Darren Wilson Had Defense at Grand Jury

Demon WeedThis whole Darren Wilson grand jury thing is really starting to bug me. I’ve always thought that the police were above the law and they can get away with anything at all. But really, that is just a matter of trials — not grand jury indictments. And in this one, the more I learn, the more it is clear that all the evidence was dumped on the grand jury and then the prosecutors acted as defense attorneys. That’s just amazing, and of course, it just shows that all the discriminatory policing that the African American community suffers under in Ferguson is just one part of the problem.

The most recent bit of evidence regarding this came from a German Lopez article in Vox, Grand Jury Testimony Suggested Marijuana Made Michael Brown Violent. That’s Unlikely. That’s an obvious point on its surface. When Ezra Klein first tweeted out his article about Darren Wilson’s testimony seeming bizarre, there was one guy who responded multiple times with things like, “Brown had THC levels in his blood high enough to induce paranoia.” I just love this kind of thing because it is used every time to claim that this or that person must have been acting strange as though they were on PCP. (And people’s “strange” behavior on PCP itself is greatly exaggerated.)

What really struck me was Lopez’s description of a forensic pathologist who testified that it was unlikely that cannabis would have made Brown aggressive. After saying this, a prosecutor followed up:

Can I just clarify something here, doctor? Your credentials are as a forensic pathologist, although you have a working understanding of toxicology, you are not a toxicologist, correct?

This is a prosecutor at a grand jury throwing cold water on testimony backing up the victim in the crime. This is shocking. Truly shocking.

What I think happened was that Robert McCulloch had absolutely no intention of indicting Darren Wilson. But the political environment was too toxic for that. So he not only decided to throw all the evidence at the grand jury – he decided to put his department in charge of mounting what is undoubtedly a illegal defense of Wilson.

It is now clear how the whole thing went. The prosecution led with Darren Wilson’s testimony and everything followed from there. So once he talked about Michael Brown acting like a “demon,” the grand jury (which lots of help from the “prosecution”) latched onto Brown’s use of cannabis. There you have it: Brown was high and those people are cable of anything. And if one forensic witness disputes that, he can be beaten down. And don’t worry: the prosecution will absolutely, positively not bring in any witnesses that they consider are experts in that field. Because the prosecution absolutely, positively was on Darren Wilson’s side.

The whole thing is shameful, and I now feel far worse about the grand jury in particular and the judicial system in St Louis County than I did when I first heard that Darren Wilson would not be indicted. I would be all for this if it were the new normal — that all accused will get this treatment. But, of course, we know that such special treatment will only be offered to police and other representatives of the power elite.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

2 thoughts on “Darren Wilson Had Defense at Grand Jury

  1. Today, I half quipped and half seriously opined that I wish that every accused person got the Darren Wilson or OJ Simpson experience in our courts.

    As a radically civil libertarian, I think that everyone should be able to have an advocate during the grand jury process. If we do get to a trial, I wish that every accused had a relentless, rigorous and resource rich defense counsel.

    I think that both Darren Wilson and OJ Simpson are murderers and I do not wish to live in a society where it is impossible to convict or indict any wrong doer (in other words, I do not hope that all accused will get the Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Diamond treatment). However, I think that one should not have to be a rich celebrity or a politically favored cop in order to enjoy a genuine presumption of innocence in our legal system.

    • I agree completely. We actually have a terrible judicial system if the defendant has the money to mount the best defense. But given that it is that way, everyone should get the resources to mount the best defense. And one good outcome of that would be that we would focus on prosecuting real crime and not drug use.

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