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Simpich writes: "Ferguson residents agree that the failure to arrest Wilson is the main reason for the civil unrest in their town, now in its eleventh day."

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch. (photo: The Huffington Post)
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch. (photo: The Huffington Post)

ALSO SEE: German Journalists Arrested in Ferguson

Prosecutor Stalls for Time in Michael Brown Case

By Bill Simpich, Reader Supported News

20 August 14


grand jury is scheduled to begin hearing evidence in the police shooting of Michael Brown on Wednesday, the 20th. However, local reports are that the decision on whether to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson is "complicated" and may take "several weeks".

Ferguson residents agree that the failure to arrest Wilson is the main reason for the civil unrest in their town, now in its eleventh day.


County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said on Tuesday that the start of proceedings will depend on the availability of witnesses and the grand jury's schedule.

A local attorney commented, "The grand jury doesn't meet every day of the week. They have regular jobs."

It all begins to make sense upon learning that McCulloch has the authority to file an indictment against Officer Darren Wilson by himself. But McCulloch refuses to do it. Instead, he wants to empanel a grand jury to make the decision. This is a delaying tactic.

McCulloch's father was a police officer who was killed by an African-American man in a public housing complex when McCulloch was 12. Besides his father, McCulloch's mother, brother, uncle and cousin have all worked for the police department.

In 2000, McCulloch presented a case to St. Louis County grand jurors against two officers who fired 21 bullets into a vehicle in June 2000, killing two black men during an attempted drug arrest.

The grand jurors returned from their deliberations with no charges.

During that same year, federal grand juries heard almost 60,000 cases and brought indictments in all but 29 of them. That's one in two thousand cases. State grand juries are almost as predictable as federal ones. Only the prosecutor offers evidence - no defense attorneys are allowed inside the grand jury room.

That is why a grand jury is known as the "prosecutor's darling", offering political insulation in tough situations. In 2007, St. Louis County grand jurors were privileged people who could afford to serve for eighteen consecutive Wednesdays for approximately eighteen dollars a day.

Despite the remarkable odds in his favor, McCulloch managed to lose a case before a grand jury where the victims were shot 21 times. He publicly referred to the victims - small-time drug dealers holding three grams of cocaine between them - as "bums".

A woman who served on McCulloch's grand jury for eighteen Wednesdays said that the vast majority of witnesses McCulloch uses are police officers. "He relies on them to make his cases. They are his allies...He can present the case against Wilson any way he wants to get the outcome he wants."

Is it any wonder the grand jury has been abolished everywhere outside the United States?

The Mound City Bar Association, one of the oldest African-American bar associations in the country, asked Governor Jay Nixon to take McCulloch off the Brown case, saying that he is "emotionally invested in protecting law enforcement." They want to see a special prosecutor appointed. If the federal government takes over the case, it would have the additional burden of proving malice - probably impossible in this case.

Nixon refused their request Tuesday night. In a statement saying exactly nothing, Nixon said that asking McCulloch to step aside "could unnecessarily inject legal uncertainty into this matter and potentially jeopardize the prosecution". Nixon is not ready to face the wrath of the legal establishment.

It's no accident that Attorney General Eric Holder is arriving in Ferguson on Wednesday. On the topic of race relations, Holder has described the United States as "a nation of cowards". He has some decisions to make. your social media marketing partner
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