November 27, 2014 11:00 am -

Karoli at Crooks and Liars details the misinformation given to the Ferguson grand jury.

Early on in the proceedings, Assistant District Attorney Alizadeh handed out copies of a law that was ruled unconstitutional in 1985. In essence it set the bar for use of excessive force lower than is permissible. Simply put, ADA Alizadeh told the jury that it was permissible to shoot a fleeing suspect.


However, this statute was declared unconstitutional in Tennessee v. Garner.  It was only at the end of the proceedings that Alizadeh passed out a “correction”:

Karoli notes:

For the entire proceeding, jurors weighed the evidence in light of a law that was deemed unconstitutional almost 30 years ago. Then they corrected the record at the very end, but by then it was too late.

To me, this invalidates the entire decision. While I believe jurors acted in good faith, the prosecutor did not, and intentionally confused jurors as to the applicable law. Correcting it at the end is not adequate or acceptable.[su_csky_ad]

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

17 responses to Shocker: McCulloch Instructed Grand Jury On Law That Was Unconstitutional

  1. mea_mark November 27th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    A purposeful technicality to get Wilson off? Corruption anyone?

    • Hirightnow November 27th, 2014 at 11:19 am

      No,no,no…just a simple oversight. That’s all. Nothing intentional.Not at all.

    • dave-dr-gonzo November 27th, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Gotta put the fix in by any means available and necessary. A pity seven of me were not on the grand jury, as it’s likely that not only would we return an indictment against Wilson, but also against McCulloch, Abizadex, and maybe even the judge.

      • mea_mark November 27th, 2014 at 11:31 am

        I wonder if this opens the door for the feds to indict?

        • Kim Serrahn November 27th, 2014 at 11:41 am

          Would kinda like the feds to indict the Prosecutor.

      • bahlers November 29th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

        So you are admitting that had you served on the grand jury that you would let personal emotions into the case to side against the evidence?

        • OldLefty November 29th, 2014 at 4:28 pm

          It’s pretty clear that is the case in grand jury.

  2. Red Eye Robot November 27th, 2014 at 11:27 am

    The Prosecutor Grubered the grand jury

  3. Kim Serrahn November 27th, 2014 at 11:41 am

    We all knew the fix was in..

  4. Mike Butkus Jr. November 27th, 2014 at 11:58 am
    Nice to have a credible incite into the bigger picture.

  5. R J November 27th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    There was never a chance that Darren “The murder” Wilson was ever going to stand trail

    • whatthe46 November 27th, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      they sure as hell made sure of that before they even conveined.

  6. ChrisVosburg November 27th, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Yes, I agree that this invalidates the decision. As was discussed a few days before the decision was announced, Missouri still has a statute on the books which was rendered unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 1985, and never bothered to change it to reflect that decision.

    Interestingly, the standard jury instruction for state criminal cases in Missouri acknowledges this, as detailed in a lawsplainer from St Louis Public Radio:

    In referring to option (a), the instruction states: “This basis for the lawful use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer is not included in this instruction. See Tennessee vs. Garner…. Under that decision, the use of deadly force to effect an arrest cannot be justified by the sole ground that the arrest is for the commission of a felony, and such use of deadly force violates the fourth amendment.

    “The court stated that the Tennessee statute authorizing the use of deadly force to arrest for any felony is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against such [unarmed nondangerous] fleeing suspects.”

    Yeah, I know, a Grand Jury proceeding isn’t a criminal trial, but still, the instruction used in criminal trials, or one similar to it, should have been given to the Grand Jury, and the failure to do so is inexcusable.

  7. eserafina42 November 27th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Also, would any reasonable layperson understand the legal gobbledegook, “the statute in the state of Missouri does not comply with the case law” to mean “this law is unconstitutional”?

  8. William November 27th, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Both ADA’s should be disbarred. The deadly force fleeing felon law that was struck down is common knowledge to even the most casual member of law enforcement. These prosecutors are either ignorant or were purposely misleading the grand jury. Further when asked about the law they got more misleading instructions.

    A grand juror asks, “So we’re to disregard this?”

    Alizadeh answers: “It is not entirely incorrect or inaccurate, but there is something in it that’s not correct, ignore it totally.”

    When a grand juror asks more questions,

    Whirley chimes in, “We don’t want to get into a law class.”

    Further, The subject of the grand jury was bought in to testify in the beginning of the procedure instead of the end, when the officers report can be compared with the evidence already presented.

  9. unmanned November 28th, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Something needs to be done? Is there anything that Mr. Browns lawyers can do?

  10. R.J. Carter November 28th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Good thing for the jury that the suspect wasn’t “fleeing” during the shots fired.