Theft of a Grand Jury

by Richard Uzzell
November 30, 2014

In addition to a Manslaughter indictment for Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, for killing Michael Brown Jr., there should also be an indictment for Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, for Theft of a Grand Jury.

Grand Juries were heralded in early English courts as “accusatory” juries to more fairly establish grounds for prosecution. However, by “the eighteenth century, sharp criticism of them as a costly and inefficient screening body produced a strong movement to eliminate the requirement of prosecution by indictments, and to give prosecutors the option of instituting prosecution by a prosecutor's information supported by a magistrate's finding of probable cause at a preliminary hearing.” Today Grand Juries, short of serving as “engines for uncovering corruption in government and organized crime,” are rarely used to bring charges; that task is most commonly done by elected prosecutors.

Had McCulloch merely used this antiquated system to shield himself for the next election, that might have been understandable; however, McCulloch’s went beyond Grand Jury mandates, and conducted a trial before the Grand Jury. The major violation for this “Trail by Grand Jury” was that only the prosecution side was represented. For example, Officer Wilson spoke before the Grand Jury for some time and attorneys for Michael Brown’s family were not given the opportunity to cross examine – a fundamental right in U.S. law.

Burning down buildings was wrong, but official misuse of the judicial system does nothing to build confidence that finding justice could have the remotest chance.


St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, the Thief of a Grand Jury

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