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Rittenhouse: On CNN, Lawyer Absurdly Claims Skateboard Can’t Be A Lethal Weapon

rittenhouse:-on-cnn,-lawyer-absurdly-claims-skateboard-can’t-be-a-lethal-weapon

Compared to its typical lefty slant, CNN’s New Day has been relatively fair ‘n balanced when it comes to the Rittenhouse trial. Last week, for example, although co-host John Berman called the trial judge “bonkers,” in the same segment, a CNN legal analyst defended the judge’s actions as reasonable, and said that he felt Rittenhouse helped himself “very much” with his testimony.

But Tuesday, New Day brought on a lawyer who, in attempting to refute Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense, made an absolutely absurd assertion. Robert Hirschhorn, a lawyer and jury-selection consultant, ranted:

“I’m sorry, nobody’s ever died as a result of being hit with a skateboard. Now, you point a gun at somebody, you’ve got the right to defend yourself. But being kicked or being hit, you don’t bring a gun to a fistfight. You don’t bring a gun when somebody’s hitting you with a skateboard.

So Hirschhorn would have us believe that a skateboard can’t be a lethal weapon? Let’s consider.

A baseball bat is an infamously lethal weapon, wielded by everyone from mob enforcers to store clerks. Major League players use bats that typically weigh about two pounds. In contrast, the average skateboard weighs a hefty . . . 11 pounds! One hard swing to the head of an 11-pound skateboard by a strong, violent, young man, and the victim is on the ground, possibly unconscious. A few more swings, and that person could easily be dead. 

And consider that skateboard wheels are made from a very hard substance, the same as that on supermarket shopping-cart wheels. Violently swing one of those wheels into a victim’s temple, and death could certainly ensue.  Brianna Keilar Robert Hirschhorn CNN New Day 11-16-21

On the other side of the ledger, CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig pointed out that the prosecution hurt its case by making some damaging admissions as to Rittenhouse’s right to defend himself. In the instance Honig highlighted, prosecutor James Kaus said:

“No one is saying that Mr. Rittenhouse did not have a right to defend himself. Punch him in the face. Kick him in the testicles. Knee him in the face. Hit him with your gun. You don’t just immediately get to shoot someone.”

Honig observed that the prosecution:

“Admitted Kyle Rittenhouse was being threatened! He was being attacked, and he was at least entitled to use some force. That’s a big concession. And, if you look at the kind of force he would have been justified in using? Hit him with a gun?! Pistol-whip him? They’re giving up a lot of ground there. I thought that was a tactical mistake.”

That wasn’t the only such admission of Rittenhouse’s right of self-defense that the prosecution made. Earlier in the segment, a clip was aired of prosecutor Kaus saying this of Rittenhouse:

“He’s a chaos tourist. He was there to see what was going on, act important, be a big deal. And then the moment a little bit of that chaos comes back at him, he cowardly shoots a man instead of fighting back.”

So the prosecution admits that Rittenhouse was confronted with “chaos,” and that “fighting back” was his right. The only question is just how hard the law allows someone to fight back. This was a situation that the prosecution admits to have been chaotic. Just how precisely can the law expect a 17-year under attack, in a potentially life-or-death situation, to gauge the appropriate degree of response?

Note: Looking at Hirschhorn, one gets the impression he hasn’t spent a ton of time around skateboards. And he botched his hypothetical, saying, “you point a gun at somebody, you’ve got the right to defend yourself.” He presumably meant to say, “someone points a gun at you, you’ve got a right to defend yourself.” Interestingly, Hirschhorn served as a jury consultant to the attorneys who defended George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case. But here, he was clearly trying, though unpersuasively, to make the case for the prosecution.

On CNN’s New Day, lawyer and jury consultant Robert Hirschhorn claiming that a skateboard couldn’t be a lethal weapons was sponsored in part by Tempur-Pedic, GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Sensodyne, Discover, and Lincoln.

Here’s the transcript.

CNN

New Day

11/16/21

7: 11 am ET

ROBERT HIRSCHHORN: I’m sorry, nobody’s ever died as a result of being hit with a skateboard. Now, you point a gun at somebody, you’ve got the right to defend yourself. But being kicked or being hit, you don’t bring a gun to a fistfight. You don’t bring a gun when somebody’s hitting you with a skateboard.” 

. . . 

PROSECUTOR JAMES KAUS: He’s a chaos tourist. He was there to see what was going on, act important, be a big deal. And then the moment a little bit of that chaos comes back at him, he cowardly shoots a man instead of fighting back.

. . . 

JOHN BERMAN: You said another mistake [the prosecution] may have made was giving the defense some ground in some cases. Listen to this.

KAUS: No one is saying that Mr. Rittenhouse did not have a right to defend himself. Punch him in the face. Kick him in the testicles. Knee him in the face. Hit him with your gun. You don’t just immediately get to shoot someone.

BERMAN: Again, that’s the prosecution there.

ELIE HONIG: Yeah. There’s an important legal line between a situation where a person may be entitled to use some force, and where a person can use lethal force. And the prosecution  argument is that Rittenhouse crossed that line. 

But the problem is, they made some real damaging admissions there. They admitted Kyle Rittenhouse was being threatened! He was being attacked, and he was at least entitled to use some force. That’s a big concession. And, if you look at the kind of force he would have been justified in using? Hit him with a gun! Pistol-whip him? They’re giving up a lot of ground there. I thought that was a tactical mistake.

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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