks For Mistrial In Rittenhouse Case

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense asked Judge Bruce Schroeder to declare a mistrial in the case Wednesday following several questions from the prosecution that allegedly abridged Rittenhouse’s right to remain silent.

“You had warned him, you had told him prior to Mr. Rittenhouse testifying that these things were off limits,” the defense argued in reference to the prosecution’s questioning on Rittenhouse’s post-arrest silence. “You had warned him about the infringement on his constitutional right to remain silent, he did it again.”

Rittenhouse’s defense then alleged the prosecution is trying to provoke a mistrial in order to get another chance at the case before requesting a mistrial due to “bad faith on the part of the prosecution.”

Prosecutor Thomas Binger defended his earlier questioning on Rittenhouse’s silence by noting Rittenhouse conducted at least two interviews since his arrest where he chose to talk about “his family life, his friends” but yet waited until the trial to explain his actions.

“The defendant has spoken to the media … he just hasn’t given his exact version of events that night. So his voluntary discussion to speak to the media has nothing to do with the Fifth Amendment. That is his own decision, and if he’s going to pick and choose what he wants to talk about in those voluntary interviews with the media then I think that’s fair game. It doesn’t implicate his Miranda rights … or Fifth Amendment.”

Schroeder did not grant a mistrial but noted he could declare one at any point.

Earlier Wednesday, Binger questioned Rittenhouse’s decision to remain silent following the deadly incident, prompting lead defense attorney Mark Richards to claim Binger “is commenting on my client’s right to remain silent.” (RELATED: Rittenhouse Cries Uncontrollably While Testifying, Trial Pauses)

Binger defended his questioning to claim Rittenhouse was “tailoring his story to what has already been introduced.”

Judge Bruce Schroeder then said Binger could be making a “grave constitutional violation” in doing so.

“The problem is, this is a grave constitutional violation for you to talk about the defendant’s silence. You’re right on the borderline and you may be over it but it better stop.”

Schroeder again scolded Binger moments later for questioning Rittenhouse’s silence.

“I was astonished when you began your examination by commenting on the defendant’s post arrest silence. That’s basic law. It’s been basic law in this country for 40 years, 50 years. I have no idea why you would do something like that.”

This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.