The Ferguson Grand Jury
I hit the backspace several times on this post. Part fear. Part outrage. Part loss of words. What to say? How to say it? Where to begin? How not to offend? I wrestled with it. It was a Jacob-like experience in so many ways—a limp-filled identity crisis hoping to come off as more Martin than Malcolm. I sat in front of the television last night, my glowing iPad screen illuminating my despondent face. I sat in community with others, waiting to hear the grand jury’s decision in the Darren Wilson case. Would the grand jury indict Darren Wilson? How would the Ferguson community respond? Would they at least send the case to trial?
I was slightly hopeful. As a former prosecutor, I struggled to remember if I’d ever had a grand jury not indict a person for a crime. In most states the grand jury is a mere formality. Since the threshold is so low—probable cause—and prosecutors conduct the proceedings without defense counsel present, it’s very rare that grand juries fail to return an indictment. For the record, the Ferguson grand jury considered various forms of murder, ranging from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter. Each has varying degrees of intent, with involuntary manslaughter having the lowest standard. [Read more…] about The Ferguson Grand Jury, Jim Crow, and the Walking Dead