Rittenhouse Jury Has Sent Court 5 Questions During Deliberations: What Are They On?

The Kyle Rittenhouse trial is in its third day of deliberations, and the jury has sent five notes to the court as the group tries to reach a verdict in the highly politicized case.

"The five questions asked so far reflect jurors methodically reviewing the evidence," former federal prosecutor and former elected state attorney Michael McAuliffe told Newsweek. "That's an early, hopeful sign that they are working together to reach unanimity."

While the deliberations may seem lengthy to those who formed their opinions quickly after the shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, more than a year ago, experts say it is still too early to know if there are real divisions within the jury.

The first and second notes from the jury came on Tuesday when they requested 11 additional copies of the jury instructions, including those that lay out the law's self-defense privilege.

The request is a common and expected one from jurors, who typically don't want to huddle around one set of instructions while deliberating.

On Wednesday, jurors sent more notes, but this time they concerned the video evidence played in court.

The third question asked, "Do we view video/photo in private or in courtroom?"

The judge ruled that the jury could watch the video in the courtroom and return to the jury room to deliberate afterward.

The fourth question asked if jurors could review the video taken by Gaige Grosskreutz, which shows him interviewing Rittenhouse and ends 10 seconds after Grosskreutz was shot by him in the arm. The jury requested the video in both regular and slow motion.

"Their focus is rightly on the video evidence that can be replayed and compared to the instructions," McAuliffe said. "Remember, the jurors didn't have the full instructions when they initially saw the videos during the trial. Those two sources of information—the court's legal instructions and the admitted videos—have to be used together to reach verdicts in this case."

Kyle Rittenhouse Jury Deliberations Verdict
The Kyle Rittenhouse jury has sent five notes to the court as the group tries to reach a verdict in the highly politicized case. Above, Rittenhouse looks on as attorneys discuss items in a defense motion for a mistrial on Wednesday in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sean Krajacic/Getty

The fifth note indicated that the jurors have not come to a consensus on Rittenhouse's charges in the fatal shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the two men he is accused of killing during social justice protests in Kenosha on August 25, 2020. Rittenhouse is also charged with wounding Grosskreutz.

The jury asked for four pieces of evidence involving the shooting of Rosenbaum, including FBI aerial footage, with all persons of interest marked; a drone video, along with its zoomed-in images after Rittenhouse put down a fire extinguisher he was holding; and a full-events video in regular and slow motion.

The jury was given everything requested, except for the still images from the drone video, which is now the subject of two motions for a mistrial brought by the defense.

Rittenhouse's attorneys have argued that they did not receive the higher-quality version of the drone footage but rather a compressed version. They have asked for a mistrial without prejudice—which means Rittenhouse could still be retried.

However, the defense has filed for a motion with prejudice, which would bar the state from retrying the case.

The judge has yet to rule on those motions, and a ruling would hinge on the jury's verdict.

If jurors reach a not guilty verdict on all five charges, the motions will be moot. But if there is a guilty verdict on any of the five charges Rittenhouse faces, the judge will need to weigh in.