Michael Brown Shooting

If the Grand Jurors Had Indicted Darren Wilson, Would Prosecutors Have Been Obligated to Ignore Them?

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Fox 2

The other day I argued that the grand jurors who rejected criminal charges against Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown misconstrued their task. They were not supposed to decide whether Wilson should be convicted; they were supposed to decide whether there was probable cause to believe he broke the law. Sheila Whirley, one of the assistant county prosecutors guiding the process, put it this way on November 21:

Your standard of proof is still probable cause. You're not here to determine guilt or not guilty. It is probable cause: Is it enough to go to trial?

Whirley's colleague Kathi Alizadeh elaborated on this point:

You must find probable cause to believe that [Wilson] committed the offense that you're considering, and you must find probable cause to believe that he did not act in lawful self-defense [and] that he did not use lawful force in making the arrest.

With several eyewitnesses testifying that Brown did not pose a threat and appeared to be surrendering when Wilson shot him to death in the street, it seems to me there is enough evidence for probable cause on all these points, although that does not necessarily mean there is enough evidence to prove Wilson's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The latter judgment is reserved for a trial jury.

If the extensive testimony the grand jurors heard had been presented in a trial, advocates on both sides would have had an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses, which might have given us a clearer idea of what actually happened. I am still skeptical that the state would be able to meet its burden of proof, but that does not mean it should not have tried.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch clearly did not want to prosecute Wilson, but neither did he want to take responsibility for that decision. So instead he left it to the grand jurors, guiding them toward the correct conclusion by reinforcing Wilson's self-defense claim. Powerline blogger Paul Mirengoff, who defends McCulloch's approach, describes it this way:

Normally, prosecutors try to guide a grand jury towards an indictment. Almost invariably, prosecutors succeed. Hence the cliche that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.

In this case, though, the prosecutor did not get an indictment. Nor, from all that appears, did he attempt to get one. If anything, he may have steered the grand jury away from indicting Wilson….

Prosecutors push through indictments when they believe a party has committed a crime and that they have a decent shot of proving so in court. If they believe a party is innocent of criminal wrongdoing and/or that they will lose at trial, prosecutors typically don't initiate criminal proceedings before a grand jury. Why would they?

In Wilson's case, the prosecutor obviously believed that Wilson should not be prosecuted. Normally, then, he would not have initiated criminal proceedings at all or, at most, he would have held a perfunctory hearing that resulted in no indictment.

Instead, the prosecutor held an elaborate grand jury proceeding.

The problem is that, as Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett noted on Twitter in response to my blog post, "Prosecutors have an ethical obligation not to prosecute those they think are innocent." If McCulloch believed Wilson was innocent, why would he let the grand jurors decide whether charges should be brought? And if they did approve charges, wouldn't he be ethically obligated to disregard their determination?

"Whatever [your] decision is, it will be the correct decision and we will stand by that 100 percent," Alizadeh told the grand jurors. "Our opinions don't matter. It is up to you and what you guys think." Yet this seems like a situation where only one outcome was acceptable, which renders the whole process suspect.

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  1. Just think of all the money saved by not trying Wilson. They can spend it on MRAPs and tear gas.

  2. I blame the media for everything. FOR EVERYTHING!

  3. Ham sandwich, pig, blah blah blah…

  4. No AM links?

    “Calls to boycott Black Friday in protest of Ferguson spread”
    […]
    “The message of the Facebook page is to Boycott Black Friday “to galvanize economically and influence change in the politics of American Justice pertaining to Law Enforcement vs Citizens.”
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/…../19520823/

    Can we retire the trophy in the “unclear on the concept” competition?

    1. It’s now an hour and a half after normal posting time, I don’t think there will be AM Lynx today.

      1. I’m going to have to go loot a liquor store in protest – FOR GREAT JUSTICE!

        1. In the local rag, some spokes-ninny said they were only going to boycott the big-box stores, neglecting to mention the rioters had looted the mom&pops;.

          1. Someone at a party yesterday said “Now they should boycott Walmart.” I said: “Why? What does Walmart have to do with any of this?” She had no good answer.

  5. Like I said at the time, from the speech announcing what the grand jury decided, it sounded like the prosecutors were making the case for the defense.

    Yeah, it’s only the grand jury’s job to decide whether there should be a trial–not whether the defendant is guilty. But it should also be noted that the job of the prosecutor is not to make the case for the defense!

    Meanwhile, my understanding is that district attorneys have to run for election in Missouri (or at least that part of it), and, unfortunately, winning and endorsement from the police union is key to winning such elections.

    I don’t think there should be campaign restrictions against the police endorsing whomever they want, but we should be leveling a ton of criticism at the police for gaming the system and the district attorneys (all over the country) who benefit from it.

    Everybody’s complaining about how the police never seem to get prosecuted–but no one seems to want to point to the reason why. I’d guess it’s because the media leans Democrat, and the police unions in blue states are considered innocent by association by the people who script the news…

    And on the right side of the media spectrum, I guess the cops are assumed innocent by virtue of their profession, too!

    I guess it’s up to libertarians to tell the truth–again.

  6. The problem is this: at least in Texas (so I’m guessing, in Missouri too), all homicides get sent to the grand jury to determine if an indictment needs to be issued. Many of these homicides are open and shut cases, where everyone can see that no reasonable jury would find the guy guilty. Not saying the Wilson case is one of those—the fact that we’re going through this much rigmarole suggests it’s not. Yet a prosecutor would still be able to show a GJ probable cause that a crime occurred, if they approached this GJ hearing like they do every other attempt to indict.

    So what do they do? Usually, the prosecutor wouldn’t bring the case if they didn’t think they could win, but I said earlier that all homicides get brought before the GJ. A full trial would be waste of everyone’s time, and the defendant’s money. The solution is to put evidence before the GJ and let them decide whether to indict or not.

    As for Wilson, I don’t see how a reasonable jury could have convicted him. LEOs in Missouri are allowed to use deadly force to arrest a violent fleeing felon, which Brown was. Even if you assume, as I do, that Wilson was full of crap when he said he was aware of the earlier robbery when he shot Brown.

    1. Funny how Wilson didn’t know anything about the robbery until a union lawyer helped him get his story straight.

    2. LEOs in Missouri are allowed to use deadly force to arrest a violent fleeing felon, which Brown was.

      Tennessee v. Garner places limits on that.

      1. And Garner was a burglar, “young, slight, and unarmed.” Not someone who—allegedly—just punched a cop in the face and tried to take his weapon. I don’t see it obviously unreasonable to think that Brown was someone who “pose[d] a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.” Especially when he turns around and starts towards the officer. Which is what Garner requires for a cop to use deadly force to prevent escape.

        (One thing I always thought funny about Garner is the reasoning that the common law rule of anything goes to prevent a felon from escaping is not valid these days, because we have some many felonies that the rule is unreasonable. The solution of getting rid of most of these felonies is never entertained by any of the judges.)

        1. I agree with your analysis. My response was misinterpreting your original post as a blanket use of force against fleeing felons under MO law. Which it wasn’t and your reply clearly shows. My apologies.

          Complete agreement with the second part of your reply.

          1. Thank you. No need to apologize, especially here.

            I wonder if, under Garner, Wilson was justified shooting at Brown when Brown was running away? (As I think was what happened, at least for the first group of shots not fired in the car. I mean, why else would Brown stop?) At that point, an unarmed Brown is not a threat to Wilson, nor anyone else. Unless the logic is that someone nuts enough to try and take a cop’s gun, is nuts enough to pose a sig. threat of serious physical injury to everyone? But I don’t see where Brown’s actions, as known by Wilson at the time, lead a reasonable person to make that judgment.

            It’s not like Wilson needed to shoot at a retreating Brown to make the arrest anyway. He hit Brown in the hand when Brown was reaching into the car. Call for backup, and alert hospitals/doc in a boxes for a giant black dude with a bullet wound in his hand. Easy arrest.

  7. If McCulloch believed Wilson was innocent, why would he let the grand jurors decide whether charges should be brought?

    Sullum answered his own question earlier in the post. He didn’t want not charging Wilson on him but instead the faceless grand jury. As for the conflicting accounts of what happened, the grand jury very well may have found some witnesses more credible than others.

    1. “As for the conflicting accounts of what happened, the grand jury very well may have found some witnesses more credible than others.”

      Is there something that says a prosecutor has to call witnesses with conflicting accounts?

      Again, the question isn’t whether the defendant is guilty. The question is whether the person under investigation should be a defendant.

      He shot an unarmed man, but there’s not enough evidence to have a trial? What are the chances that would happen to me?

      Everyone who has been or will be indicted by a grand jury in that jurisdiction should sue for equal treatment. If the prosecutor is calling witnesses for the defense in one grand jury, shouldn’t he do it for all the others, too?

      It’s no wonder that a lot of people think this is about racism. I think it’s more about a prosecutor protecting his endorsement by the police union…

      “{He] is the Prosecuting Attorney for St. Louis County, Missouri, a post he has held since 1991. A Democrat, he has historically had bipartisan support as a popular prosecutor and has won re-election in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014”

      …his father, brother, nephew and cousin were police officers; his mother was a clerk for two decades.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_P._McCulloch_ (prosecutor)

      Whatever it is, something stinks!

      1. The prosecutor has an ethical duty to provide the grand jury with exculpatory evidence that he has.

        I find it really weird that libertarians are getting on board with the proscutor should have railroaded him, like he does other defendants meme in response to a prosecutor actually going to the gj in the way that the system intended.

        1. “I find it really weird that libertarians are getting on board with the proscutor should have railroaded him, like he does other defendants meme in response to a prosecutor actually going to the gj in the way that the system intended.”

          Are libertarians actually saying that? What I’m hearing (and saying) is more along the lines of, “The fact that the prosecutor didn’t railroad him indicates an unethical level of collusion between the police force and the prosecutor’s office.:

          1. The facts presented to the grand jury would not support an indictment for a non citizen. This case is actually less ambiguous than the Zimmerman case and most people here thought that was a purely political prosecution.

            Look, I hate police abuse and the overall functioning of the criminal justice system as much as anyone. But this is just a completely crappy case to highlight those problems to the general public, and in fact is causing more support for cops and das.

            Funny how the media always puts a racial spin on a nebulous case of police abuse that becomes a major story instead of highlighting any of the much mor common unambiguous and non racial cases of police abuse. They’re collectively too stupid to realize that scratching their racial itch creates a backlash against police reform. Or maybe they’re not, reporters and cops go together like 2 peas in pod.

            1. “The facts presented to the grand jury would not support an indictment for a non citizen.”

              Why was the defense presented to the grand jury?

              “Funny how the media always puts a racial spin on a nebulous case of police abuse that becomes a major story instead of highlighting any of the much mor common unambiguous and non racial cases of police abuse.”

              I think the media is accurately reflecting what a lot of blank people are really thinking.

              We all see things from our points of interest. It doesn’t surprise me if black people, who have traditionally been discriminated against by the police, would look at this from a discrimination angle.

              I’m highly critical of the police unions. It shouldn’t surprise anybody to find that I tend to see this story as an example of those problems.

              Regardless, just because a lot of black people think this is about racial discrimination and just because I think this is about elected DAs protecting their police union endorsements, that doesn’t mean either of us are wrong.

              I’m certainly not going to pretend an unarmed man being shot isn’t a good enough reason to have a trial–just because the media brought up something I don’t like. Are you?

              Is that what this is about? Are you saying there shouldn’t have been a trial because you don’t like the media suggesting that it’s about racism?

              1. I’m certainly not going to pretend an unarmed man being shot isn’t a good enough reason to have a trial–just because the media brought up something I don’t like. Are you?

                Is that what this is about? Are you saying there shouldn’t have been a trial because you don’t like the media suggesting that it’s about racism?

                No, I’m saying that the media blew up this story to push a racial narrative that fits their preconceptions.

                and

                That the evidence does not support an indictment and trial whether Wilson was a cop or non cop.*

                I agree in the abstract that a jury trial is the best way to demonstrated innocence in this case. However, with our fucked up criminal justice system, in reality trials are a form of punishment in and of themselves. And it is unconscionable to put a person through one just for kicks.

                1. So tell me if you think this scenario would require a trial, under our fucked up criminal justice system.

                  Person, let’s call him Ken, is driving home around midnight and sees a guy walking in the middle of the road after almost hitting him. Ken stops the car and has a verbal confrontation that results in his being punched in the face and an attempted car-jacking. Ken, like a good libertarian, is armed with a pistol and brandishes the weapon to end the attack. Except that instead if ending the attach the perp attempts to and almost succeeds in taking the gun away from Ken. After firing it, the perp moves away from Kens’ car and Ken loses sight of him. Ken gets out of the car and sees the perp tens of feet away, turn and charge at him. At which point Ken fires in self defence and kills the guy.

                  Eyewitnesses and forensic evidence supports that narrative. So I would say that Ken should not be indicted and face trial.

                  1. In some states, when Ken got out of the car, he just became a murderer. Duty to flee.

                    I don’t agree, but that’s how the law works.

                  2. At which point Ken fires in self defence and kills the guy.

                    You’re begging the question there. Whether the cop was acting in self-defense is the point that’s in dispute.

          2. “The fact that the prosecutor didn’t railroad him indicates an unethical level of collusion between the police force and the prosecutor’s office.”

            this seems to be rather popular.

        2. “The prosecutor has an ethical duty to provide the grand jury with exculpatory evidence that he has.”

          During a grand jury hearing?

          Grand juries used to be about private citizens bring suit themselves. It was just meant to discourage frivolous claims. There’s no defense present.

          I don’t even think it’s under the jurisdiction of a court unless there’s an indictment. Doesn’t the sharing of information you’re talking about happen during the discovery phase? And doesn’t that only happen if and after there’s an indictment?

          Why share information with the defense if the defense isn’t indicted?

          1. In CA yes.

            Why share information with the defense if the defense isn’t indicted

            Because the prosecutor is supposed to see that justice is done and not just rack up victories.

            Which is more theoretical than reality, but you and others are acting like that’s just fine so long as it is one of your enemies that is getting screwed.

            1. No, we think the system should work the same for cops and non-cops.

              A non-cop would have never gotten the same level of deference/protection from the DA’s office in a million years.

              1. +1

                If you shoot a burglar coming in through your front door, you better hope his body falls forward and inside your house.

                Because if it doesn’t, the prosecutor is going to use it against you–when you are prosecuted.

                Shooting someone unarmed who’s walking in the street?

                I’d be lucky if they set a reasonable bail!

            2. The grand jury phase is not about determining guilt or innocence. It’s about making sure there’s enough evidence to justify a trial.

        3. the proscutor should have railroaded him, like he does other defendants

          To me it looks like, “of course you didn’t railroad a cop like you would have if he were just a lowly serf. The cop obviously got special treatment.”

        4. More like “The problem is that cops get special treatment. As a start to changing this, Wilson should have been treated like any other defendant. If this means railroading him, then so be it.”

          But what actually happened was even worse than just refraining from the usual ham-sandwich indictment. It was a whitewash. Maybe it was a whitewash of an innocent man, but still a whitewash. Sort of the opposite number of lynching someone who is guilty as sin, rather than giving him a proper trial.

        5. The prosecutor has an ethical duty to provide the grand jury with exculpatory evidence that he has.

          Not true. Not even close. The prosecutor can present whatever subset of evidence he wants to the GJ.

  8. Somewhat OT: Austin Police Department attacked by shooter.

    Be interesting to here more details on this one.

    1. I somehow doubt that guy was serious about trying to kill people. Shooting at the outside of buildings at 2:22 am?

      1. It’s near Sixth street, and 2 AM is when the bars let out. Local news accounts from people near him make for interesting reading. The link has a youtube phone video of the guy blasting away, with what sounds like an AK, at least to my layperson ears.

        1. Apparently he shot at two US government buildings, a bank, and the Mexican consulate.

  9. If the world was made out of pudding…

    1. The smell of rot would be unbearable until it dried out a bit.

  10. Yet this seems like a situation where only one outcome was acceptable…

    Unfortunately, this also seems to be fully applying the other way.

    Let me ask a simple question: Is there any outcome in this case other than Wilson going to prison (and probably getting killed there) that would be acceptable to the critics? If the prosecutor hadn’t brought the case, I’d perfectly understand why one would have a problem. But, he did. So, let’s say he pushed harder and won and indictment. Would a jury trial acquitting Wilson be evidence that the prosecutor didn’t try hard enough at trial? Wilson faced a multi-racial grand jury. They seemed to have been informed of the evidentiary standard for an indictment. They decided that standard wasn’t met.

    1. Couldn’t they just tell people that he’d gone to prison? I’m all for subterfuge if it’ll placate a mob.

  11. You must find probable cause to believe that [Wilson] committed the offense that you’re considering, and you must find probable cause to believe that he did not act in lawful self-defense [and] that he did not use lawful force in making the arrest.

    Leaving aside the fact that it’s highly unusual for prosecutors to present both sides of the story to a grand jury rather than just the incriminating evidence, the whole process I think would give one probable cause to believe there’s a whole lot of shit-shoveling going on.

    The idea that the cop should not go to trial because there’s no good evidence that he just flat decided to kill somebody today and that he really was involved in some sort of altercation with Brown depends in part in having some faith in everybody involved not being a lying weasel. I lack that faith; I suspect that if I were on a normal jury I could never be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the accused committed the crime rather than being the subject of an elaborate conspiracy to frame him.

    If you’re familiar with the Todd Willingham case, if you know who Steven Hayne is, if you know of the problems with the Texas and Massachusetts and New York state crime labs, if you know the story of the 276-for-276 true bills being returned in a single 4-hour grand jury session, if you look at the careers of people like Eliot Spitzer and Janet Reno, it’s hard to have any faith in the system at all.

    1. True, forensic labs are biased in many cases also.They need to be independent of police and D.A’s

  12. He was a black man on pot,and,unlike white lazy pot heads,it makes him violent! Maybe the shoot was justified,I do not know.But,it looks like the fix was in in the grand jury due to the D.A’s acting like the defense with no opposing attorney. All police shooting need to be tried by a independent party.

    1. And if you can arrest for a banana or kill a young boy for a toy gun in seconds of getting there ,this man could have faced trial.

    2. He was a black man on pot,and,unlike white lazy pot heads,it makes him violent!

      Different people react to drugs differently. See also: Hashashin.

      1. You means the guys who were called that as an insult to their class, and largely did not smoke hashish, despite the claims of sensationalist medieval scholars? But if we’re taking Marco Polo’s second hand account of stories seriously then we seriously have to look for those people with face-chests and no heads in Asia.

  13. Krugabe: consistent as ever.

    My guess, however, is that ideology is only part of the story ? or, more accurately, it’s a symptom of the underlying cause of the divide: rising inequality.

    The basic story of political polarization over the past few decades is that, as a wealthy minority has pulled away economically from the rest of the country, it has pulled one major party along with it. True, Democrats often cater to the interests of the 1 percent, but Republicans always do. Any policy that benefits lower- and middle-income Americans at the expense of the elite ? like health reform, which guarantees insurance to all and pays for that guarantee in part with taxes on higher incomes ? will face bitter Republican opposition.

    Republikkkans are teh evul.

    Also, I like how Krugabe and his pals blithely gloss over any distinctions between the marginal gains available from environmental regulation in 1970 versus today.

    1. I have no use for republicans or democrats.

      even smaller use for Krugman. Talk about a guy who has prostituted his intellect and spent any credibility he ever had.

    2. “Any policy that benefits lower- and middle-income Americans at the expense of the elite ? like health reform, which guarantees insurance to all”

      If he didn’t outright lie, it would help his argument.
      Or, he’s one of the ignorant voters Gruber had in mind.
      Or both…

  14. I had planned to post this in the Lynx, but they appear to be absent 🙁

    Return of the shameless Self-promotion!

    Shadowdemon has been officially released!

    Also, a sale should soon kick in for the eBook version of Shadowboy

    /end shameless self promotion, Black Friday Edition.

    1. Just bought it. Looking forward to reading it. It better not suck! 😉

      1. I’ve had a variety of reactions. But since I’ve had people claim that the same fight scene was too long when others said it was too short, I have no idea beyond my own impressions of “I’m not going to be embarassed to be associated with this”.

  15. I neeeeed a.m. linx to post irrelevant claptrap, dammit!

    1. Wasn;t Irrelevant Claptrap a character from Borderlands?

      1. I ain’t that kinda nerd, so that shit went sailing right over my head.

      2. I think that was Irreverent Claptrap.

        1. Easy there, minion!

    1. Those saber-quillons strike me as a really, really bad idea.

      And I lost the 50-50 on who in that scene was going to light up a red saber.

      1. (I’d expected someone mostly hidden in the forest to do it rather than the foreground figure)

      2. There may be an explanation given for it in the movie, but I’m not a big fan either. In any case, it’s a pretty minor detail. Hard to tell how it will be at this point.

    2. Looks like they might be rehabilitating the image of the stormtroopers. I like that. My expectations are a little bit higher now, although the shitshow that was Episode 1-3 still leaves me wary.

      1. At least George Lucas is not the writer

        1. Hopefully he isn’t involved in any way. What was the name of the producer on the original series who basically shot down all of Lucas’s shittastic ideas and made the films watchable?

          1. Well, he isn’t the director either.

            Gary Kurtz?

          2. I wonder if it was Gary Kurtz or John Barry?

            I don’t have high expectations for this one, so I’ll be pleased if it’s halfway watchable.

            1. I think it was Kurtz. Plinkett talks about it in his reviews (linked by Kristen). Highly recommend watching those, by the way. They are hilarious.

    1. Welp. Now I can’t wait to see what Amazon recommends me on the home page.

      1. There is an option to edit your viewing history that I use after links like this so that I don’t get blindsided by recommendations.

    2. Love the Q&A and comments:)

      1. George Takei’s review of it is hilarious. Thanks for the link.

    3. Three star review by George Takei.

    4. I was going to ask how you happened to stumble across this? but I’m not really sure I wanna know?

      1. It was one of those clickbait “top 10” things

    5. Yay! I love reading the reviews on funny amazon products and this looks like a good one. Thanks

      1. “As UPS discretely unloaded my 55 gallon drum, the driver accidentally spilled it into my driveway. Any amount of cars can now fit into the garage.”

    1. And the article image shows Putin with a Kalashnikov which is really hard to conceal…

      1. Not if you still have a pair of JNCO jeans lying around.

  16. I neeeeed a.m. linx to post irrelevant claptrap, dammit!

    Not sure if serious.

  17. “With several eyewitnesses testifying that Brown did not pose a threat and appeared to be surrendering when Wilson shot him to death in the street, it seems to me there is enough evidence for probable cause on all these points,”

    Evidently, those eyewitnesses were non-credible (and shortly contradicted by physical evidence) to such an extent even at the time, that the prosecutor and the grand jury disagreed.

    1. Johnson has a past conviction for LYING TO POLICE and is obviously full of shit

      some of the other claimed that Brown was surrendering and no threat upon further investigation it later turned out we’re not even present at the scene and we’re just repeating what others had told them

      of course the jury is going to give more credibility to a witness who is a police officer then a witness who is a scum bag with the prior conviction for lying to police and furthermore the physical evidence supports Ofc. Wilson’s narrative

      The gunshot wounds to Brown are not consistent with him having his hands in the air and also not consistent with him having been shot in the back which Johnson and some others claimed happened before

      As in the overwhelming majority of cases of alleged police brutality where people jump to conclusions the more and more evidence that comes out and the more that witnesses can be vetted and cross examined etc. the more often it turns out that the officers story was the correct one

      Are the exceptions and do some officers getting bad shootings? of course

      We have a recent shooting in Cleveland that appears pretty persuasively to be blatantly unjustified and a truly horrible shooting and we have Ferguson where it’s almost certain it was completely justified

      And yet we have assjackets committing millions of dollars in damage and even an actual murder in Ferguson to protest a justified shooting

  18. So the Judge did not give expicit instructions to the grand jurors as to their tasks as he is required to do so? Well then that’s on the Judge and he should be disbarred. Wait what? You don’t know that because you weren’t there? You’re just making shit up like everyone else because you didn’t get your way then?

  19. You don’t know that because you weren’t there?

    I believe the full transcripts have been made available.

    1. Great. Then it should be pretty easy to show that the Grand Jurors didn’t receive instructions as to why they were there and a new Grand Jury can be convened.

  20. “If McCulloch believed Wilson was innocent, why would he let the grand jurors decide whether charges should be brought?”

    Feigning na?vet? or you really can’t figure that out?

  21. Leilafair . you think Allen `s comment is astonishing, on friday I bought a gorgeous Aston Martin DB5 when I got my cheque for $8527 this past month and just over ten grand this past-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the most-financialy rewarding I have ever had . I began this 8-months ago and practically straight away began to earn at least $72, per hour .
    Published here ????????? http://www.jobsfish.com ??????????

  22. I found this about grand juries from a 1906 treatise:

    “If the grand jurors are not satisfied with the evidence presented by such witnesses as they have heard, they may ask that additional testimony be submitted to them.”

    http://www.constitution.org/gje/gj_03.htm

    IMHO, grand jurors ought to do this more often.

  23. “The very purpose of the requirement that a man be indicted by grand jury is to limit his jeopardy to offenses charged by *a group of his fellow citizens acting independently of either prosecuting attorney or judge*.” [emphasis added]

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/sup…..xt/361/212

  24. “And in this country as in England of old the grand jury has convened as a body of laymen, free from technical rules, acting in secret, pledged to indict no one because of prejudice and to free no one because of special favor.”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/sup…..xt/350/359

  25. With several eyewitnesses testifying that Brown did not pose a threat and appeared to be surrendering…

    Several witnesses testified the exact opposite, but that screws up Sullum’s narrative.

    it seems to me there is enough evidence for probable cause on all these points,

    But you ignore the most critical evidence; Brown had just robbed a store. Pack journalism (including Reason) has reported that officer Wilson had no knowledge of the very recent robbery. Umm, Michael Brown knew he’d just robbed a store!

    The deals with what was happening when Wilson fired. Was Brown charging Wilson, which would be self-defense …. and why would Brown attack an armed cop?

    Brown KNEW he had just committed a robbery!!! Then a cop approaches Brown. Is it REALLY unreasonable for Brown to believe he would be arrested for the robbery? Might THAT prompt him to charge Wilson? duh

    Brown weighed an estimated 300 pounds, which I cannot find that Reason ever reported.

    Sullum claims the Grand Jury didn’t know their function, and supports it by citing quotes showing the exact opposite!

    This case is almost as wacky as the Trayvon Martin incident — where Zimmerman kept smashing his own head into the cement and punching himself in the face (breaking his own nose).

    On the undisputed facts (the robbery) there can be no probable cause for an indictment … once we learn ALL the eyewitness testimony.

    1. This is excellent analysis and FBI LEJ articles have made this point

      Many officer deaths and assaults etc are situations where an Ofc. makes a stop of a person who unbeknownst to him has just committed a violent crime like armed robbery or murder or something like that and while the officer doesn’t know it so he is not approaching the issue from a felony stop perspective with their gun out etc. the suspect thinks he is going to be discovered to have just committed that crime and ends up shooting the officer. this is actually seen in a substantial numbers of police shootings since officers are not using the justified officer safety tactics that they would use when making a felony stop of a violent crime suspect

      We don’t just walk upno back up and our hands at our sides and ask a robbery suspect questions. we draw our gun try to have it set up so we have cover and back up and that’s how we arrest robbery suspects which is one of the reasons why our job is relatively safe and we have to shoot people relatively infrequently because we are able to use proper officer safety tactics with the proper knowledge

      Some agencies even equipofficers with ballistic shields that they will use to clear cars etc. on felony stops and make them even more safe and I have been on literally over 100 felony stops and in not of them was an officer shot or suspect shot and that’s why officer safety is not some silly mantra but it is a science and it works to protect suspects as well as officers

      1. “our job is relatively safe”

        OK, keep this quote on file.

        1. I suppose the main difference between dunphy’s “relatively safe” job and the job of a convenience-store clerk is that, if the clerk is killed by a crook in the line of duty, the shopkeepers’ association won’t give him a huge funeral motorcade and a gang of bagpipers at his burial.

          1. Are you equally incensed by when soldiers support their fallen comrades?
            Should Memorial Day be banned?

  26. The previous post is excellent and reason always like to claim all sorts of alleged double standards and/or racism when it comes the cops but let’s talk about a real easily verifiable double standard

    It’s as simple as this when an officer is shot and/or shot and killed by a suspect unless the suspect is it large and dust needs to be captured etc. the press will almost never mention the race of the shooter or the officer and there will obviously not be racial protests about the officer being shot

    Since I’m all about proof and evidence look at shootings just in my local area deputy Steve Cox a white deputy and former prosecutor is shot and killed by a black male and you can read article after article and no mention is made of either party’s race

    In a case very similar to Ferguson white deputy Richard Herzog gets into an altercation with an unarmed black male who is naked and reportedly jumping around and acting crazy in the middle of a busy street. As in the Ferguson case the suspect tries to get the deputies gun but unlike the Ferguson case he is successful and he is shot both in the back and numerous times in the head as the suspect stands over him and empties the deputy’s gun while he’s lying prone execution style

    1. Again Dep Herzog’s case and Ofc. Wilson’s are very similar because they involve white LEOs unarmed black man and an attempt to get the officers gone but the primary difference is one suspect is successful and the other suspect is not

      Another local case Des Moines’s PD officer Underwood is shot and killed and he is white the suspect is black and no mention is made of either party’s race

      Now in Pierce County four Lakewood police officers are shot and killed by a suspect and the race of the suspect is mentioned because he runs off and is at-large and is the subject of one of the largest manhunt in Washington State history so of course his race is relevant and is mentioned because he needs to be found and in fact pictures are showing them

      This is the exception where the press will release a cop shooters race when they’re at large and of course that’s understandable but otherwise they will continue to employ the double standard

      1. Another local case recently and Mandura been many local cases of cops being shot in my area recently Seattle police officer is sitting in his police car going over training with his recruit and a suspect pulls up next to the car executes him and drives off the officer is white the suspect is black and At large

        Even though the suspect was at-large from what I remember there wasn’t even much mention of his race and the second officer in the car survived did Off a couple rounds at him

        But again the key cases to look at our ones where the suspect was not at large since obviously an at-large suspect maybe described and by the race for totally different reasons

        So in the Underwood, Herzog and Cox cases all white officers shot by black males you will find article after article with no mention of race because the press only deem it relevant when a white officer shoots a black suspect and not the other way around

        THAT is a double standard and racially ridiculous

        1. Another case involves a deputy from the same department as Herzog and Cox

          This deputy encounters a armed male who it later was determined was high on crack that morning in possessions of a stolen handgun and points the handgun at the deputy that Deputy Mel Miller returns fire and kills the man and it becomes a huge racial issue and of course they report that the man was black and a deputy was white

          The man’s families lawyer makes it into a huge racial incident there is all sorts of protesting and the family’s attorney even tries to force the deputies wife to submit a list of all her black friends to see if she somehow can be painted as racist

          This is the double standard that the prwss employs and mostly does it nationwide that white cops shoot minority mini the race will be mentioned and it will be deemed relevant, black male shoots cop, the race will not be mentioned and it will not be deemed relevant

    2. “our job is relatively safe”

      dunphy quote of the year!

  27. This case proved something that most free-thinking individuals have known for quite some time: the Left has not only become increasingly authoritarian; it has also fully adopted the Bush doctrine of “you’re either with me or against me”.

    Seriously, just look at social media. Look at Twitter. Look at Tumblr. Look at all the proles who think that they’re making a lick of difference in the world by retweeting and reblogging and hashtagging. They honestly think that this is the greatest injustice America has ever faced. But mention the Big O’s drone strikes (which have killed hundreds of children), or the countless other cases where police brutality was the real issue, and they don’t bat an eye.

    No one cares about police brutality or police militarization. They only pretend to care because the media has fed them this race-based narrative which, unlike the thousands of other cases of police misconduct per year, has nothing to do with bad behavior on the part of the cop. And yet, the people actually think that they’re awake. It’s remarkable. They think that they’ve honestly seen the worst that their government has to offer them.

    Seriously, though. Stay away from Tumblr. Up until a week ago, I hadn’t even visited that site before. Now, I deeply regret even looking at it. Is one of the qualifications to join to be a clueless liberal?

    1. “No one cares about police brutality or police militarization. They only pretend to care because the media has fed them this race-based narrative which, unlike the thousands of other cases of police misconduct per year, has nothing to do with bad behavior on the part of the cop.”

      Not going to go as far as cop for sure didn’t do anything wrong but your point is dead on. This is not the example to be held up to the American people as the case for reform (maybe that’s why it is). And there are thousands of examples that could be. Who is honestly going to believe that a cop who has been patrolling a black neighborhood for 6 years decides to randomly assassinate the only black resident of that community on video committing a felony and acting like an agressive bully ten minutes before the incident. Wilson may not have known about the robbery but there was nothing random about that days events.

    2. ProLifeLibertarian|11.28.14 @ 1:09PM|#

      This case proved something that most free-thinking individuals have known for quite some time: the Left has not only become increasingly authoritarian; it has also fully adopted the Bush doctrine of “you’re either with me or against me”.

      How does that differ from extreme pro-lifers? Or those opposing gay equality?

      We call it “tribalism,” when my team is morally perfect, but the opposing team are all engaged in lies, stupidity and assorted conspiracies. Ad hominem attacks versus reason. America is through. Time to start learning Chinese.

      Now, I deeply regret even looking at it. Is one of the qualifications to join to be a clueless liberal?

      You’re scary.

  28. Here is an article on the Ferguson like shooting of dep Herzog and of course since he was shot by a black male and not the other way around race is not mentioned.

    http://community.seattletimes……deputy23m0

  29. Darren Wilson didn’t kill Michael Brown. The Ferguson PD didn’t kill Michael Brown.

    Capitalism killed Michael Brown.

    Just think about it. Had that store not existed, he wouldn’t be dead. Had that store been government-operated, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It’s the free market which killed him.

    1. Don’t forget the swisher sweets marketing that brainwashed him into stealing them.

  30. Lastly for those who claim the cops are racist and this can be shown by their pattern of shootings fax show otherwise

    Black malesmake up approximately 6% of the US population and black males in the age group most likely to be shot are of course a smaller percentage

    According to the national crime victimization survey by the Department of Justice where crime victims Report on many factors including the apparent race of the offender when we look at part one crimes like robbery attempted murder etc. at Cetera the victims of crime identify the perpetrator as black males about 40% of the time

    According to the FBI Law Enforcement Journal and also Heather MacDonald’s ‘Are Cops Racist’ about 40% a time that officers are shot in the line of duty the suspect is a black male

    And lastly about 40% of the people shot by police are black males

    Source of that is the FBI LEJ and again Heather McDonald

    1. These disparities run across the board for example it was shown that out of about 1200 police shootings less than 5% we’re done by females of any race and not surprisingly of the people police shoot less than 5% were females

      You can see similar correlations an age where elderly people are much less likely to be shot by police and much less likely to shoot police and pretty much any other demographic that has been recorded and you can study

      Cops shoot Japanese-Americans far less often than their percentage in the population which is again not surprising since that group according to Thomas Sowell and many other sources Are less likely to commit crime than almost any demographic

      Sociologist and criminologist have shown that the best predictive factor for a person to get involved in crime to be imprisoned later in life etc. etc. are if they are male and if they were born out of wedlock and into a fatherless household and of course we’re not talking about lesbians and stuff like that were talking about classic broken families

      1. I have little doubt it if somebody did a study of the victims of police shootings and check to see what percentage were coming from out of wedlock births and fatherless homes you would see a similar disparity in police shootings that you see in offender rates

        It’s not race that make people more likely to commit crime if you factor out poverty issues and out of wedlock births issues etc.

        Black males from non-broken homes etc. are much less likely to be offenders and shot by police and white males from out of wedlock births etc. are more likely than other

  31. Criminal law seems bizarre to me in a great many ways. You’d never come up with anything like it if you were starting from scratch, or if you wanted to handle disputes or discipline within your family, business, or club.

  32. Did I invent a memory of video footage of what occurred just prior to the shooting? Video in which Wilson orders the men out of the road, starts to drive away, and then backs up? Because I can visualize it and have a recollection of being shocked by how simply he rude he was when ordering them out of the street. But I can find no such video now. And logically, why would anyone have taken it in the first place?

    1. I have not seen that, or even a mention of it.

      1. Thanks. It seems like, if I were to dream up video it would be something more helpful. I can’t account for my own mind.

  33. The problem, Mr. Sullum, is that the testimony you cite as providing “probable cause” was FTMP contradicted by the physical and forensic evidence – which is why the GJ ignored it, and lent credence to the testimony that supported a determination of self-defense. A determination supported by that physical and forensic evidence.

    You need to fold, you’re playing a loosing hand.

  34. What lies. There is no evidence that Brown was trying to surrender when he was shot. The witnesses who did not lie said Brown was charging Wilson. It is clear here that libertarians are desperate to defend Brown’s robbery and marijuana smoking because both reflect on his attack on Wilson. Your witnesses who said Brown was trying to surrender also claimed that he was shot in the back, some say once, Darian Johnson, the co-conspirator with Brown in the racist robbery of an Asian shop keeper, and other witnesses who said Wilson emptied an entire magazine in Brown’s back. Really, libertarians will believe any lie said in defense of a marijuana user.

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