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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  November 19, 2021
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Topic category:  Law & Litigation Issues

Justice Ultimately Prevailed in the Kyle Rittenhouse Case, But the Indictment for Illegal Possession of a Weapon Was a Travesty of Justice that Should Be Investigated Instead of Ignored

Will there be any consequences for anyone in the prosecutor's office for seeking and securing an indictment on a fatally flawed charge?

The Kyle Rittenhouse case ended with a dismissal of a shameless weapon charge and acquittal on the remaining charges.

That shameless charge--that Rittenhouse was carrying a weapon that he was not entitled to possess--should never have been  brought, because it was lawful for him to be carrying the weapon, but the prosecution shamelessly got a grand jury to indict on it anyway, presumably in the belief that it would buttress the prosecution case on the other, more serious charges.

As former New York State Court of Appeals Chief Justicer Sol Wachler observed in 1985: “If a district attorney wanted, a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.”

As Toni Messina wrote in 2016 ( "Grand juries are the prosecutor’s babies. They decide who gets picked, what evidence gets presented, and what gets left out. There’s no judge, no defense attorney, and generally a defendant only testifies in rare circumstances — his story is so air tight that there’s no down side in putting him in. There’s no necessity for unanimity among the 23 or so jurors, and the standard of proof is so low — that probable cause exists to believe a crime has been committed — anyone, for the merest hint of an offense, can get indicted."

In the Rittenhouse case, two key facts were readily ascertainable: (1) Rittenhouse was 17 years old on the date he allegedly committed serious crimes with a rifle that was in the possession of the prosecution and available to be measured, and (2) that rifle was so length that it was lawful for Rittenhouse to possess it in Wisconsin after he became 17.

Whether intentionally or not, the prosecution secured indictments on all of its charges against Rittenhouse by deceiving the grand jurors into believing that Rittenhouse had entered Wisconsin with an illegal weapon and thereby substituted a presumption of guilt for the presumption of innocence.

One may reasonably wonder why Rittenhouse's trial lawyers did not move to dismiss the unlawful rifle possession charge before the trial.

Perhaps they did not check the applicable law because they could not imagine that the prosecution would have failed to make sure that Rittenhouse's possession of the rifle was unlawful instead of lawful since he was 17.

Whatever, fortunately that charge was dismissed after testimony had ended and before jury deliberations began.

Kudos to the jurors for their apparently thorough deliberations and a just verdict.

Question: Will there be any consequences for anyone in the prosecutor's office for seeking and securing an indictment on a fatally flawed charge?Will there be an investigation into who was responsible for misinforming the grand jurors, who look to the prosecution for guidance on the applicable law and cannot reasonably be expected to realize that they are being misled as to the applicable law.

Second Question: Would the defense lawyers have been sued for malpractice if the flaw in the indictment had not been discovered and Rittenhouse had been wrongly convicted on all charges?

Hopefully any lawyer who Rittenhouse retains to sue any person who he reasonably believes violated his rights will take care to pursue only legitimate charges.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to,,, and and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is

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