During the the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial, the defense team claimed that the iPad’s pinch-to-zoom function on a video could alter or modify footage related to the case.
Defense attorney Mark Richards said iPads use “artificial intelligence, or their logarithms, to create what they believe is happening. So this isn’t actually enhanced video. This is Apple’s iPad programming what it thinks is there, not what necessarily is there.”
Prosecutor Thomas Binger disputed this, arguing that on devices, the pinch-to-zoom function allows an image to be scaled, not change the imagery itself. And is a basic feature on many smartphones.
Judge Bruce Schroeder heard the defense’s argument, telling prosecutors they had the burden of proof to find an expert to explain how the function worked, whether the pinch-to-zoom function could distort what was depicted, and whether it was reliable technology to use in court.
Video has been a point of contention throughout the trial. While the shooting itself was filmed from multiple angles, lawyers have argued about the video quality, enhancements and accuracy.
On Aug. 25, 2020, Rittenhouse, then 17, went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, armed with an AR-style semi-automatic weapon. Rittenhouse, who lived in nearby Antioch, Illinois, and his lawyers have argued that he was at the demonstrations against racial injustice in the city to protect property from protesters. There had been days of unrest in Kenosha after a white officer shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was paralyzed after the shooting.
Rittenhouse faces five felony charges. If convicted of the most serious charge — first-degree intentional homicide — he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
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