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What´s A Grand Jury? How Will
It Work In The Ferguson Case?

St. Louis Public Radio, by William Freivogel

Original Article

Posted By:earlybird, 8/22/2014 5:10:03 PM

The purpose of a grand jury, in theory, is to protect citizens against unfair and unwarranted prosecutions by the government. In medieval England, it was viewed as a protection against the Crown. Colonists found the institution protected them against unfair English prosecutions and included the right to a grand jury in the Fifth Amendment. But in practice, the prosecutor who runs the grand jury has a great deal of influence in orchestrating the outcome. (Snip)The grand jury that was to begin hearing evidence in the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson is a St. Louis County

Comments:
Here we go. A complete tutorial on the grand jury - how it is selected and how it will work in the Ferguson case. Skip reading it and you may be found on threads asking dumb questions. Be forewarned...

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: oh-heck, 8/22/2014 5:25:13 PM     (No. 9976952)

There sure seems to be a desire to skip the grand jury, and the need for a trial and move straight to they lynching.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: zzzghy, 8/22/2014 5:50:12 PM     (No. 9976980)

This should probably be a must-read. You´re right, OP; posters are already popping off elsewhere with goofy remarks regarding the Ferguson Grand Jury because they don´t have the info contained in this article. Thanks for posting.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: horacer, 8/22/2014 6:27:56 PM     (No. 9977020)

I read it and I reserve the right to still ask dumb questions. It seems a little prejudice crept into the article. McCullough is just delaying justice. I guess that means the officer is guilty. Who needs a trial. If the Grand Jury doesn´t indict, ValJar will press the Governor to appoint a special persecutor.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Emerson, 8/22/2014 9:28:22 PM     (No. 9977178)

Re #3, no. If the Grand Jury failed to return an indictment the fed could decide to use a federal grand jury to seek an indictment on civil rights grounds.

Read the article.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: mitzi, 8/22/2014 9:34:42 PM     (No. 9977184)

About six years ago, I spent a month on a federal grand jury in NY ... interesting experience.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: horacer, 8/22/2014 9:52:44 PM     (No. 9977203)

I did read the article #4, it´s easier for the Governor to appoint a special prosecutor. See George Zimmerman.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Emerson, 8/23/2014 12:00:31 AM     (No. 9977280)

In Zimmerman, the local authorities were swept out. The police chief, Bill Lee, and the local state attorney, Norm Wolfinger, both of whom wanted to get to the facts, were caused to leave. Although Wolfinger had convened the grand jury, the new special prosecutor (state attorney Angela Corey) dismissed them. They never got past square 1/2.

This is not quite parallel as I believe what precipitated this discussion was what would happen if the grand jury, after reviewing all the evidence and subpoenaing witnesses and hearing their testimony, did not indict. Did not find sufficient grounds for indictment.



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Reply 8 - Posted by: Rinktum, 8/23/2014 8:12:29 AM     (No. 9977456)

One way or another Officer Wilson will be indicted. The die has been cast. We are following a narrative that the Obama and Holder want played out. Whites are inherently racist and there is no justice for a black man.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: congar, 8/23/2014 9:21:40 AM     (No. 9977565)

It sounds like it could be very easy to get railroaded by an unbalanced jury and prosecutor. My faith in the whole justice system under Eric “The Great” Holder has shrunken down to nearly nothing. For cases involving race-less than nothing.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: dagger, 8/23/2014 9:26:34 AM     (No. 9977573)

#3 sensed the same thing I did -- an article bias assuming that state grand jury proceedings will be used to "delay". The media´s narrative is "White cop kills unarmed teenager in broad daylight". It is much more complicated than that. Whether state or federal its going to take a long time to sort out the truth of what happened. And the longer it goes the more likely the media´s narrative begins to unravel.

One obviously glaring omission from the article is that grand juries have two functions: (1) to find probable cause and bring formal charges and (2) an investigative function. While generally informative to laymen, the article was "boiler plate" as reflected by the use of "expert" professors who have never practiced criminal law and don´t know beans about how grand juries actually work. One former federal prosecutor was quoted in passing maybe for "balance", bu any details that might have been helpful were avoided.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: RancherJack, 8/23/2014 10:23:17 AM     (No. 9977646)

It matters entirely who convenes the Grand Jury, who the Prosecutor is, who the Jurists are ..

See Travis County Texas for recent example

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Reply 12 - Posted by: LC Chihuahua, 8/23/2014 11:20:42 AM     (No. 9977719)

Sounds similar to my experience.

Served on a county grand jury. Heard about 30 cases. All we did was decide to indict or acquit. Main questions were was there a crime, and did the evidence point to the defendant associated with the crime. If we voted to indict, the case would go to trial and a different jury. Not sure if Missouri does the same. Will this jury decide guilt? Remember that indictment does not equate to guilt. That point seems to missed. My guess is Darren Wilson case will go to trial. Look at it as Wilson has an opportunity to clear his name.

In my experience, the entire jury pool was put on the grand jury. So many people phoned in advance to get themselves excused from jury duty that their was barely enough people left to form the grand jury. The attournies never had a chance to decide who was on the jury. This decision was made by the judge. Doubt that will be the case here.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Butch59, 8/23/2014 12:16:42 PM     (No. 9977798)

It really doesn´t matter what a Grand Jury decides in this case. Darren Wilson is going to by tried in court regardless. Holder will see to that.

This whole thing smells like an old western. Do we hang him before or after the fair trial?

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Reply 14 - Posted by: little guy, 8/23/2014 12:46:36 PM     (No. 9977835)

The "Duke rape case" redux.

Railroad the white guy and make him the sacrificial lamb to political correctness. Two years later an appeal´s court will throw the whole thing out and the cop´s life will be ruined by then.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: rocco49, 8/23/2014 2:42:16 PM     (No. 9977947)

"race relations"

Obama-Hussein, Moochelle, Holder, Sharpton, Jesse and Sheila Lee Jackson, Jay-Z, Beyonce, the NBA , Charles Barkley, ghetto rappers, Missouri "demonstrators".....

They´re all RACISTS!!!!!!!

There, I said it. I sure would like to "indict" them all!

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Reply 16 - Posted by: SoCalGal, 8/23/2014 8:40:02 PM     (No. 9978214)

Re #12, the article is specifically about the Missouri grand jury that has been convened for the Brown matter.

Rather than discuss anecdotes about experiences in other cases, other venues, it might be a better idea to read what the grand jury process is expected to be in THIS case.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Harlowe, 8/23/2014 10:33:36 PM     (No. 9978284)

The Grand Jury, as well as citizens of Jefferson, should be reminded of what St. Paul wrote in Romans 13 about “Submission to the Authorities.” According to Scripture, Officer Darren Wilson, is part of a governing authority, authority instituted by God, and in that capacity, citizens are not to resist such authorities. An eyewitness account reveals Michael Brown disobeyed Officer Wilson’s directive to “freeze.”

God initiated governing authorities--authorities “not a terror to good conduct, but to bad conduct. Governing authorities are servants of God, avengers who carry out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

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