Justice Scalia Explains What Was Wrong With The Ferguson Grand Jury

Justice Scalia Explains What Was Wrong With The Ferguson Grand Jury – http://huff.to/1rvYXDq

Actually it was a bit of an improvement. 

US prosecutors do have a history of presenting misleading, one sided evidence to a grand jury, which entirely defeats the regulatory purpose.

If the practice were as it ought to be, and as it was intended to be, to see whether a charge has merit, what is now the regular practice would get a prosecutor disbarred, which is what should have happened the first time somebody tried it.

Why should prosecutors present only the evidence favoring a charge, out of context, and although they know it is perjured?  Why was that highly unethical practise ever tolerated?

There is the added difficulty if the procedure is used as Scalia recommends that it would rubber stamp prosecutions of nearly every shooting whether justified or not.

In self defense cases the two primary issues are the objective issue of whether the shooting looks situationally justified and the subjective issue of the shooter’s state of mind and motives.

There is no real issue about whether one person shot the other, what would be the point in convening a grand jury on that.

When the entire case against a person is likely perjured, does the prosecution not have an obligation to draw that to the attention of the jury?

This is one of the core problems with the US justice system.  The grand jury system was not intended to rubber stamp charges based on highly misleading caricatures.  It appears to have been intended to be a layman’s version of charge approval and should be given the resources appropriate to that.

Why does the US have so many obvious wrongful convictions that take decades to sort out?

One reason is, because prosecutorial misconduct has gone beyond an expectation, it’s become institutionalized to the point where people become indignant if they don’t see it.

This grand jury process is denounced not because it was a farce but because the prosecutor would not allow it to be a farce, as is the regular practice.

What the black community should be doing is trying to capitalize on this and reform the system to get the same treatment, so that grand juries have teeth and can protect people from being railroaded.


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