An inconvenient truth

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Photizo, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    that's crass and only goes to show your own bigotry and ignorance. Do your self a favor and just keep your damn mouth shut than say stupid crap like this. your a piece of work.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That isn't true. The grand jury met once a week or so from August 20th until around Nov 20th, at most a couple of dozen meetings of less than ten hours each, less than half that time "going over evidence" - and nobody involved gave them any help in "going over" the evidence, which ran to 60 witnesses and thousands of pages of sometimes difficult and confusing material.

    And it isn't pertinent. No matter how much time they spent - and it wasn't enough for even a skilled legal team to build a case in this matter - they lacked the skill and the resources to evaluate the situation for themselves. And they got no help.

    So the DA had every opportunity to slant the evidence and mislead the jury - which the transcripts show he did, asking no hostile questions of any witness who supported Wilson's innocence, coaching Wilson's testimony to elicit key phrases, burying the key physical evidence in the middle of a pile of he said / she said testimony, and so forth.

    The jury did not hear a cross examination or hostile analysis of the testimony of any of the witnesses who made assertions favoring Wilson, by someone with the physical data in hand. This witness, for example - perhaps the single most important witness in exonerating Wilson - was never cross examined and threatened with perjury charges, her record and history was never presented to the grand jury, her credibility was never questioned:

    The jury never heard a summary argument comparing Wilson's testimony with the physical evidence overall. They never heard an argument for his guilt. They were instead presented with four hours of a carefully coached and led Wilson presenting his side of things without counterargument or analysis or hostile questioning.

    That is how grand juries are rigged, when they cannot be actually bribed.

    You seem to be confusing the social and ethical ugliness on display here with the legal issues. The fact that this grand jury ruling is legal highlights the problems it reveals - serious racial bigotry in the US is an affliction of the present day, and the law is not proof against it.

    So? When white people were getting the backhand of the law, they rioted plenty. Maybe you would have joined them, maybe not - nothing to do with Wilson's behavior or the lack of consequences for it.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I looked up a couple of those cases you seem puzzled about - unarmed white guys getting shot by police - and found this kind of thing pretty universally:

    Are you really oblivious to the different nature of the situations here, or are you getting these names and claims from the wingnut media and not checking them out yourself?
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  7. Bells Staff Member

    So the prosecutors presented a "witness" who was not even there and had simply gathered information from the media and then claimed she was there? And she has tried to do this sort of thing before in another case and has a history of it?

    That's not unethical, incompetent and down right criminal, is it?

    Worse still, a day after he meeting with the FBI who believed she was lying since her story about her movements did not match up with reality and because her version of events so closely mirrored one that the media had released of Wilson's version, the Prosecutors put her in front of the grand jury..

    McElroy’s tale was met with skepticism by the investigators, who reminded her that it was a crime to lie to federal agents. When questioned about inconsistencies in her story, McElroy was resolute about her vivid, blow-by-blow description of the deadly Brown-Wilson confrontation. “I know what I seen,” she said. “I know you don’t believe me.”
    When asked what she was doing in Ferguson--which is about 30 miles north of her home--McElroy explained that she was planning to “pop in” on a former high school classmate she had not seen in 26 years. Saddled with an incorrect address and no cell phone, McElroy claimed that she pulled over to smoke a cigarette and seek directions from a black man standing under a tree. In short order, the violent confrontation between Brown and Wilson purportedly played out in front of McElroy.

    Despite an abundance of red flags, state prosecutors put McElroy in front of the Ferguson grand jury the day after her meeting with the federal officials. After the 12-member panel listened to a tape of her interview conducted at the FBI office, McElroy appeared and, under oath, regaled the jurors with her eyewitness claims.

    McElroy’s grand jury testimony came to an abrupt end at 2:30 that afternoon due to obligations of some grand jurors. But before the panel broke for the day, McElroy revealed that, “On August 9th after this happened when I got home, I wrote everything down on a piece of paper, would that be easier if I brought that in?”

    “Sure,” answered prosecutor Kathi Alizadeh.

    “Because that’s how I make sure I don’t get things confused because then it will be word for word,” said McElroy, who did not bother to mention her journaling while speaking a day earlier with federal investigators.

    McElroy would return to the Ferguson grand jury 11 days later, journal pages in hand and with a revamped story for the panel.


    When Sandra McElroy returned to the Ferguson grand jury on November 3, she brought a spiral notebook purportedly containing her handwritten journal entries for some dates in August, including the Saturday Michael Brown was shot.

    Before testifying about the content of her notebook scribblings, McElroy admitted that she had not driven to Ferguson in search of an African-American pal she had last seen in 1988. Instead, McElroy offered a substitute explanation that was, remarkably, an even bigger lie.

    McElroy, again under oath, explained to grand jurors that she was something of an amateur urban anthropologist. Every couple of weeks, McElroy testified, she likes to “go into all the African-American neighborhoods.” During these weekend sojourns--apparently conducted when her ex has the kids--McElroy said she will “go in and have coffee and I will strike up a conversation with an African-American and I will try to talk to them because I’m trying to understand more.”

    As she testified, McElroy admitted that her sworn account of the Brown-Wilson confrontation was likely peppered with details of the incident she had read online. But she remained adamant about having been on Canfield Drive and seeing Brown “going after the officer like a football player” before being shot to death.

    McElroy’s last two journal entries for August 9 read like an after-the-fact summary of the account she gave to federal investigators on October 22 and the Ferguson grand jury the following afternoon. It is so obvious that the notebook entries were not contemporaneous creations that investigators should have checked to see if the ink had dried.

    The opening entry in McElroy’s journal on the day Brown died declared, “Well Im gonna take my random drive to Florisant. Need to understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks Niggers and Start calling them People.” A commendable goal, indeed.

    So she lied, to FBI investigators, under oath who knows how many times.. She lied in other cases where she tried to insert herself into the media and police investigations by lying to the police and the media.. In other words, she has a known and proven track record of this kind of behaviour..

    And she was the big witness the prosecutors based so much of their case for Wilson on because her testimony matched Wilson's identically, so much so that it read exactly like the account that appeared in the media the day before she approached the FBI, two days before the prosecutors put her in front of the grand jury, despite the FBI investigators not believing her because she was clearly lying?

    There are no words.
  8. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Photizo has posted the claim that Wilson was acquitted. That he was found innocent. That the case against Wilson was manufactured by the President and Attorney General of the United States. That Wilson was investigating Brown's crime. And so forth.

    None of that is true. Why does he post obvious falsehoods?

    And that incredible sentence is simply normal - reads as an ordinary reference to the event. Everyone knows what happened in that grand jury hearing, don't they. Everyone.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  10. Bells Staff Member

    White supremacists often operate on a level of belief where they think everything is a Government conspiracy against them. Is it any surprising that the woo woo believe the grand jury hearing was a trial and that he was found innocent? His lawyers, sorry, "prosecutors", certainly treated it that way. The woo woo fringe that the likes of Photizo and his friends here belong to wouldn't have it any other way. He posts such obvious falsehoods because he is appealing to his base who have rushed to his defense here.
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    In that specific context, I already have. Several times. (See #22↑, 44↑, 45↑, 133↑, 145↑, 180↑, 254↑, and, yes, 265↑.)

    Toward your context:

    Two points:

    (1) It is not uncommon, depending on the circumstances under which a grand jury investigation is convened. Sometimes the public cannot help but know, given an event and subsequent announcement explaining that there will be a grand jury investigation into event.

    (2) Darren Wilson was never arrested.​

    You're kidding, right?

    It is extraordinary process that Darren Wilson should have had that opportunity in the first place.

    As already noted in this thread, the twenty-five day investigation was itself extraordinary; the manner in which it was presented even more so.

    How many suspects wish they could be softballed for four hours by a prosecutor at their own grand jury investigation, with the jury having just been wrongly informed of the law in a manner that reflects the suspect's favor.

    It happens.

    Actually, what is really amazing is the ignorance required for you to arrive at that statement.

    Given just how wrong you are about the facts in the paragraphs preceding that sentence, I can only thank you for your contribution to explaining the injustice that happened in Ferguson.
  12. Bells Staff Member

    Lying under oath in front of a grand jury?

    No problem at all for Prosecutor McCulloch.

    The St. Louis County prosecutor in the grand jury that acquitted Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson said that some of the witnesses called lied under oath.

    "Clearly some were not telling the truth,” Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said in an interview with KTRS radio on Friday. He said he's not planning to file charges against witnesses who lied.

    McCulloch said that he wanted "anyone who claimed to have witnessed anything... presented to the grand jury," and that he didn't have regrets about calling non-credible witnesses, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    McCulloch talked about at least one witness who he said appeared to have pulled her account of Michael Brown's death from a newspaper report.

    The Post-Dispatch reported that McCulloch was referring to Sandra McElroy, whose retelling of events was discredited by investigators

    The job was done, the fix was in and he was not indicted. Job well done by all accounts..

    He's not going to want to file charges against his best witness, the witness he knew was lying since the FBI investigators who initially questioned her the day before believed she was lying because it was clear to them that she was not in Ferguson and that her account was identical to what appeared in the media the day before that and because she had not approached the police at all for 4 weeks and only did after the media put Wilson's version of events for public viewing...

    The witness who openly admitted to having lied to FBI investigators and did so in front of the grand jury about what she was supposedly doing in Ferguson in the first place when she told the FBI the day before that she was there to visit a black friend from school and provided a false name and address and then told the grand jury that was a lie and she was really there to study black people so she would not call them "niggers" any more.. And the prosecutors said nothing and did nothing about it at the time.. When it was clear to the FBI and their prosecutors that she was never even in Ferguson at all, but Prosecutor McCulloch didn't care about that, so much so that he put her on the stand twice because her version was just so good and mirrored Wilson's story perfectly.

    The witness they allowed to come back a few weeks later after her first testimony when she said on the stand that she could come back later with a journal (which turned out to be loose papers) she had apparently written in after the shooting, that she had not mentioned to the police the day before she appeared in front of the grand jury...

    After all, the lies were from their so called best witness and were made to support and directly mirror Wilson's version, so it's no problem at all. He loved her lies so much that he put her on the stand twice to lie to the grand jury and to make sure they knew there was someone who saw it exactly as Wilson testified.. It's no wonder she "saw" it as Wilson testified it since his testimony was broadcast and detailed in the papers the day before she came forward.. And he knew she was lying. It was so clear that the FBI investigators discredited her the day before she he put her in front of that grand jury - the false names and addresses of the person she claimed she was visiting was a pretty huge red flag that she was lying and the fact that she was recounting what was in the media the day before would have been the other giant red flag.. But no, she was their one star witness, the one the media on the right lauded about because finally, here was someone who described what they saw just like what Wilson testified to... That she was openly lying and even admitted to having lied to FBI investigators while on the stand wasn't an issue at all for the prosecutors who were apparently intent on upholding the "law of the land".. What she was lying about mirrored Wilson's testimony, here was proof that he was not lying about what happened...

    Nah, not incompetent or unethical at all.

    Apparently this is how this prosecutor upholds "the law of the land"..

    So of course he isn't going to press charges against her. He was the one who knowingly allowed her to perjure herself twice in front of the grand jury. Hell, not allowing her to, he invited her to.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    If the prosecutor knew he was calling a dishonest witness, and let the testimony stand unchallenged, he is open to being charged with suborning perjury - a felony.
  14. Bells Staff Member

    He knew she was lying. Investigators had discounted her the day before because she was lying.

    It is astounding he hasn't been already, especially when he has said he is not even going to press charges against the witness he knew was lying and perjuring herself to the grand jury. Goes beyond incompetency and screams criminal.
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The law:

    and especially:

    This guy's in trouble. His major defense would be that the woman was mentally ill and not aware of the falsity of her testimony, and that isn't enough
  16. Bells Staff Member

    That wouldn't save him though. By his own words, it appears as though he deliberately put anyone on the stand to testify in front of the grand jury, knowing that some were lying.. He even claimed it was obvious she was not there and that she had gotten her testimony right out of the media the day before. By law, once he realised someone was lying (if he found out after they testified), he had to inform the grand jury of this. He did not. I doubt he did not know she was lying as the FBI had discounted her evidence the day before, the day she approached them to provide a statement and he put her on the stand anyway.
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    It appears you don't know what a grand jury is or what they do. A grand jury hearing isn't a trial and they don't find people guilty or innocent. That isn't what they do. The purpose of a grand jury is to find probably cause of a crime which is a much lower standard. If the grand jury finds probable cause of a crime, an arrest warrant is issued. The accused is arrested, indicted and tried and his/her innocence is found by either a judge or a jury. And in the Wilson case, the grand jury found no probable cause (i.e. no crime).

    And since the grand jury is not a trial, there is no cross examination. However, unlike trials, grand jurors are allowed to directly ask questions of those who come before them. Grand juries don't need lawyers to cross examine witnesses. Jurors can do that themselves. The grand jury is primarily and investigative and accusatory body. It is not a trier of fact as in a criminal trial.

    And where is your evidence this grand jury was rigged? The grand jury is an investigative body, grand juries don't determine guilt or innocence. They determine if there is probable cause of a crime.

    "A common definition is "a reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious person's belief that certain facts are probably true".[2] Notable in this definition is a lack of requirement for public position or public authority of the individual making the recognition, allowing for use of the term by citizens and/or the general public.
    In the context of warrants, the Oxford Companion to American Law defines probable cause as "information sufficient to warrant a prudent person's belief that the wanted individual had committed a crime (for an arrest warrant) or that evidence of a crime or contraband would be found in a search (for a search warrant)". "Probable cause" is a stronger standard of evidence than a reasonable suspicion, but weaker than what is required to secure a criminal conviction. Even hearsay can supply probable cause if it is from a reliable source or supported by other evidence, according to the Aguilar–Spinelli test.
    In Brinegar v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court defines probable cause as “where the facts and circumstances within the officers' knowledge, and of which they have reasonably trustworthy information, are sufficient in themselves to warrant a belief by a man of reasonable caution that a crime is being committed.”[3]"

    You seem to be doing more than your share of confusing too.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
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  18. Bells Staff Member

    Then perhaps the prosecutor should not have treated it as a trial and he certainly should not have lied to the court and allowed witnesses to commit perjury and not informed the grand jury that witnesses were possibly lying while under oath.

    What the prosecutor did and has admitted to doing is actually criminal. Literally criminal.

    He could lose his license to practice law at the very least and even face the possibility of prison time for what he has done.

    Do you actually understand that by his actions, he has turned the grand jury hearing for Wilson into a farce and by allowing witnesses to perjure themselves in front of the grand jury, it raises too many questions about how influential some of those witnesses were? Such as witness #40, who knowingly perjured herself and committed a federal crime of lying to federal investigators (which is why they discounted her eyewitness account the day before McCulloch put her on the stand and allowed her to lie under oath, even though the FBI had discounted her so called evidence as being fabricated the day before) and whose testimony so directly mirrored that of Wilson's and which they kept referring to as being proof that Wilson was not lying..

    What they now need to figure out is whether his allowing witnesses to perjure themselves had any bearing on the decision taken by the grand jury.

    And this is without even looking at the fact that the prosecutors deliberately lied and misled the jury about the law for weeks during that hearing.

    Do you understand the enormity of what has happened in that hearing and the repercussions it could have? Because they are now going to go back and look over all of his cases with a fine tooth comb, to see if he has done this in any of the other cases he has tried in the past.

    Then this should have been made clear to the grand jury when some of them commented in the hearing that their role was to get to the truth of the matter and to determine if he was innocent or guilty of having shot Brown. They were not corrected. They were flooded with evidence and eye witness testimony over weeks and weeks, when grand jury hearings usually only take a few days. They were not given any instructions. They were provided with incorrect statutes from the start and then confused by the prosecutor about how and which statute actually should apply. They were lied to by eyewitnesses and knowingly so by the prosecutor.

    Do you really think this wasn't rigged?

    McCulloch's history meant that he should never have taken on the case at all. He was biased going into it. That bias might explain his disastrous decision to allow witnesses to perjure themselves in that hearing. But it does not excuse it.

    They presented people they knew were perjuring themselves and did nothing to tell the jury that some were lying. And he even admitted that did have an effect on how the grand jury reached its decision. The prosecutors also provided the grand jury with an incorrect statute and then presented all the evidence and eyewitness testimony to them, and they were reviewing it under the incorrect legislation they had been provided with. In the last days, the prosecutor told them it was wrong, provided them with the correct legislation, when a juror asked how this affected everything, they were told it wasn't a law lecture and to not worry about it and then they were given confusing statements about its impact on the facts of the case.. It impacted directly with Wilson having shot Brown.

    I cannot believe anyone is defending this.

    Regardless of what decision was handed down, even if they had decided to indict, this would still be just as much as a farce.

    What we are seeing is a prosecutor who may very well have just ruined his career in doing everything he could, even possibly have broken the law, to get Wilson off and ensure he was not indicted. If he had done the same thing to get him indicted, if his actions were the same to get him indicted, the responses here would have been identical.

    There was more than enough to indict. But his lying, misrepresenting facts, allowing witnesses to perjure themselves, misrepresenting statutes and confusing the grand jury meant that they would not indict.

    Defend it as much as you want, but you cannot escape the fact that he has admitted that witnesses lied on the stand and that he did nothing to instruct the jury that they were more than likely lying as he is obligated to, by law. That alone casts doubts on that grand jury hearing, how they reached their decision to not indict and his role in it. And those doubts will follow Wilson and haunt Brown's family for the rest of their lives.
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    I think you know, procedurally, that we're in a quiet part of the storm.

    And I think we all know Bob McCulloch knows he has a problem.

    This will, on the other hand, be one of those ugly vivisectionings of our legal system.
  20. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

    Which witnesses were the ones he knew were lying, and what was the content of their testimony that was know to be false?
  21. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Hogwash, you need to read the definition of suborning perjury you referenced. There is absolutely NO evidence the prosecutor persuaded witnesses to lie under oath....period.
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  22. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    You are not paying attention Bells. The task of the grand jury is to investigate and determine if a crime had been committed and if so who should be accused. And to legally accuse someone, it must find probable cause. In the Ferguson case, the jury found no crime had been committed.
    The grand jury is an investigation, not a trial. So treating is as a trial is pointless and would result in a travesty of justice. Do you have proof the prosecutor lied? NO you don’t. You have evidence witnesses lied. But the witnesses are not the prosecutor. What you are advocating is that police (i.e. investigators) not talk to people who lie. Under those rules no one would be convicted of anything. And how do you know the prosecutor didn’t relay his feeling that certain witnesses were lying? By presenting all the evidence to the grand jury, which the prosecutor did, it should be readily apparent to the grand jurors which witnesses are and which aren’t lying.
    Hogwash for the reasons previously explained.
    If the prosecutor did do something illegal, then yes he could have his license to practice law revoked and he could be subject to criminal as well as civil prosecution. But he has not done the things you have accused him of doing and that is why nobody with any degree of credibility is taking your allegations seriously.
    Except he did no such thing, he allowed alleged witnesses to tell their story before the grand jury. He did what he was supposed to do. He had absolutely no role in witnesses lying to the grand jurors or the police. Investigators, which the grand jury is, talk to everyone who might have a story to tell. Sometimes the liars are very helpful in getting to truth – the finding of and killing of Bin Ladin being a case in point. And if witness #40 committed a federal crime, why has she not been charged? Is Obama a racist too?
    This is a clear example of you not understanding and refusal to understand what a grand jury is and what it does.
    Show me one instance in which a prosecutor lied or misled the grand jury in this case…just one. Allowing all alleged witnesses to testify isn’t in any way untoward. Just because some of them lied, it doesn’t follow that he lied. And again, this statement is another case of you not understanding what a grand jury is and what it does.
    Oh, who is doing that?
    Do you have even a silver of evidence to suggest it was rigged? No, you don’t. Do you have proof the job of the grand jury was not explained to them? No, you don’t. Grand jurors were given a copy of the appropriate statue. What wasn’t given to them was a subsequent court ruling which states the officer must have probable cause to believe his life was endangered before using deadly force. It really makes little material difference in this case. As I said earlier, you cannot argue the merits of the case, so you argue process instead. And repeating lies about the prosecutor ad nauseum isn’t going to make them any less true.
    But if McCulloch would have indicted Wilson, he would have been perfectly qualified? Just because McCulloch didn’t do what you want him to do, it doesn’t make him a criminal. It doesn’t make him biased. Before you go calling other folks biased, I think you need to take a long and serious look at yourself.
    You are just mindlessly repeating falsehoods and previously debunked claims. It doesn’t make your argument stronger…quite the opposite.
  23. Bells Staff Member

    He has said that witness 40, the one who so correctly corroborated Wilson's testimony, was lying because it was clear she was never even there. He knew she was not there because the police and FBI who questioned her when she came forward 4 weeks after the shooting and the day after Wilson's testimony appeared in the papers after McCulloch released it to the media, they discounted her as having seen anything because it was so clear that she was not there and it was impossible for her to have been there.

    He put her on the stand anyway, after they discounted her because she was not there. Not only did he put her on the stand, he put her on the stand as a material witness. She then lied on the stand. Everything she claimed she saw, was a lie. Because she was not even in Ferguson on that day, so it is impossible for her to have seen it. He knew this. At no time did he advise the grand jury that she was lying as he is legally required to do.

    He then invited her back, allowed her to return with her so called notes and then allowed her to perjure herself again, with the same lies.

    He has not detailed which other ones were lying, but he has admitted that she was lying because he knew that she was not even there and therefore, could not have seen what she testified she saw. He also said he knew other eyewitnesses were lying about what they saw as well.

    I believe you are the one who needs to read the definition of suborning perjury. He knew she was lying when he first put her in front of the grand jury. He knew what she was going to testify to was a lie because he knew she had already lied to the police and FBI agents prior to that about having seen what she claimed she saw, when it was clear she was never even there and he knew she was getting her account from what Wilson had said and had been released to the media before she approached the authorities weeks after the shooting.

    She was then invited back, encouraged and asked her to bring her fake notes and testify and lie again and remember, they knew before they even put her before the grand jury, that she was lying about what she claimed to have seen because she was not there and the FBI and the police had discounted her because it was clear she was not there. She was also told that lying under oath was perjury, but she testified anyway and lied anyway. At no time did McCulloch or any of his DA's inform the grand jury that she was lying, as they are legally required to do. Instead, she was deemed and portrayed to be a material witness. And then, she was invited back and asked to bring her notes she claimed were her journal, which apparently was more detailed about what she had supposedly seen and which the prosecutors alluded and led the jury to believe was further proof of what she had seen. They did this with the full knowledge that she was never even there and had not seen any of it. And he has just admitted that they knew and it was obvious to them that she was not there and that she was only recounting what she had read in the papers beforehand.

    That, Joe, is surborning perjury.

    He literally ticked all the boxes and he has admitted to it on radio.

    This is all on record Joe. No one can defend this. Because what they did was indefensible. The very moment they encouraged her and asked her to bring what they knew were her fake notes about what she had seen, they surborned perjury. They knew she never saw the shooting.

    But they asked her to bring it in the next time she testified, to use those fake notes and to show them to the grand jury and those notes were used by the prosecutors in leading them to believe she saw what she never saw.

    That is surborning perjury.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014

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