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Tue Nov 25, 2014, 03:32 AM

 

Why can't they convene a 2nd grand jury ?

I believe the governor could apply a special prosecutor... If he wanted to.

McCullough obviously wanted these results so he put on his own mini trial.

23 replies, 2182 views

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why can't they convene a 2nd grand jury ? (Original post)
Rhinodawg Nov 2014 OP
hollysmom Nov 2014 #1
delrem Nov 2014 #3
aint_no_life_nowhere Nov 2014 #2
Recursion Nov 2014 #4
davidn3600 Nov 2014 #5
justiceischeap Nov 2014 #6
badtoworse Nov 2014 #7
avebury Nov 2014 #9
badtoworse Nov 2014 #10
annabanana Nov 2014 #12
lovemydog Nov 2014 #13
badtoworse Nov 2014 #14
lovemydog Nov 2014 #15
badtoworse Nov 2014 #16
lovemydog Nov 2014 #18
KingCharlemagne Nov 2014 #23
avebury Nov 2014 #20
bettyellen Nov 2014 #21
avebury Nov 2014 #8
Lurks Often Nov 2014 #17
avebury Nov 2014 #19
TBF Nov 2014 #11
ctaylors6 Nov 2014 #22

Response to Rhinodawg (Original post)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 03:36 AM

1. I have been saying all night, that wilson should at least lose his gun rights - he

committed reckless endangerment of the whole neighborhood - didn't the prosecutor (and I use that word loosely) say that there were no witnesses because they were running for cover? Sounds to me like Wilson was shooting every which way

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 05:19 AM

3. He did a shitload of shooting before killing the unarmed boy. Yes, he did.

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Response to Rhinodawg (Original post)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 03:44 AM

2. I believe they can

Double jeopardy (being tried twice for the same offense) is prohibited by the 5th amendment. But jeopardy attaches when a regular jury is empaneled prior to trial. Jeopardy doesn't attach to a would be defendant when the grand jury fails to indict. I think if the governor wanted to appoint a special prosecutor, he could go before a grand jury all over again to seek an indictment or, better yet, seek a preliminary hearing regarding probable cause before a judge and avoid the grand jury altogether.

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Response to Rhinodawg (Original post)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 05:20 AM

4. He can AFAIK

A grand jury gets as many bites at the apple as a prosecutor wants.

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Response to Rhinodawg (Original post)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 05:27 AM

5. The feds can open a grand jury now

 

..but not for the murder since the federal government doesn't have jurisdiction.

A federal grand jury would have to limit their scope to civil rights violations.

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Response to Rhinodawg (Original post)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 07:46 AM

6. McCulloch could also choose to forgo the GJ decision

and charge Wilson if he wanted to. However, it was obvious from the outset that he didn't even want to convene a GJ on the matter. He'd made up his mind that it was a good shoot before even HE saw all evidence.

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Response to Rhinodawg (Original post)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 07:55 AM

7. If the first grand jury was presented ALL the facts . ...

 

...what reason is there to believe a second grand jury would reach a different conclusion given the same facts?

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 08:02 AM

9. It might help if you have a Prosecutor that

actually looked to indict and not serve as Wilson's personal attorney. It is amazing how all the witnesses whose testimony was unfavorable to Wilson were discounted and only those who supported Wilson were given credence by the Prosecutor. Given the Prosecutor's established record of refusing to indict police officers no matter what credible evidence against the cops this guy has no business being a prosecutor.

The Ferguson legal system reminds me of what you would expect to see in a banana republic dictatorship, not an American city.

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Response to avebury (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 09:11 AM

10. I didn't get that from the press conference

 

McCulloch pointed out that a number of witnesses changed their story after the results of the autopsy were made public. He also stated that in a number of cases, the witness's account just did not match the physical evidence. That is not discounting testimony you don't like; it's objectively looking at the facts. Should McCulloch have not presented facts that supported Wilson, so that an indictment was more likely?

As a practical matter, what McCulloch thought didn't matter. Only the twelve jurors got to vote and if they had all the facts, we should respect their decision.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 09:21 AM

12. What have you read about McCulloch up to this point?

From a petition drive earlier
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/appoint-a-special-prosecutor


McCulloch's decision not to charge officers who murdered two unarmed African-American men in 2000 by shooting into their car 20 times, especially in the face of the U.S. Attorney's independent investigation finding that those officers lied about their actions, gives us no confidence that his office can provide a fair and impartial investigation into this current matter. 


That failure, coupled with McCulloch's recent participation in one of the most racially polarizing elections in the history of St. Louis County, means that his office's continued oversight of this tragedy will only sow further distrust and discord in our community. 


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Response to badtoworse (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 09:21 AM

13. A prosecutor sways a grand jury, big-time.

As has been famously said 'any decent prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich.'

McCulloch made at least two highly unusual decisions prior to convening the grand jury. First, he did not advise any charge. Second, he presented 'all the evidence' rather than only the evidence that might lead to an indictment. In doing so, he essentially acted as Wilson's defense attorney.

I watched the press conference too. I saw a man who did not want any indictment, on any charge.

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Response to lovemydog (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 09:36 AM

14. "he presented 'all the evidence' rather than only the evidence that might lead to an indictment"

 

You seriously think that would have been fair? Sorry but that's BS in my book. A grand jury should get an objective, fair presentation of the facts and leaving out the stuff that supports the accused falls well short of that.

A couple of inaccuracies in your post. First, the grand jury had been convened well before the incident took place and second, five potential charges were given to the grand jury.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 09:52 AM

15. A grand jury hearing is not a trial.

Sorry about the first inaccuracy - my bad. Regarding the second one, I stand by it. It's highly unusual for a prosecutor to not recommend any charge to a grand jury. How many times in his professional history do you think this prosecutor has not recommended a charge, prior to this case? I'll guess zero.

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Response to lovemydog (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 10:09 AM

16. Given that the facts did not persuade the grand jury to indict on any charge,...

 

...I think it's likely that McCulloch saw it the same way and thus could not recommend any specific charge. I'm not a lawyer, much less a prosecutor, but it seems to me that district attorneys and county prosecutors would only take cases to a grand jury where they believed the facts would support an indictment. To do otherwise would be wasting the grand jury's time and that is why a return of no true bill is rare.

In this case, I believe it was such a high profile case that McCulloch believed that exercising his discretion not to present the case would have created the appearance that the county was not seeking justice for Brown. By presenting all of the facts, McCulloch took any personal biases he might have out of the decision making process and left it up to the twelve grand jurors. To me, that seems reasonable.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 10:19 AM

18. Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion.

I can see why you feel that way.

I lean more toward believing that McCulloch faced incredible pressure from the public (and as he repeated numerous times, the media) and felt he had to do something. And that he steered the grand jury toward no indictment because as a prosecutor he relies on police information, and would have been shut out of it if he had gone for an indictment. Maybe subconsciously, but prejudiced toward the police all the same. The evidence that supports my opinion is all the highly unusual steps he took in this case, things he does not do in any other case in which he actually acts solely as a prosecutor.

But, to each their own opinion. I enjoy discussing the case and appreciate your thoughts. Have a wonderful day badtoworse.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 01:50 PM

23. A Grand Jury's sole responsibility is to decide whether there is probable cause

 

that a crime was committed. There was enough evidence to constitute probable cause. It's the burden of the defense in a criminal trial to rebut state's evidence. In this Grand Jury, though, McCulloch did the defense's work for it. He presented evidence to the GJ that rebutted state's evidence.

What McCulloch did is not unprecedented but it is highly unorthodox. You refuse to acknowledge that which renders your post at best dissembling.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 01:37 PM

20. The Proseuctors that were on after his speech

were all saying that he delivered a Defense Attorney's speech not a Prosecutor's speech. They also pointed out that apparently all the witnesses that did not support Wilson's story were discounted and only those how supported Wilson's version were deemed credible.

I don't know if you realize it but this Prosecutor has always refused to prosecute andy cops. His past actions are on

But numerous local leaders have teamed up against McCulloch, a Democrat who has been prosecuting attorney of St. Louis County for 23 years. Many of them point to a 2000 incident in which McCulloch opted not to charge two undercover drug officers who shot and killed two unarmed black men.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/michael-brown-shooting/prosecutor-michael-brown-case-has-deep-family-ties-police-n183911

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/09/21/ferguson_and_fairfax_profiles_in_official_cowardice_124041.html

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/15/1321904/-Ferguson-police-beat-a-man-and-then-charged-him-with-destruction-of-property-for-bloody-uniforms#

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 01:42 PM

21. a single autopsy without pictures? 50+ witnesses disregarded?

 

WOW

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Response to Rhinodawg (Original post)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 07:58 AM

8. The Governor has already made it pretty clear that he

had no desire to seek justice for the Brown family. If he was not going to boot McCullough off the case and appoint a Special Prosecutor the first time around he most certainly will not do so now. I do not know if Missouri had term limits but the people need to make that he never wins an election again.

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Response to avebury (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 10:17 AM

17. The Governor has no authority to remove McCullough

 

whether he would have if he did have the authority is another question.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 01:03 PM

19. He did have the authority to appoint a Special Prosecutor, he faile

to do so.

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Response to Rhinodawg (Original post)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 09:20 AM

11. They can - but would you really

expect that full-of-himself prosecutor to do so? He was playing defense attorney on this one.

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Response to Rhinodawg (Original post)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 01:44 PM

22. I have question about the prosecutor(s)

I started to post this somewhere else but decided this thread may be better place. I've started reading the transcripts, and McCulloch isn't the one questioning the witnesses; two other people are - Ms. Whirley and Ms. Aliadeh.

After some googling, I found and read this article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-atypical-approach-grand-jury-in-ferguson-shooting-receives-full-measure-of-case/2014/09/07/1dec6ffe-339b-11e4-8f02-03c644b2d7d0_story.html

It says: "McCulloch declined to step aside, but he is not presenting evidence to the grand jury, which usually means he won’t try the case himself, Magee said. But he is supervising the two attorneys in his office — Sheila Whirley and Kathi Alizadeh — who are presenting to the grand jury."

The article is dated 9/7. Does anyone know if Whirley and Alizadeh presented all the evidence or if McCulloch stepped in at some point? I'm not saying it made difference to outcome, but it just surprised me that I hadn't heard about this before today.

Thanks!

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