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Legal Expert Schools Dejected CNN Hosts on Rittenhouse Trial

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The defense in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial rested their case on Thursday, and CNN has spent large segments attacking the judge, criticizing gun-owners, and accusing Rittenhouse of “white wanna-be vigilantism.” However, the hosts of CNN Newsroom were taken aback when a guest Friday morning challenged their liberal talking points on the case. 

Mark Eiglarsh, a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, explained why he believes the prosecutor will fail to sway the jury towards a guilty verdict:

I think the prosecutor who, with utmost love and respect, I say his ego is not his amigo, will likely go over the top and try to claim something that he has failed to prove, which is that he should never have used deadly force because he didn’t reasonably fear death or great bodily harm. Unfortunately for him, as the world now sees, the evidence seems to suggest just the opposite. They’ve established, the defense did, even prior to the defendant taking the witness stand, that he did reasonably fear death or great bodily harm and legally had the right to use deadly force in each of the three instances that he used it. I think this is going to be a fairly quick acquittal.

Host Jim Sciutto, clearly surprised at this favorable prediction for Rittenhouse, tried to suggest ways in which the 18-year-old could still spend time in prison, including the possibility of the prosecution bringing up lesser charges:

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you though, Mark, because the prosecutors have stated that they may seek for the jury to consider lesser charges. They could range from second-degree intentional homicide down to second-degree reckless homicide. And I understand there might be a difference in the charges based on each of the people that Rittenhouse killed based on those circumstances. Do you believe that the prosecution has made the case for any of those lesser charges?

EIGLARSH: No. It doesn’t matter. Don’t even get lost in the weeds on what those charges are. If he was justified in using force, it doesn’t matter. The jurors will reject any other charges that are put in front of them…And, quite frankly, I think it’s unfair for the prosecutor to throw those out when the primary issue is whether he used reasonable force, and, quite frankly, I think he did.

Not to be deterred by this unequivocal dismissal, host Erica Hill shifted the discussion to an emotional appeal regarding the families of those Rittenhouse shot: “The families of the victims, though, obviously, are looking for justice. What do you say to them?” Eiglarsh responded by again stating the facts of the case: “I would tell these families, I am so sorry for your loss, but on a legal level, which is the only thing we’re analyzing here, he didn’t commit these crimes. He proved that he used reasonable force.

As a last resort, Sciutto returned to his ridiculous suggestion from Thursday: that more law-abiding citizens carrying guns is a bad thing. Eiglarsh did not waste any time in shutting down this reasoning:

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you, then, Mark, what this means, what the precedent is set here. Does that, does that mean that anyone with a gun can volunteer themselves to help the police on their own accord, right, heavily armed in the midst of protests, et cetera? Because that’s, in effect, what happened here.

EIGLARSH: There’s no precedent that’s set. The law has always allowed people to lawfully carry guns and do the right thing. Every case is different, however. So, I don’t think this case can plausibly be analogized to the next case where the case is going to be fact- sensitive. All we’re saying is, number one, in this particular case, factually, he had a legal right to use deadly force, and, secondly, the precedent is a jury was impaneled, they heard the facts, the prosecutor presented his side, the defense got a chance to present their side, there was cross-examination on both sides, and the truth seems to suggest that the government failed to prove their case beyond to the conclusion of every reasonable doubt. That’s the precedent.

Sciutto ended the segment by casting doubt on Eiglarsh’s expertise, saying, “Right. Well, we’ll see how the public takes that precedent as well.” The judge and jury will hear closing arguments from both the prosecution and the defense on Monday, and there isn’t much doubt about which direction CNN hopes the trial will go.

This segment on CNN was sponsored by Panera Bread and Dell. You can contact these advertisers at our Conservatives Fight Back page here.

Read the full segment transcript below by clicking “expand”:

CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto

11/12/21

10:18:23 AM

ERICA HILL: Joining us now, Mark Eiglarsh, Criminal Defense Attorney and former Prosecutor. Mark, good to see you this morning. So, what are you expecting to hear in these closing arguments on Monday? How do you think and where do you think they’ll be focused?

MARK EIGLARSH: I think the prosecutor who, with utmost love and respect, I say his ego is not his amigo, will likely go over the top and try to claim something that he has failed to prove, which is that he should never have used deadly force because he didn’t reasonably fear death or great bodily harm. Unfortunately for him, as the world now sees, the evidence seems to suggest just the opposite. They’ve established, the defense did, even prior to the defendant taking the witness stand, that he did reasonably fear death or great bodily harm and legally had the right to use deadly force in each of the three instances that he used it. I think this is going to be a fairly quick acquittal.

JIM SCIUTTO: Let me ask you though, Mark, because the prosecutors have stated that they may seek for the jury to consider lesser charges. They could range from second-degree intentional homicide down to second-degree reckless homicide. And I understand there might be a difference in the charges based on each of the people that Rittenhouse killed based on those circumstances. Do you believe that the prosecution has made the case for any of those lesser charges?

EIGLARSH: No. It doesn’t matter. Don’t even get lost in the weeds on what those charges are. If he was justified in using force, it doesn’t matter. The jurors will reject any other charges that are put in front of them. The key issue is whether he was justified or not. The only concern that I have as a trial lawyer is when they throw out anything that, that could possibly stick is that jurors sometimes — and I don’t think it’s going to happen here — will say, all right, they didn’t prove the main charge but maybe as a compromise, we’ll hit him with one of those lesser charges. I don’t think they’re going to do that here. And, quite frankly, I think it’s unfair for the prosecutor to throw those out when the primary issue is whether he used reasonable force, and, quite frankly, I think he did.

HILL: You said it’s not too early to, to wonder whether this was really a waste of taxpayer dollar and judicial resources. The families of the victims, though, obviously, are looking for justice. What do you say to them?

EIGLARSH: I say to them, first of all, I’m sorry for your loss. I mean, obviously, I don’t think he did the best actions by taking a gun and going to that scene. I don’t think he was needed. I think he put himself in harm’s way and others. That said, that’s not what he’s on trial for. He’s on trial for whether he committed murder, whether he was justified in using force, and I would tell these families, I am so sorry for your loss, but on a legal level, which is the only thing we’re analyzing here, he didn’t commit these crimes. He proved that he used reasonable force.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you, then, Mark, what this means, what the precedent is set here. Does that, does that mean that anyone with a gun can volunteer themselves to help the police on their own accord, right, heavily armed in the midst of protests, et cetera? Because that’s, in effect, what happened here.

EIGLARSH: There’s no precedent that’s set. The law has always allowed people to lawfully carry guns and do the right thing. Every case is different, however. So, I don’t think this case can plausibly be analogized to the next case where the case is going to be fact- sensitive. All we’re saying is, number one, in this particular case, factually, he had a legal right to use deadly force, and, secondly, the precedent is a jury was impaneled, they heard the facts, the prosecutor presented his side, the defense got a chance to present their side, there was cross-examination on both sides, and the truth seems to suggest that the government failed to prove their case beyond to the conclusion of every reasonable doubt. That’s the precedent.

SCIUTTO: Right. Well, we’ll see how the public takes that precedent as well. Mark Eiglarsh, thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

EIGLARSH: My pleasure. Thank you.

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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