Explosion at Rittenhouse trial following enlarged photos and videos


MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – Lawyers in Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial argued a second day on Thursday over the technology used to zoom in on video and create enlarged images, with prosecutors alleging the defense was taking advantage of the judge’s acknowledged lack of understanding of current technology.

“I’ll tell you that I totally agree with your comment about my unfamiliarity with these concepts,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said to the lawyers without the presence of the jury. “It’s a difficult concept for me, yes.”

In both cases, prosecutors were arguing for enlarged key images the night last summer when Rittenhouse shot dead two protesters and injured a third on the streets of Kenosha. Much of that night’s action was captured on sometimes hard-to-decipher cellphone video, as well as by a drone.

The defense completed its evidence on Thursday, but not before discussing with prosecutors whether an enlarged image taken from a drone video could be admitted into evidence. Schroeder, following arguments made in the absence of the jury, said he would allow the image, while admitting that he did not understand the technology used by an employee of the state criminal lab for the ‘enlarge.

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“With all due respect to your honor, I think the defense is trying to take advantage of your lack of technological knowledge,” Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney James Kraus said.

Kraus argued that the way the images were magnified was the “industry standard” and that the defense “then tries to pretend that this is all voodoo magic is nonsense”. He said the defense was trying to get the evidence out because it showed that “their client is lying …

Prosecutors wanted to use the image to rebut Rittenhouse’s testimony that he had not pointed his gun at protesters just before being chased by Joseph Rosenbaum, who Rittenhouse shot dead. Rittenhouse claims he shot her in self-defense.

James Armstrong, an employee of the Wisconsin Criminal Lab, said, when questioned by defense attorney Corey Chirafisi, that the software adds pixels to the image and he cannot say for sure what color the pixels are. added.

“If it’s not the same as the original and colors have been added to it, it’s a distortion of what, in fact, the original photograph was,” Chirafisi said, arguing not to not let the picture in.

Kraus called it a “duck” and a “dishonest argument”.

“It’s just not the age we’re in,” Kraus argued. “We’re in a time when software is able to scale up and do things. “

Schroeder used a magnifying glass to examine the image in question and also walked directly to a large screen for a better view. He eventually allowed the image to be admitted, but Rittenhouse’s defense attorney was also allowed to question the criminal lab analyst about the software used to enlarge it in the presence of the jury.

The judge said he left it up to the jury to decide how much weight to give the image.

“Just because I can detonate something on my phone and it’s accurate on my phone doesn’t mean that the particular program used by the criminal lab is doing a specific job of increasing the size of the image,” he said. he told the lawyers.

The disagreement came the day after Schroeder told prosecutors they would have to present an expert to prove that images taken from a drone were not distorted if they used the pinch-to-zoom feature on an iPad. . to make them more visible. Prosecutors chose to show the jury the images as they were originally taken, without zoom.

This almost immediately led to a point where Senior Prosecutor Thomas Binger stopped the action at some point and asked Rittenhouse to confirm his gun was raised. Rittenhouse replied, “I can’t see it.”

An Apple spokesperson did not immediately return a message asking if pinching to zoom changes an image.


Check out AP’s full coverage of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial: https://apnews.com/hub/kyle-rittenhouse

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