Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why The Ferguson Grand Jury Did NOT Indict

Robert P. McCulloch is the Prosecuting Attorney for St. Louis County, Missouri, but for how much longer remains to be seen. There's a petition circulating calling for his removal as a circumstance to his latest personal handling and interpretation of the law. McCulloch chose to ignore how grand juries have historically worked and as a result...No Indictment!

Right or wrong, a new precedent has been set. In the past a grand jury’s function was not to decide upon what foundation a charge might be denied. It was not to hear a suspect’s defense, but only to examine - what basis a charge or charges could be made by a prosecutor. This practice, regardless of past history is disturbing. If it were you under scrutiny, wouldn't you like the opportunity to defend yourself?

In the case involving Michael Brown, the grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson because, contrary to how a grand jury usually functions, this particular grand jury did hear testimony from Darren Wilson and every piece of exculpatory evidence that could be found was presented. After hours of testimony and numerous conflicting eyewitness accounts that amount to a personal defense, this grand jury could do nothing else, but decline to name charges or indict.

Many are saying that the Ferguson grand jury acted inappropriately, however I disagree. They acted differently and have set a precedent in their actions, but in my opinion they were more thorough, there is no law on the books that say a grand jury can not hear what amounts to a defense.

It seems like everywhere people are angry because there was no indictment, but I am pleased that this grand jury took the time to hear all it could. This new precedent needs to become the 'new normal' and I also hope that it does, in this case it has saved the taxpayers the cost of what would have been a racially charged show trial that would have resulted in the same acquittal, mayhem and riots.

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