CCW Safe Podcast- Episode 76: Rittenhouse Trial Wrap Up with Andrew Branca
CCW Safe Podcast- Episode 76: Rittenhouse Trial Wrap Up with Andrew Branca
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CCW Safe Use of Force Expert Rob High and Firing Line Radio host Phillip Naman are joined by Attorney Andrew Branca to discuss the outcome of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
Rob High: Welcome to the CCW Safe Podcast. I’m Rob High, joined today by Phillip Naman and our special guest, Andrew Branca. Welcome, gentlemen.
Andrew Branca: Happy to be here.
Phillip Naman: Merry Christmas, Andrew.
Andrew: Merry Christmas indeed, yes.
Rob: We have the honor to have Andrew do some day-by-day postings for us following the Rittenhouse case. Even prior to, I thought it was fantastic, the way you took charge by charge by charge and went elements in the crime and the things that we could observe, at least at that time, and see the things that had been done. I thought you were spot-on. I thought you did a fantastic job on that piece.
Andrew: Oh, very kind of you.
Rob: I know we were on a couple of weeks back with Don. I just wanted to touch base with you again, kind of a follow-up and summarization of the Rittenhouse trial, and I’d like to know your thoughts and opinions and your takeaways and summary.
Andrew: Well, the prosecution was really a joke from the start. The prosecutor’s narrative of the case was full of lies and deception and misrepresentations. From the opening statement forward, it was ultimately based around this drone video footage that the evidence fairy dropped on the prosecutor’s doorstep midway through the trial that the defense had never seen before. It was presented to the defense in a– I can only describe it as a doctored form, a degraded form in terms of its resolution.
Folks, that’s no different than if the evidence was 10 pages of typed paper and the prosecution gave them only 3 of those pages and not the other 7. That’s the equivalent here. Of course, the defense looks at that low-resolution footage, can’t make anything out of it, figures, “We don’t have to worry about this.” Then in court, the prosecution shows the jury a high-resolution version which, by the way, you really can’t see anything in that one either.
Then they present enhanced versions of the video, still photo captures of the video, enhanced version, zoomed-in versions. This is a trick I see prosecutors do a lot when they have a case where there’s no legal merit. They take one piece of evidence and then they present it in a dozen different ways to make it seem as if it’s a dozen different pieces of evidence that you should give greater weight to. It was all only the drone video, but they presented it in so many different forms and versions and video and stills and zooms and enhanced in an effort to give it far more weight than it actually did.
Then what they did present was supposedly Kyle Rittenhouse engaging in what’s called “provocation with intent,” pointing his rifle at someone they claimed, and you really can’t– The picture was of such a low clarity that it was like one of these pictures they used to have in the malls around Christmas time where you’d have to unfocus your eyes and an image would come out of the dots or these images where some people see a horse and some people see a woman. It’s whatever your mind wants you to see in those pixels is what you–
Phillip: Rorschach test of evidence.
Andrew: It was just absolutely terrible. Of course, we’re talking about someone’s life here, the rest of their life in a cage based on this ambiguous, ephemeral form of video, and just hoping that the jury is going to buy it and convict this young man of horrible crimes that will put him in prison for the rest of his life. It was really utterly contemptible.
Rob: A lot of our members don’t really have a full grasp on the rules and ethics of conduct regarding a criminal proceeding. As an investigator, I had to have all of my stuff together to the prosecutor within a timely manner and they would go through this stuff. Then they’d provide that through discovery to the defense counsel and that has to be done. At least here was at least two weeks prior, which is, you know as well as I do, is no time at all.
Rob: Especially when you get somebody that is trying to fudge their way through a case and, all of a sudden, they include all this other crap.
Andrew: Right, thousands of exhibits of evidence, most of which are irrelevant, but which the defense now has to review each and every one of those.
Rob: People don’t get that. I’ve done hundreds of hours of review on documents that came in through discovery that were just paper ream boxes full. Because there may be something important there, you hoard to not put eyes and read everything that comes in.
Andrew: It’s not just in the form that you’re seeing it. It’s, well, what if they magnify this? What if they modify it? What if they look at it in a particularly odd way? They’re going to claim they provided that to you under discovery. You had that piece of evidence. I’ve seen it happen. Don can tell the story from the George Zimmerman trial. There was evidence from Trayvon Martin’s phone that was burned onto a DVD.
What happens, of course, is you have thousands of things burned onto the DVD. They also provide a written summary report of the contents of the DVD. You don’t have to look at each item digitally. You can scan the written report and see if there’s anything that looks interesting there. Well, what the prosecution did was they provided the digital version on the DVD, but they did not include it in the summary report.
When you review the summary report, you don’t know it’s on the disc. You’re relying on the prosecution’s representation of that evidence. Then when you get to trial and, suddenly, it pops up, the prosecution says, “Well, we gave it to you.” I guess in a sense, they gave it to you, but it’s like they wrote it in invisible ink on a piece of paper. Theoretically, it’s there. If you knew to hold the paper over a flame, the ink would become visible.
If you don’t know that, you’re not constructively informed of the availability of the evidence. It’s contemptible conduct by a prosecutor. By the way, folks, the standard for prosecutorial conduct and defense conduct is different and ought to be different. The state has all the power here. The state is supposed to be seeking justice, not just a win. They’re not supposed to be ambushing a defense with surprise evidence, suddenly discovered evidence, evidence in a new form that no one ever saw before.
They’re supposed to be disclosing everything, presenting a clear narrative of why they believe this person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense can be sneaky and ambiguous and deceptive and all those things. Frankly, I don’t think the defense has any obligation to return discovery. If I had my way, there would be no such obligation. The burden is on the state. It’s up to them to meet their burden. They have to present discovery to the defense.
The defense should not be obliged to do anything in return until they’re actually at trial. Whether would or were not presented defense, that’s up to them. The standards of conduct are completely different. The prosecution is supposed to be seeking justice in a broader sense. The defense is supposed to be holding the state to its burden to prove their client guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Those are two completely different things.
Phillip: Andrew, if I could ask you a quick question here, the document dump that happens, right? 25,000 pages and you have two weeks to go through them. This is why it’s so important. If you are in a case like Kyle was, fighting for his freedom, right? Fight for your life, fight for your freedom. We talk about this all the time. You need to have the ability to have a legal department behind you that has the means to go through 25,000, 30,000, 40,000 pages of junk dumped on you in two weeks. If you don’t have an unlimited coverage, you’re going to run out of money. You’re not going to get the defense you need in the time you need it.
Andrew: Yes, it’s very easy to overwhelm the defense. A normal criminal defense. Like we look at this Kim Potter trial, it’s really three lawyers on the defense team and that’s about it. If they’re presented with hundreds of hours of video to review and you can’t just hire a temp to look at this stuff, it has to be someone who’s knowledgeable about what the legal issues and arguments are going to be. That’s a high-value person. That’s going to be very expensive.
Now, they have to watch all this video. If you don’t do that, you get ambushed. You get crushed. There’s other ways the prosecution does this too. It’s not just with evidence. If you look at, for example, the Derek Chauvin trial, he basically had one attorney and an assistant on his defense and the state had– I think they had nine attorneys. Maybe another three who were also admitted onto the case, rather the prosecution had nine attorneys.
Another three admitted on the case and the prosecution was churning out motion after motion after motion. All night, they’d have people writing motions. Well, the one defense attorney was in court all day. He doesn’t even have time to read those things until the end of the day. Then he’s supposed to write a response, a 20-page response that night and come back to court prepared to argue the law again. It’s an impossible burden unless you have a defense team that’s enormously well-resourced to be able to meet those demands.
Phillip: Absolutely. That’s one of the things. It’s hard to get your mind around it, right? Everybody has their own filters when they’re looking at life. My frame of reference is this, right? I don’t do these things, so I don’t imagine that anybody else does. We run through that in our lives all the time. I have never imagined the prosecutors to act the way I saw them act in the Kenosha case that they absolutely were just going over and beyond.
They weren’t trying to press the case. They were trying to create things. At that point, you realize that, holy cow, when the state decides to do a political job on you just like this other case, the Chauvin case, 12 lawyers to 2, they can just overwhelm. They have unlimited resources. We don’t even believe that happens and then, all of a sudden, boom, we see this happening.
Andrew: Yes, and to be fair, 99.9% of prosecutors and 99.9% of prosecutions are not run that way. Most prosecutors are well-intentioned civil servants seeking justice, trying to protect the community from bad actors. They have the power to do this if they wish to overwhelm a defense with improper legal argument, with irrelevant evidence. We give prosecutors enormous power and discretion. When it’s used prudently with a sense of justice, it’s not a problem.
The trouble is when you elect to those positions of power, people who lack the ethical framework to apply that power in an ethical way, you end up with these really egregious cases. Unfortunately, some political actors have discovered how cheap it is to buy prosecutor seats. These are positions where normally in most jurisdictions, your local prosecutor’s been there for 20 years, 25 years. He’s a well-established member of the legal community. Everybody knows him. No one is really running against him. That’s just not really done.
If there is a competitive race, they’re spending $2,000, $3,000, $5,000 for that race. Well, if somebody comes in and dumps $500,000 into that race and buys TV time and newspaper advertisement, well, that’s how old I am. Facebook advertisement, I guess. They’ve just bought that seat. There’s no way the established guy can compete with that. Often the people who are getting that kind of funding are politically motivated actors who are intent on using that power of that office for political purposes.
Phillip: We’re seeing that. Not only in California, we’re not only seeing it in those kinds of prosecutions but in the lack of prosecution for horrible crimes that are just allowing to go unseen. In Sacramento– Excuse me, not Sacramento. In Seattle, the public defenders there aren’t making plea deals because whatever they would have asked for is more than what the DA is coming back and offering them. They say, “Okay, we’ll go for six months.” DA comes in, “How about time served?” Those things are happening.
Rob: Andrew is talking about the volumes of stuff you can overwhelm a defense team with. Something that a lot of people don’t understand is as [unintelligible 00:12:26] have to turn over things that might not be favorable to the prosecution. If I come across something that we’re working a case against Phil just–
Rob: All of a sudden, I come across this deal that he may have something over here. I have to turn that across. I got to let the defense know that that exists. It’s a whole fairness thing and that’s the one thing that we didn’t see in the Kenosha case. We should never do this as all our final goal is a victory. That’s not what this is about. It’s finding the truth. It’s not for me as an investigator to establish and it’s not for Andrew as an attorney to come in and do. We’re going to give you all the sides of this and let a jury of our peers make that decision.
Andrew, I don’t know if you’d seen the stuff going on outside with, Phil and I talked about this earlier, a guy that calls himself some type of honorary nephew of George Floyd or something. He’s broadcasting stuff live from his car. He’s live streaming and he’s talking about, “We have people in the courtroom. We know who the jurors are. They better come back with the right decision.” That kind of tampering, I don’t know why you didn’t write a warrant and go after that guy right then.
Andrew: Yes, you ought to. I’m aware that stuff happened. I don’t follow that out-of-court stuff closely because, of course, I’m really doing a legal analysis. I’m trying to restrict my framework to what’s actually happening inside the courtroom. I hear about that stuff even though I’m not looking for it. One can only imagine what the jury is hearing even though they’re not looking forward if they’re abiding by the judge’s instructions.
We live in an internet age. You’re exposed to everything. When I started as a lawyer, you could just tell a jury, “Hey, just don’t watch the six o’clock news,” and they’d be pretty protected from hearing anything about the case. Now, we’re all immersed in our social media. We’re all exposed to information all the time that we’re not seeking out. It’s pushed at us. It’s almost impossible unless you tell jurors, “You’re not allowed to use the internet for the next three weeks,” which to most modern Americans would be a catastrophic, emotional event for them. Judges just don’t do that.
Rob: It’s unbelievable. To me, that still should be the most protected part of this whole show, is ensuring our jurors are safe and protected and don’t have these morons coming behind making veiled threats or direct threats or whatever.
Andrew: It’s only going to get worse, folks. This problem is not getting better on any level. The problem of politically-motivated prosecutors, this is all win-win for these guys. There is no downside to them. Either they win the case and they get a conviction– By the way, we just got in the Kim Potter trial a few minutes ago, convicted on both counts of manslaughter.
They’ve won the conviction. That’s a win at trial or they lose at trial like in the Rittenhouse case, but they’ve won politically. They’ve won within their social community. They fought the good fight. They did the best thing they were able to do. It didn’t result in a conviction, but at least they tried. Those people get book deals. They get CNN legal analyst gigs. They get promoted. They run for office.
The guy who was the prosecutor there had already run for DA in an adjacent jurisdiction. He lost that race, but he has a much higher profile now than he did in the last race and he’ll run again. By the way, in a few years, Judge Schroeder in the Rittenhouse case did a great job of mostly keeping those prosecutors in check. Not from their worst abuses, however, but for many of their lesser abuses. In 5 years or 10 years, that’s not Judge Schroeder on the bench. That’s Judge Binger on the bench making those calls.
Phillip: The other thing is when they act like that, we say, “Why are they doing that?” That’s ensuring the next $500,000 donation to run for their case. They’re plying their masters, right? The one who’s giving them $500,000 to run their case, that’s what he wants them to do. That’s what they do. Guess what? They get another $500,000 to run for that.
Andrew: Right, so maybe Binger didn’t have $500,000 funding last time.
Phillip: Maybe he did.
Andrew: Maybe he gets it next time because, now, he’s on their radar screen as a warrior for their cause.
Phillip: He’ll get it for his judge running for judge.
Rob: Well, it’s like the other Wisconsin case, the Christmas Day parade with the vehicle going through the crowd, very purposely going through the crowd. Immediately, people start looking at it. I was like, “This guy’s out on bail. Why is he even out? He should be locked up.” You have a prosecutor in that jurisdiction, the present DA who ran on the platform of getting rid of cash bail and cash bond and, “We’re not going to do that anymore. It’s not fair.” Then as soon as great publicity hits this thing, he’s like, “We’re going to get down to the bottom of this. I’m going to find out who let this guy go,” and I was like, “You did.”
Andrew: For a moment, he’s talking about it because he’s feeling some political heat. You don’t see that case getting nearly the coverage in the mainstream media. Not necessarily the media we see, folks, we have to be very aware of this. Our social media puts all of us in bubbles. They only send you information that they think you will like or will get you energized. The rest of the world is not seeing the version of the news that you’re seeing and they’re probably hearing nothing about Waukesha.
Phillip: We just had a case in California. Not in California. We had somebody released from a psychiatric ward from California, went to Idaho, killed a 70-year-old man, and cannibalized part of him. It comes back to this. Rob and I talked about this all the time. Why is there no responsibility on the people who let them out? Somebody said, “Hey, this guy is good,” right?
Just like the person who did the car, “Hey, he can go out on no cash bail. That’s no problem. These are good people. We should put them back out on the street. They’re trustworthy.” They had a school shooter, shot four kids. He’s out the next day. The people who put these folks back on the streets, they have blood on their hands. I don’t know why we are not able to hold them accountable for the decisions they make that put the rest of the people at risk.
Andrew: Right. Well, we need to distinguish between what requires societal efforts to hold people accountable and what requires what’s within the realm of individual accountability. We can’t hold responsible as individuals. We cannot hold responsible the people who release these monsters without bail or out of institutions. There’s nothing we can do to hold them accountable. Societally, we can. If we decide to elect different people to government, we’ll get different outcomes.
As an individual, Andrew Branca has zero ability to hold those people accountable. What I do have the ability to do as an individual is, one, be prepared to defend myself and my family, be armed. Two, do everything within my power not to have to use those tools if it’s possibly avoidable. Three, if it’s not avoidable and I’m compelled to use those tools, make sure I’m also well-positioned to win the legal fight just as I was well-positioned to win the physical fight.
Phillip: You’re singing our song there, Andrew.
Andrew: Yes, absolutely. That’s why I’m a big fan of you guys.
Rob: [coughs] It’s one of those things that [clears throat] we talk about it pretty frequently about the benefits of membership with CCW Safe. I don’t think the average person really comprehends what a big deal it is to have a jury consultant to be going through this stuff as we’re going through jury selection and questioning. It’s got to be on point right then. It’s in the courtroom working- [crosstalk] very active. Because if you don’t do that and, all of a sudden, you get two people on there that are absolutely biased, they can’t be fair and objective, man, you’re in trouble.
Andrew: It’s every facet of the game. If you imagine the trial itself as a football game, how that playing field is defined, the dimensions of it, what you have to do to score a goal, all of that, that’s defined slightly differently for every trial. That’s all defined in the pre-trial process. What evidence will be allowed, what legal arguments will be allowed or not allowed. Those arguments are made before a judge. Each side argue their position on a piece of evidence or on a legal argument and the judge makes a decision. That’s it. It’s over. Your lawyer doesn’t get to think later that night, “Oh, if only I had argued X instead of Y, we might have had–” It’s too late. You’ve got to win in the moment.
Phillip: Unless you’re a Kenosha DA, right?
Andrew: The jury is the referees on that playing field. If you get bad referees and you’re making those decisions again in the moment, you don’t get to think later today in the evening, “Oh man, if only I had asked that prospective juror this question or that question.” It’s too late. It’s too late for that. You need to follow the legal team that you have there.
Phillip: Unless you’re a Kenosha DA, then you can just bring it up anyway, right? If you’re a Kenosha DA, just bring it up anyway. Just taint the jury and run with it.
Rob: Again, the judge did such a good job. At one point in time, when Binger goes after Rittenhouse for not making a statement, all of a sudden, now, you get to see what else is going on.
Andrew: For seeking legal counsel. [laughs]
Rob: That was as wrong as wrong can be. A lot of people don’t understand that. The rules are in place for a very specific reason.
Phillip: That actually did catch a lot of us by surprise that we didn’t realize you couldn’t do that. Andrew, would you tell us as to why that was there?
Andrew: Yes, I know you have an absolute right to legal counsel. The fact that you sought legal counsel cannot be used against you in a court of law, cannot be mentioned before the jury. It’s the same with your right to remain silent. You have an absolute right to remain silent, cannot be used against you, cannot be mentioned in front of the jury. These are very, very old, well-established legal principles in American law.
Anyone thinking that the prosecutor didn’t realize he was misstepping there has no idea how this game works. He absolutely knew that it was strictly prohibited for him to mention either of those things. He did it regardless because the point wasn’t really the answer he was going to get to the question. The point was the question. The jury was going to hear the question. That’s why you’re not allowed to mention it in the first place. He knew that and the judge got very upset.
Frankly, it would’ve been perfectly legitimate grounds for a mistrial with prejudice, which means not only is this trial over but the prosecution is not allowed to try you again on the same charges. Ultimately, the judge decided not to go that direction. Now that we know what the outcome is, that worked fine in hindsight. We know he got acquitted of all the charges. You don’t know that, at the time, this decision is being made. That was perfectly legitimate grounds for a mistrial with prejudice, which the defense asked for but didn’t get.
In a sense, now that he’s been acquitted, it’s better because people would always say, “Hey, if it hadn’t been for the mistrial, who knows? Maybe he would’ve been convicted.” Now, we know that’s not the case. We know he was acquitted by the jury on every single charge unanimously. It worked out well for him, but it’s a high-stakes game, folks. Nobody knew when that verdict was being read what it was going to be.
Rob: Absolutely, Kyle didn’t. When he finally got that last, “Not guilty,” he’d been holding it together and holding it together.
Andrew: His lawyers didn’t. You could see it on their faces when the jury came back into the courtroom. They didn’t know what to expect at all.
Phillip: They weren’t quite as shocked as Shapiro when OJ was not guilty.
Andrew: [chuckles] Yes. Well, that was–
Phillip: He couldn’t believe it. He’s like, “What?”
Andrew: That trial’s a case study all in and of itself.
Rob: Yes, absolutely. OJ didn’t believe it. If you remember his look, he was just like, “Whoa. Oh, my God. We won.”
Phillip: [laughs] He started running through airports again, jumping over luggage.
Rob: The choice to put Kyle on the stand. My opinion is if you’re going to go with self-defense, you almost really don’t have a legit shot if you don’t go on. To go on with such a [unintelligible 00:25:46] and to be as composed for the most part as he was, what were your thoughts?
Andrew: Well, it’s extremely high risk, right? There’s really three reasons. You don’t put your client on the stand of your criminal defense attorney. One, the most common is that he’s actually a criminal. Most defendants are criminals. They have a criminal background and all that can be brought out in court once they’re on the witness stand. It’s just character evidence and any witness’ character can be attacked for credibility and a variety of other reasons.
Of course, Kyle didn’t have that problem. He was squeaky clean, so that one’s checked off. We don’t need to worry about that, but there are two other risks that are unavoidable even if your client is squeaky clean. One is that a skilled prosecutor by being snide and sarcastic will get them to have some kind of outburst on the witness stand, respond with anger, which is very, very bad in the self-defense case because then you just look like an angry person, which is what the prosecutor is trying to sell you at. You want to look as the most reasonable person there.
The third risk is that a smart prosecutor– and whatever you may say about Binger and I don’t think much of him as a human being, but he was a good lawyer from a technical perspective. He knew what he was doing as an attorney. A good attorney, a good prosecutor, and a good defense attorney, they’re always thinking about the closing. What is the narrative they’re going to sell to the jury at the end just before the jury goes into deliberations?
They have a story in mind that they want to be able to tell, but that story has to be built out of building blocks of evidence and testimony. Through the whole trial, sometimes you’ll hear a lawyer ask a question of a witness and it’s like, “Well, why would that matter?” Well, it may not matter in the moment, but it may matter as one of the building blocks for a larger narrative he’s planning to create for the closing argument.
They may ask what seems like, basically, the same question in slightly different ways because what they’re trying to do is get a response containing very specific words out of the witness. Words they can say, even the witness himself, even the defendant himself said this, and then repeat those three words or four words or five words usually out of context, but in a way that makes them look very bad.
While Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t have to worry about the reputation problem because he didn’t have a bad reputation, when they put him on the witness stand, his lawyers never know if they’re going to encounter the outburst problem or the carefully-selected-words-out-of-his-mouth problem. You have no control over that. You can tell the defendant to remain calm and not engage in an outburst.
Listen, Rittenhouse was subject to three hours of cross-examination. It’s hard to remain calm, especially when you listen to the tone and the nature of the things that Binger was saying during that cross-examination. If you go back and watch it, you’ll hear Binger asked the same question four, five, six times in slightly different ways because he’s looking to drag those specific words out of Rittenhouse. Unlike Binger, who’s a professional interrogator, that’s his job, Rittenhouse is just a kid. He’s an 18-year-old.
He has no idea what those words are, how damaging they could be. As the defense attorneys, you cannot protect your client against those second two risks. No matter how clean your client is, you’re encountering those risks. Now, I think Rittenhouse did great. It worked out fine. I don’t think he damaged himself. I think he presented very well in front of the jury, but you don’t know that going in. That’s the fortunate outcome we got at the end. Very, very high risk. As it happens, it worked out well. He’s a remarkable kid.
Phillip: The thing that Binger had as far as his building blocks for his closing, I thought, was unique that one of the building blocks of evidence is an AR-15. If you just rack it, point it at the jury, and wave it around with your finger on the trigger, that’s a pretty good building block of evidence if you want to try and intimidate somebody. I’m just thinking. Maybe it’s just me.
Andrew: We’re all gun people, so guns don’t bother us. They’re comfortable to us. They’re comforting to us.
Phillip: It would’ve just made a thing.
Andrew: For people who are not gun people, a gun is like a rattlesnake in the room. It’s terrifying to them. It’s inherently dangerous. They could look at it wrong and they could discharge and kill somebody. That’s how they feel about it at an emotional level. Of course, the prosecutor’s going to press all those emotional buttons. It’s going to rack it. It’s going to point it. Sometimes they pull the trigger. It’s unbelievable.
Phillip: You’re absolutely right. Again, it’s an intentional thing. We could just come down to this time and time again, your defense, after a fact even a legitimate– and I don’t think we’ve seen an online or a video of a more obvious self-defense case in Kyle Rittenhouse that probably should have never gone to trial, but they will. They’re going to go to trial. If you don’t have the protection in your house, you’re going to lose everything you own. Hopefully, you’ll have a defense team that can cover you or you can go to ccwsafe.com, fix all that.
Andrew: People need to understand how expensive these things are. When I consult on a killing case, a manslaughter or murder case, it’s extremely common for the defense to burn through a couple of $100,000 before they ever get to trial, very common. Of course, if you don’t have that kind of money, you don’t have those kinds of resources, well, then you don’t spend it. You don’t spend what you don’t have.
By the way, the lawyers don’t work for free, folks. When I consult on the case, I get paid upfront. That’s just the way the system works because I know I won’t get paid after the fact if I’m not paid upfront. If you don’t have that kind of money, well, that’s fine. There’s an unbelievable difference between a $200,000 legal defense or a $400,000 legal defense and something that’s 1/10th of that.
If you just look at the Kim Potter case or look at the Rittenhouse case, you’ll see these use-of-force experts brought in. The state gets all those experts for free. Their experts are free for the state. It doesn’t cost them anything effectively. If you want to counter their experts’ testimony, their firearms examiners, all that stuff, if you want to counter that, you have to bring in your own experts. Those experts are costly. Frankly, I’m costly if I’m involved in your case.
If you don’t have them, the jury only hears one side of the story. If you’ve ever heard an argument from somebody and you only hear one side, it always sounds pretty compelling until you hear the other side. You better have the resources to present that other side or a jury’s going to arrive at a verdict that’s maybe unjust but is not surprising, given that they only heard one side of things.
Rob: Well, you’ve met our team. You know our guys. Gary Eastridge is our critical response team manager. Gary’s brilliant. Well, for 10 years, he was the chief investigator for the district attorney’s office here locally. We’ve seen cases. We’re talking about Kyle invoking his right and not sitting down to be questioned and not doing anything without an attorney present.
I never had an issue as an investigator sitting down with a client or with a defendant and their attorney. I got no qualms with that. If you want to sit in there, that’s fine. I’m not doing anything that shady that I shouldn’t be doing, but I’m telling you, there’s been some huge cases that Gary sat in on and it’s exactly what you were talking about, Andrew. You get a professional interrogator and they’re just hammering and hammering and hammering.
Andrew: Which is what detectives are too, right? By the way, when I say that, folks, I don’t mean in a derogatory way. This is their job. This is what we pay them to do. They’re only doing what they’re supposed to be doing, but they are literally professionals. We send them to school to learn how to do this.
Rob: Yes, absolutely. Gary has been the guy that has to review some of those cases as they’re coming in. You get the prosecutor that says, “Take a look at this real quick,” and he does. All of a sudden, it’s like, “Oh, my gosh, this is a false confession.” You go back and you look at it. You’ve got an investigator that really is either completely untrained or just totally, blatantly violating their sworn oath.
Andrew: Yes, or you get a suspect. If you’re badly motivated as an investigator, you get a suspect. Frankly, it’s not that hard to tell that this is someone that you’re going to be able to steer around. You’re going to be able to point them where you want them to go.
Rob: Again, that’s why we tell our members, “I don’t want you to be crass or I don’t even want you to be impolite.” If you are involved in an incident, let them know that, “Listen, I’m very shaken up. I’ve just been through this horrible ordeal. I would absolutely like to sit down with you and give you my side of the story, but I want to wait and make sure that I don’t do anything to get myself in trouble. I’m going to wait until my attorney’s present.”
Andrew: Honestly, I would just do that last part. Obviously, be polite. “Yes, sir. No, sir. Yes, ma’am. No, ma’am,” all of that. Obviously, be compliant. It’s not up to you if you’re going to get arrested. That’s up to them. No one does not get arrested because they don’t want to be arrested. That’s not how it works. Be compliant, be polite. Just say, “Sir, before I talk to anybody, I feel like I should speak to my attorney.” Then if you’re a member of CCW Safe, call CCW Safe. That’s what the number on the card is for.
Phillip: You’re going to, probably, go to jail for a while. They’re going to put you in cuffs and take you away because they don’t know what’s up. That’s the–
Andrew: 20 years from now, that’ll be an interesting story you tell at parties.
Phillip: Right, so you’re not going to be able to talk your way out of going downtown by saying–
Phillip: So don’t?
Phillip: If you’re going to take the ride, wait for your attorney. Say some prayers.
Andrew: I wish people would not worry about that. It’s one of the most common questions I get, “What can I say to avoid getting arrested?” It’s so unimportant. It’s so inconsequential. What I’m worried about is, are you going to spend the rest of your life in a cage with unpleasant people? That’s the fate we’re trying to avoid. Anything you say in an effort to try to not get arrested only jeopardizes our ability to keep you out of that cage for the rest of your life. Just don’t worry about it. It’s not prison. It’s just a jail. It’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it. Don’t stress over it. As I say, years from now, it’ll be a story that you tell at parties.
Rob: Andrew, thank you so much for coming on and helping us out. We sure do appreciate your insight into this thing. Again, guys, we always welcome your comments. You can go direct to me, firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate all of you that are our members. We’re honored to serve you and we look forward to seeing you next time. Thank you, guys.
Andrew: Hey, will this go out before January 8th?
Andrew: Can I mention a class I have coming up?
Rob: Yes, it’s next week.
Andrew: My lawofselfdefense.com/advanced class. Lawofselfdefense.com/advanced. Saturday, January 8th. We only do it once every year or year and a half, folks. If that’s of interest, take a look.
Rob: Thanks again so much.
Phillip: Thank you. God bless.