Is testifying in a self-defense case important if it’s your case? Defense testimony can be critical and oftentimes filled with legal pitfalls! Kyle Rittenhouse took the stand during his self-defense trial. Should he have testified? What are the consequences? What makes for good self-defense testimony? What are the risks with cross-examination? The Armed Attorneys break down this crucial aspect of self-defense law and the impact on the final verdict.
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Richard D. Hayes, II: @TXGunLaw
Emily Taylor: @2A_Attorney
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all eyes are on the kyle ridden house case and everyone is speculating what the outcome is going to be and what the defense case looks like … essentially we want to talk about kind of the pros and cons of whether you should testify in a self-defense case but before we get started show your support for the second amendment by hitting that like button and emily why don’t you kick off our discussion and talk about you know your criminal defense attorney what do you tell your clients about whether they should testify generally yeah you know the general defense attorney wisdom is don’t put your client on the stand and you know we’re talking about i mean self-defense cases are a miniscule percentage of all cases that go to trial … generally speaking you don’t want your client to be subjected to cross-examination you don’t want them to maybe have small inconsistencies which are totally normal and natural in their statement drawn out to make them look like liars it is safer to not put them on the stand but self-defense is a little different yeah and the important thing about self-defense cases is establishing that defense itself and in most states it requires the production of some evidence you know some states … give a self-defense instruction and so most of the time that has to be produced by the defense and it’s most often needed to establish reasonableness a reasonable fear now i have a feeling that we probably disagree about this but let’s talk about the kyle rittenhouse case … if i were his attorney i would recommend he take the stand the reason being is that you know particularly for that first shot fired he needs to establish fear and that really comes from kyle rittenhouse himself i mean also i mean frankly it doesn’t hurt he’s young he looks young getting him up on the stand i think is going to remind the jury of his youth perhaps get you know a little sympathy out of the jury especially when this very young man is talking about how terrified he was in those moments i’d put him on the stand and i disagree and this is and you know this is why we get paid the big bucks right at the end of the day you know i’m kind of a disciple of the larry posner school of cross-examination chapter and storytelling and so i think that we could establish the story kyle written house’s you know thought process how he was feeling why he acted the way he did based on other sources of evidence other testimony other physical other demonstrative evidence video evidence and so this is where we have the reasonable minds can disagree and that’s why it’s so important you know the decision to testify at trial is a really really important right it’s so important the united states supreme court has said that the defendant alone is the person who decides whether or not they testify it’s important to talk you know say you find yourself in this situation don’t rely on the youtube people telling you whether you know telling you what you should do talk to your attorney your attorney’s going to advise you what’s right based on your particular circumstances and you know i think that we should mention as much as i think if i would like to see kyle ridden house take the stand i think it would be good for his case his case is unusual in that there are so many witnesses there’s video footage those things do decrease the likelihood that the defendant does have to take the stand because we can establish the facts establish maybe a little bit of that fear without him having to take the stand and i mean i’ll tell you taking the stand is not easy …
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