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.