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11am korean time- Michael Brown verdict due
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Lucas



Joined: 11 Sep 2012

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:38 pm    Post subject: 11am korean time- Michael Brown verdict due Reply with quote

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30185686

It'll be not guilty for the police officer. Then more riots...
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leicsmac



Joined: 07 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And not guilty it is.

Massive double win for the white supremacist crowd. 'Their' man (white authority figure) got off, and when the inevitable unrest over this verdict occurs they can point all the fingers they like and say, "See? I told you they were animals..."

Depressing times.
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catman



Joined: 18 Jul 2004

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to reviewing the evidence and making up my own mind.
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Sector7G



Joined: 24 May 2008

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leicsmac wrote:
And not guilty it is.
Not trying to split hairs here, but a Grand jury does not decide guilt or innocence. It decides whether there is probable cause to bring criminal charges. In this case they decided there was not probable cause. In the press conference the prosecutor laid out the physical evidence and witness testimony that was presented, including " inconsistent and changing statements from witnesses". I found it pretty convincing that they made the right decision.

leicsmac wrote:

Massive double win for the white supremacist crowd. 'Their' man (white authority figure) got off, and when the inevitable unrest over this verdict occurs they can point all the fingers they like and say, "See? I told you they were animals..."

Depressing times.
Sure, that is one way to frame it. But who cares what they think? You really think the Grand Jury worried about how white supremacists would view their decision?
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't had much to say about this case, and I don't want to say too much about it, but something is on my mind here. I happened across this article today, in which they try to explain (I use the word loosely) why Officer Wilson wasn't indicted. Needless to say, the possibility that he wasn't indicted because based on the evidence there was no reason to indict him wasn't seriously considered; the man has clearly been convicted in the minds of many people, and nothing that can be said or done will ever change that, an inevitable and lamentable effect of "trial by media." Instead of that, we get suggestions like this:

Quote:
The prosecutor's tactics made a charge less likely

McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor, had a lot of discretion when it came to how to handle this case, and he used it in ways that experts said could have made an indictment less likely.



Instead of telling the grand jury what charges Wilson should face and letting the jurors hear from a detective or a couple of main witnesses, McCulloch chose to present them with every single piece of available evidence and hear every single witness — "every scrap of evidence," as he put it — and let them decide for themselves.

Alex Little, a former federal prosecutor who spent six years trying violent crimes, including homicides, told Vox's Amanda Taub in August that the strategy raised concerns about McCulloch's commitment to seeking justice in the case:


Quote:
So when a District Attorney says, in effect, "we'll present the evidence and let the grand jury decide," that's malarkey. If he takes that approach, then he's already decided to abdicate his role in the process as an advocate for justice. At that point, there's no longer a prosecutor in the room guiding the grand jurors, and — more importantly — no state official acting on behalf of the victim, Michael Brown...

Then, when you add to the mix that minorities are notoriously underrepresented on grand juries, you have the potential for nullification — of a grand jury declining to bring charges even when there is sufficient probable cause. That's the real danger to this approach. Kevin Curran, president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, told Vox that the choice to use this tactic instead of presenting "an advocate's case" — which McCulloch could have done by arguing for one ore more specific charges against Wilson using a few key witness statements — made an indictment much less likely.


And the sheer volume of evidence they heard made it more likely that they'd be left to grapple with the type of conflicting statements that could lead them to conclude that there was not probable cause that a crime had occurred, Curran said.

In an interview Vox's Amanda Taub conducted with David Rudovsky, an expert in police prosecutions, he explained that various stages of the criminal justice process — from being investigated by police peers, to being prosecuted by attorneys who work closely with police, to natural jury bias toward law enforcement — makes it rather rare for cops to go to jail for misconduct on the job. This plays out not just in Ferguson, but across the nation.


I've heard it lamented more than once that it's far too easy for a prosecutor to get an indictment out of a grand jury, even when it isn't warranted. I would say those criticisms are just: the entire point of requiring the grand jury to handle the matter is to insulate the justice process from the state's arbitrary discretion. I've no doubt that many of the people lamenting this result would agree that prosecutors can and do behave in an overly zealous fashion, especially since those on the receiving end of that zeal are not uncommonly Black. The idea that the prosecutor allowing too much evidence during the procedings, or that the prosecutor not strong-arming a particular desired result is wrong seems questionable to me, and I suspect it's only being pushed because people don't like the result to which it led.


Last edited by Fox on Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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leicsmac



Joined: 07 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sector7G wrote:
Not trying to split hairs here, but a Grand jury does not decide guilt or innocence. It decides whether there is probable cause to bring criminal charges. In this case they decided there was not probable cause. In the press conference the prosecutor laid out the physical evidence and witness testimony that was presented, including " inconsistent and changing statements from witnesses". I found it pretty convincing that they made the right decision.


I'm not American, but I've read enough legal thrillers to get an idea of what a grand jury does. Razz I was just paraphrasing Lucas above me when I said that.

Sector7G wrote:
Sure, that is one way to frame it. But who cares what they think? You really think the Grand Jury worried about how white supremacists would view their decision?


I'm of the opinion that I don't know enough about the particulars of the case to make a judgement on the grand jurys decision either way. I'm just pointing out how the result, legally or morally right or wrong, WILL be used to further fuel racial divide in the (particularly Southern) US, which is a shame, and is being picked up by white supremacists as a massive political football thrown into the end zone (pardon the metaphor).

It's happening already, if you check the feed of several right-wing correspondents (Coulter, Nugent et al) on Twitter.
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leicsmac



Joined: 07 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:


I've heard it lamented more than once that it's far too easy for a prosecutor to get an indictment out of a grand jury, even when it isn't warranted. I would say those criticisms are just: the entire point of requiring the grand jury to handle the matter is to insulate the justice process from the state's arbitrary discretion. I've no doubt that many of the people lamenting this result would agree that prosecutors can and do behave in an overly zealous fashion, especially since those on the receiving end of that zeal are not uncommonly Black. The idea that the prosecutor allowing too much evidence during the procedings, or that the prosecutor not strong-arming a particular desired result is wrong seems questionable to me, and I suspect it's only being pushed because people don't like the result to which it led.


This is a good point. From what I can tell, prosecutors are very very good at getting unwarranted indictments out of grand juries by persuasion and zeal. I was actually discussing this matter with a friend the other day and they mentioned that in this particular case it had been observed that the prosecutor had adopted a very "hands off" approach to this case, allowing the grand jury to consider the evidence in its own way rather than pushing for an indictment in the usual fashion. His motives for doing so are his own.

Regardless of the outcome of this case, I would definitely (and I think this is what you were getting at here, Fox) like to see more cases in the American criminal system where prosecutors allow a grand jury this kind of leeway rather than shoehorning them into a cheap indictment.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
I haven't had much to say about this case, and I don't want to say too much about it, but something is on my mind here. I happened across this article today, in which they try to explain (I use the word loosely) why Officer Wilson wasn't indicted. Needless to say, the possibility that he wasn't indicted because based on the evidence there was no reason to indict him wasn't seriously considered; the man has clearly been convicted in the minds of many people, and nothing that can be said or done will ever change that, an inevitable and lamentable effect of "trial by media." Instead of that, we get suggestions like this:

Quote:
The prosecutor's tactics made a charge less likely

McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor, had a lot of discretion when it came to how to handle this case, and he used it in ways that experts said could have made an indictment less likely.



Instead of telling the grand jury what charges Wilson should face and letting the jurors hear from a detective or a couple of main witnesses, McCulloch chose to present them with every single piece of available evidence and hear every single witness — "every scrap of evidence," as he put it — and let them decide for themselves.

Alex Little, a former federal prosecutor who spent six years trying violent crimes, including homicides, told Vox's Amanda Taub in August that the strategy raised concerns about McCulloch's commitment to seeking justice in the case:


Quote:
So when a District Attorney says, in effect, "we'll present the evidence and let the grand jury decide," that's malarkey. If he takes that approach, then he's already decided to abdicate his role in the process as an advocate for justice. At that point, there's no longer a prosecutor in the room guiding the grand jurors, and — more importantly — no state official acting on behalf of the victim, Michael Brown...

Then, when you add to the mix that minorities are notoriously underrepresented on grand juries, you have the potential for nullification — of a grand jury declining to bring charges even when there is sufficient probable cause. That's the real danger to this approach. Kevin Curran, president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, told Vox that the choice to use this tactic instead of presenting "an advocate's case" — which McCulloch could have done by arguing for one ore more specific charges against Wilson using a few key witness statements — made an indictment much less likely.


And the sheer volume of evidence they heard made it more likely that they'd be left to grapple with the type of conflicting statements that could lead them to conclude that there was not probable cause that a crime had occurred, Curran said.

In an interview Vox's Amanda Taub conducted with David Rudovsky, an expert in police prosecutions, he explained that various stages of the criminal justice process — from being investigated by police peers, to being prosecuted by attorneys who work closely with police, to natural jury bias toward law enforcement — makes it rather rare for cops to go to jail for misconduct on the job. This plays out not just in Ferguson, but across the nation.


I've heard it lamented more than once that it's far too easy for a prosecutor to get an indictment out of a grand jury, even when it isn't warranted. I would say those criticisms are just: the entire point of requiring the grand jury to handle the matter is to insulate the justice process from the state's arbitrary discretion. I've no doubt that many of the people lamenting this result would agree that prosecutors can and do behave in an overly zealous fashion, especially since those on the receiving end of that zeal are not uncommonly Black. The idea that the prosecutor allowing too much evidence during the procedings, or that the prosecutor not strong-arming a particular desired result is wrong seems questionable to me, and I suspect it's only being pushed because people don't like the result to which it led.


I do not want to comment directly on this case, as simply I do not know, and it is imminently unclear to me that anything in the media is a slamdunk as to whether an indictment is warranted or not. I do however think that it is unfortunate how police officers are treated differently in the grand jury process.

Quote:
Former New York state Chief Judge Sol Wachtler famously remarked that a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” The data suggests he was barely exaggerating: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them.

Wilson’s case was heard in state court, not federal, so the numbers aren’t directly comparable. Unlike in federal court, most states, including Missouri, allow prosecutors to bring charges via a preliminary hearing in front of a judge instead of through a grand jury indictment. That means many routine cases never go before a grand jury. Still, legal experts agree that, at any level, it is extremely rare for prosecutors to fail to win an indictment.

“If the prosecutor wants an indictment and doesn’t get one, something has gone horribly wrong,” said Andrew D. Leipold, a University of Illinois law professor who has written critically about grand juries. “It just doesn’t happen.”

Cases involving police shootings, however, appear to be an exception. As my colleague Reuben Fischer-Baum has written, we don’t have good data on officer-involved killings. But newspaper accounts suggest, grand juries frequently decline to indict law-enforcement officials. A recent Houston Chronicle investigation found that “police have been nearly immune from criminal charges in shootings” in Houston and other large cities in recent years. In Harris County, Texas, for example, grand juries haven’t indicted a Houston police officer since 2004; in Dallas, grand juries reviewed 81 shootings between 2008 and 2012 and returned just one indictment. Separate research by Bowling Green State University criminologist Philip Stinson has found that officers are rarely charged in on-duty killings, although it didn’t look at grand jury indictments specifically.


http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/ferguson-michael-brown-indictment-darren-wilson/
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leicsmac wrote:

Regardless of the outcome of this case, I would definitely (and I think this is what you were getting at here, Fox) like to see more cases in the American criminal system where prosecutors allow a grand jury this kind of leeway rather than shoehorning them into a cheap indictment.


Exactly.

Leon wrote:
I do however think that it is unfortunate how police officers are treated differently in the grand jury process.


It's challenging. If someone trusts the police system (and many people do), then they will be reflexively hesitant to believe that an officer unjustly shot someone unless they see solid evidence. This is part of why I recommended mandatory body cameras for on-duty police officers: to make sure that in cases of wrong-doing, the required evidence will be present (the other part being to serve as an active deterrent, of course). It looks like Michael Brown's parents agree:

Quote:
“We’re trying to make sure that this doesn’t happen to nobody else’s child so we’re pushing for the Michael Brown laws to have body cameras on all these police officers,” he said.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
leicsmac wrote:

Regardless of the outcome of this case, I would definitely (and I think this is what you were getting at here, Fox) like to see more cases in the American criminal system where prosecutors allow a grand jury this kind of leeway rather than shoehorning them into a cheap indictment.


Exactly.

Leon wrote:
I do however think that it is unfortunate how police officers are treated differently in the grand jury process.


It's challenging. If someone trusts the police system (and many people do), then they will be reflexively hesitant to believe that an officer unjustly shot someone unless they see solid evidence. This is part of why I recommended mandatory body cameras for on-duty police officers: to make sure that in cases of wrong-doing, the required evidence will be present (the other part being to serve as an active deterrent, of course). It looks like Michael Brown's parents agree:

Quote:
“We’re trying to make sure that this doesn’t happen to nobody else’s child so we’re pushing for the Michael Brown laws to have body cameras on all these police officers,” he said.


I agree with all of this.
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Died By Bear



Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Location: On the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honoring Michael Brown


All that death for some swisher sweets cigars. Man oh man.
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guavashake



Joined: 09 Nov 2013

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a comment to Yahoo News by a person named John...

To America at large,
I am a 20 year military veteran and a Law enforcement officer with over a Decade of experience. There's a principle of civility that must be adhered to by all involved in regards to Police and citizen interactions.
#1 I am a black and understand the mistrust minorities, and poor folks in general feel towards
the Gov't/Police.
#2 These feelings can have a healthy perspective if WE ALL take time to educate ourselves.

Yes, I have been mistreated by people who I felt were motivated by racial bias. Yes, I was angry, offended, and in some instances in my childhood deeply hurt. Yet, by the grace of God I fell in love with History. In studying it I learned that racism & discrimination has existed throughout mankind. From the Roman enslavement of the Jewish people, Vikings subjugation of Slavic peoples, & African tribes selling off their vanquished enemies to European Traders/Explorers. History is littered with atrocities.

A) Learning these facts it taught me that the best way to deal with racism in this present day is to call it to task in a civil manner (Martin Luther King, Gandhi come to mind)

B) Racism is based on ignorance & paranoia but at times so can the branding of someone a racist be based on ignorance & paranoia.

Black folks remember this, WHITE MEN DIED FOR YOUR FREEDOM! From John Brown to the common Union Soldier they gave their life for Black liberation PERIOD! So be respectful of that fact & be sure it is accurate to call someone a racist. Justifiably we despise prejudice when it is committed against us, White people justifiably are angered at being called a racist because they merely have a different political point of view, etc.

We have a Black President within 45 years of Jim Crow era America. Prior to that a White Conservative President had one of the Most diverse Cabinets in History, Hispanic Attorney General, A Black Secretary of State were some of the post filled by minorities under a Conservative President. Understanding history these facts confirm for me that America is trying very hard to battle ignorance & racism. Many Presidents worked hard to help minorities assimilate into American Society. Yes, there are plenty of Racist in America but as a rule the Country is headed in the right direction when it comes to race relations.

How do all citizens contribute to this positive trend. Get an education and study history to gain perspective and practice civility when interacting with each other. Now I am not saying turn the other cheek when being attacked. But when a cop pulls you over or a teacher reprimands a unruly student, etc conduct yourselves maturely & respectfully. So many folks challenge Authority at every turn & wonder why they end up worse for it. Teach your children to respect authority and the rule of law. It will keep them on the right side of society and most importantly alive!
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Chaparrastique



Joined: 01 Jan 2014

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they had released the testimony earlier the riots would not have happened.


How many protesters knew that Mr Brown had not only robbed a store but also attacked a police officer?
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Died By Bear



Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Location: On the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chaparrastique wrote:
If they had released the testimony earlier the riots would not have happened.


How many protesters knew that Mr Brown had not only robbed a store but also attacked a police officer?



Anyone that watched the news knew. The protesters just chose not to believe it, spread rumors and lies through social media.


This guy gets it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vDxgJq4toYo
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Sector7G



Joined: 24 May 2008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Died By Bear wrote:


Anyone that watched the news knew. The protesters just chose not to believe it, spread rumors and lies through social media.
Well, that's what I thought at first, but now I am not so sure. I said earlier that I found the prosecutor pretty convincing, but that was just getting one side. Since then the decision has been picked apart by a lot of different people, including some really good points made on this thread about the entire process.

That is why the adversarial system is so important and we just don't get that with the Grand Jury process, as others here have already suggested.
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