The Morning After The Night Before In Ferguson

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A Grand Jury is created to decide if there are grounds for criminal charges to be pressed against a person, if they are criminally liable for what happened. It’s a more formal procedure than a common court based indictment, but it also goes into more depth and can last much longer.

As with any court proceedings, the question is solely about whether one specific person in one specific case acted with criminal intent or willful negligence. “Society” is not on trial, nor is any subgroup such as police officers or members of a given race.

Justice is blind. Justice for one is justice for the other. It’s not an emotional plea for “fairness.” Justice does not take into account any matters of race, creed, sex or any of a number of other irrelevant pieces of information.

A Grand Jury is to decide if the physical evidence and testimony of witnesses is sufficient to recommend going forward with an actual trial. Has a crime, according to the law, been committed?

The pertinent law in Missouri:

563.046. A law enforcement officer in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody is justified in using deadly force:

(2) When he reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest and also reasonably believes that the person to be arrested

(a) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony; or

(b) Is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon; or

(c) May otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.

In other words, an  officer can use deadly force when it’s necessary to prevent bodily injury or death to himself or others.

I’m working my way through the evidence right now, so more later.

Ferguson Decision

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Any minute now …

Watching the live broadcast, but they haven’t announced yet

Sounds like two more hours. 8PM Central Time

Riots and more ahead. Officer Wilson was not indicted.

What does it actually mean? The Grand Jury, by a vote of 10 or more out of 12, decided that there was not enough evidence to suggest that an arrest leading to a trial was warranted. All the evidence is to be released, including witness testimony that was in accordance with the physical evidence and others that was inconsistent with it.

I have to wonder, if everything was exactly the same with just the difference that the officer was black instead of white, if the whole story would have been anything more than a back page story. Somehow, I doubt it.

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