What you need to know
- The Kyle Rittenhouse trial has taken another bizarre turn because of tech.
- The defense has asked for a mistrial because video evidence was sent from iPhone to Android via email.
- They claim the video was compressed as a result and wasn't as clear as the version the state had.
Lawyers for the defense in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse have filed a motion to dismiss the case against, claiming a mistrial because video evidence sent to the defense via email from an iPhone was compressed.
The motion claims that this means "video provided to the defense was not as clear as the video kept by the state", noting it was only 3.6MB in size as opposed to 11.2MB for the higher resolution version.
So what happened? According to the report prosecutor James Kraus tried to pass on the video to the defense via Apple's AirDrop from an iPhone, however, because the defense attorney had an Android device this obviously didn't work. Instead, the file was emailed as an attachment and inadvertently compressed as a result. The prosecution stated "we did not know that this would occur" and that it "cannot be held responsible", Kraus stating "We didn't compress anything, we didn't change anything." Lawyers for Rittenhouse claimed the fact that the video file had a different name to the original suggested this was not true. According to an expert cited by The Verge, the situation is not normal:
The episode is not even the most bizarre tech issue that has faced the trial. Last week the trial judge was fooled by a claim from the defense that pinch-to-zoom on iPad manipulated footage using AI and "logarithms" (presumably they meant algorithms) and that a tablet couldn't be used to display in-court evidence. Instead, a video was played through a Windows laptop plugged into a TV. Whether it is the same video in question in this latest saga has not been stated.
The defense wants the case dismissed, although it has dropped a request for it to be dismissed with prejudice such that it couldn't be tried again. NBC Chicago reports that Judge Schroeder "ruled that the dispute required the reopening of evidence and the testimony of an expert witness." Rittenhouse faces five counts including first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9