Grand Jury decision in Michael Brown shooting will be illegitimate

Thursday, November 13, 2013

Good morning:

St.Louis County prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch, aided and abetted by a compliant news media, is intentionally violating the public’s First Amendment right to know whether Officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in self-defense or murdered him.

Since August 9th when Michael Brown died in the street and six eyewitnesses said he had his hands up when he was shot, there has been probable cause to believe the officer murdered him.

In essence, he is defending the officer and concealing what he is doing by trying Michael Brown in a secret grand jury proceeding where he controls what they get to consider while his minions selectively leak evidence that is spun in a manner favorable to the officer.

For example, Mother Jones reports today,

The autopsy, which was leaked to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, revealed Brown had been shot in the hand at close range with Wilson, putting into question whether Brown had had his hands up in the air, as some witnesses claimed.

(emphasis added)

The italicized portion of the statement is false. Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown, stated that Brown received a gunshot wound to his hand fired at close range inside the vehicle while the officer was seated holding Brown with one hand and a gun with other. Johnson’s statement is consistent with the gunshot residue found on Brown’s hand and the bullet wound described in the autopsy report.

The wound to Brown’s hand and the presence of the gunshot residue does not make it more or less likely that Brown’s hands were up when the officer shot and killed him after getting out of his vehicle and chasing Brown down the street recklessly squeezing off shots in a crowded residential neighborhood. To suggest otherwise is at best grossly irresponsible.

Let’s return to basics.

The purpose of the grand jury is not to try this case. The purpose is to decide in secret whether there is probable cause to believe that Wilson murdered Brown. If so, the grand jury should indict him for murder. If indicted, the Sixth Amendment would come into play.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

(emphasis supplied)

Last week the Arizona Court of Appeals reminded Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens about the importance of public trials in the Jodi Arias case, such that despite the defense request to exclude the media and the public from the courtroom, the public has an overriding First Amendment right to know what is going on in her resentencing hearing. That is, the public and the media cannot be excluded.

The public’s right to know what is happening at any given time and what the government is doing is protected by the Freedom of the Press Clause in the First Amendment.

Secret trials are prohibited by the First and Sixth Amendments. Yet, that is exactly what is happening in St.Louis and the news media is aiding and abetting that secret proceeding.

Since the prosecutor determines what evidence to present to the grand jury, the grand jury proceedings are secret, no judge is present, and the rules of evidence do not apply, we do not know what evidence has been presented or the quality of that evidence.

Only a fool would believe the grand jury is getting an objective look at the evidence, given the selective leaks by ‘unnamed officials’ that only favor the officer.

The prosecuting attorney, who has taken an oath to uphold and enforce the law, has violated the public’s right, which is our right to know what is going on.

There is no way that a secret grand jury proceeding can ever substitute for a public trial, ever.

The grand jury’s decision will be illegitimate and not entitled to any deference or respect.

44 Responses to Grand Jury decision in Michael Brown shooting will be illegitimate

  1. Diamonique says:

    I just saw on Daily Kos that the governor has just declared a state of emergency. This gives the National Guard permission to help police the state

  2. Trisha says:

    Cop Who Killed Michael Brown Had No Visible Injuries After the Shooting — New Videos Show: Propaganda About Darren Wilson’s Injuries Proven False
    http://ronaldjacksonglobal.blogspot.com/2014/11/cop-who-killed-michael-brown-had-no.html

  3. Trisha says:

    Homeland is all over the place in that area

  4. Trisha says:

    the Cop in Question in video above is non other than Darren Wilson, its worth watching this video

    • Bill Taylor says:

      TY for posting that video something in it touched me…..they said paraphrasing that football field is heaven to us, it dont lie to you it dont cheat you it is our heaven………..there was a time in my life when the basketball court was heaven to me and that is why i spent so much time there, to escape into a place that had rules that were followed, that you were judged on the merits of your performance, that social status didnt matter, playing the game is what mattered…………..i took an oath to defend our constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic and that oath did not end with my discharge from active duty…….we ALL have a DUTY now, our very liberty is under assault and our childrens futures depend on how we respond……PEACEFULLY we must demand our rights be recognized…….and in doing it peacefully the world will see the government response to PEACEFUL people………..i pray this doesnt end the way i fear it will……hug your children tell the people around you how much you care, before such actions become illegal in the new world order.

    • Bill Taylor says:

      the pattern of abuse of authority by wilson is becoming obvious…arresting a man for videoing him and writing a long report full of lies = darren wilson……..handcuffing people that broke no law……when they say you are interfering in government operations, and the officer is BREAKING the law that is NOT legal government operations.

  5. Trisha says:

    It Looks Like the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Will Be Announced Monday
    http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/11/ferguson_grand_jury_expected_monday.html

  6. Trisha says:

    Get ready the Ferguson police audio has been released and there is major problems with it,
    Wilson lied when he said his life was on the line, and the audio proves that,

  7. SearchingMind says:

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/3892749773001/sweet-pumpkin-recipes-for-the-holidays/#sp=show-clips

    Guys, I think all indication are that Darren Wilson will NOT be indicted. The governor is already warning against violence and getting his army ready for the crackdown. He must know something we don’t – I am compelled to think.

  8. Trisha says:

    Video of Wilson taken in July, he did arrest the guy and the guy says Wilson lied on the report

  9. MDX says:

    This sums up the sham GJ process.

  10. Disappointed says:

    I really have zero faith in Justice. Hopefully the GJ will see there is more to the story and indict.

    Why is their a GJ against fogen. Frank is saying fogen allegedly called him. Call came from unknown number didn’t sound like fogen blah blah blah. Back pedal much? Go away. Not to mention if they get indictment Frank will come across as racist if his HLN videos come in. People really need to look further than their noses. Connect the dots. Jay walking is not punishable by death. Walking in rain does not justify killing anyone. Smh

    • Malisha says:

      To me, the “he looks like he’s up to no good” and the “the suspect this and the suspect that…” were per se evidence of racism that underlay the (profiling) violation of Trayvon Martin’s life interest.

      What more would anybody need: statements from a drunken loser co-racist flip-flop a-hole punktalkin’ middle-aged moron?

  11. Nef05 says:

    OT: Taafe testified before a federal grand jury Wednesday, against fogen. While I lead with that statement, I believe the most important aspect of the situation is the fact there actually is a grand jury convened to consider whether fogen should be tried for violating Trayvon’s civil rights. It’s more than many of us thought would happen when it seemed that fogen was going to get off scot-free. While he still might, I am hopeful that the federal prosecutor in this case is at least doing his job, without bias. They can’t all be like McCulloch.

    http://www.wftv.com/videos/news/raw-zimmerman-supporter-changes-course-testifies/vC2tHG/

    • MDX says:

      IMO, Taffe’s statement to the press about getting a phone call stating that the Jury was 5:1 in favor of Zimmerman while the deliberations were still going on may be more important.

      Jury tampering?

      Also, let us not forget that Bao was treated badly because, in his words, the rest of the department did not feel Zimmerman was guilty.

      And there was that tweet by a deputy praising the verdict as showing “them” who is in charge.

      And that deputy was involved in the sham attempt to make George a hero for saving accident victims.

      And the HOA or PD did nothing, although many African Americans has complained about the behavior of Zimmerman.

      IMO, Trayvon was a victim of systemic racism.

      • Nef05 says:

        Yes, he absolutely was. Also, in that systemic racism I would include, after the fact, the criminal justice system that will try the victim if he is a black male and the media who help to perpetuate the black skin is inherently criminal meme.

  12. a2nite says:

    Firing Wilson & Jackson are moldy crumbs for MB’s family & Ferguson.

    Evil white male supremacy wins again.

  13. From the Root:

    “According to sources familiar with a Wednesday conference call that included key elected officials, the St. Louis County grand jury’s decision in the case of Ferguson, Mo., police Officer Darren Wilson is expected to be announced publicly Monday. And sources close to the investigation state that they are not expecting Wilson to be indicted.

    A number of key issues in the matter were yet to be fully resolved. Among them, the duty status of Wilson—who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown Aug. 9 after confronting him and another pedestrian for jaywalking—was an issue discussed on the conference call, along with that of Ferguson police Chief Thomas Jackson. News swirled recently that Jackson would resign after the controversy surrounding Brown’s death, but his future with the Ferguson Police Department has yet be confirmed.

    Several elected officials on the call were said to be pushing for no punishment or career repercussions for Wilson or Jackson—meaning that they not be fired from their respective positions after the grand jury’s announcement. That sentiment did not go over well with other officials on the call, who, according to sources, were pushing for both to be fired before the grand jury announces its decision.”

    (H/T to Wendy Davis at Firedoglake for bringing this to my attention)

  14. Two sides to a story says:

    Well-said, Professor. This case should be tried in a court of law. I can only hope that this GJ is immune to the manipulation being applied to it.

    • Malisha says:

      I doubt any grand jury is immune to manipulation because the whole show is controlled by one side. There is not even the presumption of due process because all they’re SUPPOSED to do is determine whether there is probable cause.

      It’s a very low threshold.

      So the fact that this is being handled by someone who wants a no-bill is the controlling fact. The other facts will not even see the light of day.

      • Bill Taylor says:

        and the FACT that probable cause clearly exists and the da still would NOT bring charges is proof for any rational adult that the da did NOT want charges brought and it is obvious he made that clear to the GJ NO charges desired.

  15. Malisha says:

    I don’t even trust the leaks, and don’t necessarily belief they were “leaked” from GJ testimony or “evidence,” either. Indeed, the “friend” who phoned the radio station to announce that Michael Brown had “bum-rushed” Wilson could just as easily be an anonymous source of alleged leaks from the grand jury room. Since the proceeding is secret, nobody can disprove any insane statement that might be made by any “unnamed official” because of course, the journalists’ sources are protected as well.

    Say the bullet through Brown’s hand was made while he was at the patrol car being restrained by (and shot by) Wilson. In what direction did the blood from that injury flow? Did it splatter anywhere? Say, on the other hand, that the wound occurred while Brown was either running from or bum-rushing Wilson? In what direction did the blood from that injury flow? Towards the elbow? Towards the fingers? At what angle? Remember the ridiculous pictures of the back of Fogen’s head after his alleged beating at the hands of Trayvon Martin, whom he called “the suspect”? The blood rivulets flowed in a direction that proved by the laws of gravity that his head was NOT being pounded into the sidewalk. But that evidence was not presented at trial, even though the [show] trial WAS public.

    Once lies are acceptable, ANY lies are acceptable. Once a “volunteer neighborhood watch” can kill a Black kid and lie about it and walk, and a police officer can kill a Black kid and get others to lie about it and he walks, all is lost and our democracy is over and our people are in constant danger and nothing will save us or fix that.

    Global warming is almost a relief. There can, after all, be a natural end to this appalling, unmitigated communally supported crime.

  16. bettykath says:

    Witness testimony that is subjected to cross examination is not to be trusted.

    • Malisha says:

      I presume you meant “not subjected to cross-examination.” That’s exactly why the federal government PASSED the civil rights act, including the criminal section (1981) over a century ago. Because in the South, they were routinely refusing to prosecute for crimes committed against African Americans by whites, using faked-up prosecutorial excuses; the “no-bill” is just a continuation of those practices. In my opinion, they are the epitome of “deprivation of constitutional rights under color of state law.” But now we are headed back to those attitudes and those practices, nation-wide, and as usual, the South is leading.

  17. You do realize that most sane people disapprove of Williams, and believe that a prosecutor has an ethical duty to present Brady material during grand jury proceedings. You do realize that your mouth is squarely on [edited by moderator] right now. You are literally [edited by moderator.].

    • You are wrong. Prosecutors do not have a duty to present exculpatory evidence to a grand jury and never do.

      The officer’s name is Wilson, by the way.

      Pursuant to Brady v. Maryland, they are required to disclose exculpatory evidence to defense counsel before trial.

      Disapproval or approval is irrelevant. Wilson’s character is not the issue. The issue is whether there is probable cause to believe he murdered Brown.

      Personal insults of a sexual nature are a waste of time here because this blog is not an 8th grade playground.

  18. Malisha says:

    McCulloch should be indicted by a federal grand jury for a criminal violation of the civil rights of ALL CITIZENS OF FERGUSON because he perverted the grand jury hearing the Michael Brown homicide case. 42 USC 1981. Several thousand counts.

  19. racerrodig says:

    The whole world is watching and they still don’t get it. They’ll risk a massive backlash to protect one cop who clearly committed a murder. Is this GJ using any of the other witnesses and statements or just the testimony of Wilson and “The Force”

    • Since the prosecutor determines what evidence to present to the grand jury, the grand jury proceedings are secret, no judge is present, and the rules of evidence do not apply, we do not know what evidence has been presented or the quality of that evidence.

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