Playing to the mob in the street: ‘Indicting’ an entire profession
I was floored to see that North Carolinians actually voted to make their right to a jury trial optional. Now, the constant drumbeat of drive-by generated negative publicity about a couple of officer-involved shootings actually has Americans seriously rethinking the rest of the criminal justice process. Saul Alinsky — hero to Barry and Hillary — is looking up from the hottest part of Hell beaming with pride.
It’s incredibly disturbing that we have politicians and the drive-by media suggesting that the desires of the mob in the streets be the deciding factor in court cases. So-called civil rights leaders are bad-mouthing the grand jury system and pledging to “fix it” in 2015. Two grand juries did not give Al Sharpton the answer he wanted to hear, so the whole thing has to be “fixed.”
The drive-bys have done a horrible job of explaining what grand juries are. Some objective sources come up with two key advantages of grand juries:
[…] Grand jury proceedings are much more relaxed than normal court room proceedings. There is no judge present and frequently there are no lawyers except for the prosecutor. The prosecutor will explain the law to the jury and work with them to gather evidence and hear testimony. Under normal courtroom rules of evidence, exhibits and other testimony must adhere to strict rules before admission. However, a grand jury has broad power to see and hear almost anything they would like.
However, unlike the vast majority of trials, grand jury proceedings are kept in strict confidence. This serves two purposes:
- It encourages witnesses to speak freely and without fear of retaliation.
- It protects the potential defendant’s reputation in case the jury does not decide to indict. […]
The drive-bys are famous for making a big deal when somebody gets arrested, but not-so-much when the same person gets acquitted or the charges get thrown out. Grand juries offer a dry run to see if the case is worth taking public. Grand juries can be a great check on overzealous prosecutors or cops.
I covered a lot of trials during my time as a drive-by. Juries have specific guidelines for considering the evidence. Some stuff cannot be factored into the deliberations. (I regularly did not report that stuff.) But many drive-bys STILL report that stuff that is not supposed to play into the verdict deliberations. So, viewers and readers often get a distorted picture of the courtroom action. So, when a verdict comes down, you’ve got serious confusion / anger / frustration in the public realm.
It’s incredibly disturbing to see any sort of credence being given to the folks burning cars and throwing bricks and molotov cocktails in the streets. Far-out radical communist revolutionaries have been identified as instigators in a number of the “Ferguson protests” across the country. “Smash racist cops with communist revolution.” “Who do we want? Darren Wilson. How do we want him? Dead.” ????? (And they tell us those Tea Party marches were extremist events ….)
Here in North Carolina, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-Durham crowd is stirring the pot and blocking rush hour traffic. Everybody’s “favorite” Round Rev has dragged his bloated carcass to the MidWest to kick off his 2014-2015 Race-Baiting US Tour.
We’ve even got some folks on the right chiming in about “police overreach.” I’ve got some credibility in this arena. Your fearless author, here, had a bounty placed on his head by a corrupt county sheriff. (That now-former sheriff got some federal prison time for his troubles.) I’ve clashed with corrupt cops before. But I know that a few bad apples do not spoil the whole bunch. All lawyers are not lying dirtbags. All car salesmen are not sleazy liars. All cops are not corrupt.
Police encounters with civilians are typically tense events. On one hand, you could simply follow the legendary advice of Chris Rock. Many civilians naturally get nervous when they see blue lights in the rear view mirror. Cops get tense because of incidents like THIS and THIS. A simple traffic stop for speeding can get you killed (or at least a bullet in the face).
I’m not willing to second-guess the actions of a cop — or soldier, for that matter — in the field. I don’t live that life. I DO know that those folks occasionally have to make split-second decisions that can result in SOMEONE getting seriously injured or killed. DO you hesitate, and get yourself hurt or killed?
The left lost at the ballot box in November, and are trying to make some gains via intimidation. Cave in, and give us what we want, or you’re going to get burning cars and tear gas in your streets.
We need to recognize this hubbub for what it truly is. Do not be suckered into giving up your freedoms or allowing government to tighten its stranglehold as a result of this perverse street theater.
6 thoughts on “Playing to the mob in the street: ‘Indicting’ an entire profession”
In the spring of 2009, the 1st time I ever checked out a copy of the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, the librarian commented that I was the first person to do so in the SEVENTEEN years the book had been in that particular library. Do I need to make the obvious suggestion? Do it. It will enlighten you as to the modern day Progressive movement.
Throughout the Soviet period, the term ”progressive” was one they used frequently. They used it to describe what we called their ”fellow travelers”, those people who believed in the same methods and goals but were not formally members of the communist party. It is most curious and highly enlightening that the modern far left chooses this very term for themselves. I guess, as the old saying goes, ”if the shoe fits . . .”
I have yet to get a straight answer on why it is bad to give a defendant the OPTION to opt out of a jury trial? Why does something that is ‘optional’ floor you that people would vote for it? Does every case need a jury? Please enlighten me. The only reasonable answer I have seen is from a trial lawyer friend who thinks defendants will be coerced into waiving the jury. Seems a stretch.
Not a stretch. I am, without much debate, the only conservative attorney in my county. A few moderates and a libertarian, but I’m it. And I will tell you that in MANY jurisdictions, the DA reviews the file, decides what they think the end result should be, and then uses EVERY tool at their disposal to coerce a plea to that charge. They don’t try to convict innocent folks, but they are often going off of only one half of the story (the one presented in the police report). They will keep a bond as high as possible for as long as possible, knowing that even innocent people won’t sit in jail for 2 years waiting for trial if they could get out the first month on probation and provide for their families. They will overcharge. They will delay trial. Not every one would use the jury trial as bludgeon, but many would. I can hear it now… “I know your client that’s been sitting in jail would really like a trial, but gosh, we just don’t have any available jury terms coming up for the next six months… now, if your client would like to waive a jury, we can get him in next week in front of [hanging judge].”
Thanks for that explanation, Ed. I really was unaware of these tactics. I was told that NC is the only state that had a mandatory jury requirement, which seems awfully costly to maintain, and quite annoying for those of us in the jury pool.
Ed, outstanding explanation. Almost the same as Judge Wayne Boyette stated to me during a conversation. It won’t happen in every case but it can certainly happen. I lean heavily on the side of individual liberty and the protection of individual rights. I’ve yet to hear a denial of the possibility of waiving you rights to a jury trial being in existence already without a constitutional amendment. Can you be denied a waiver of that if you don’t want a jury trial prior to this amendment?
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