This Article could easily have been included on the CRIME AND PUNISHMENT PAGE, or even in the LOGIC CATEGORY.
The Latest Decisions not to Indict Two Police Officers, in separate incidents...
- The Shooting Death in Ferguson, Missouri.
- The Choking Case in New York City.
...Has again Highlighted the Criminal Justice System in the U.S., and the question of Unequal Treatment before the Law for Minority Groups. Both resulted in the Deaths of Two Black Males, in connection with actions committed by Police Officers.
As usual, SOME MEDIA MEMBERS, POLITICIANS, AND SOCIAL COMMENTATORS are again ignoring what is important, and FOCUSING ON SOUND BITES.
HOWEVER, lets see if we can actually find some answers by Thinking for Ourselves, and Ignoring what is on TV, RADIO, AND THE INTERNET.
Before making any Judgment about the RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE INVOLVED IN EITHER CASE, YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF THE JURY SYSTEM. WHY?
BECAUSE THE FAILURE TO:
INDICT OR NOT INDICT
CONVICT OR ACQUIT.
HOLD RESPONSIBLE OR FIND BLAMELESS.
IS THE RESULT OF A DECISION MADE ORDINARY AMERICAN CITIZENS, WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE APPLYING THE LAW CORRECTLY.
Point #1- A Juries Decision need not be justified to anyone sitting outside the Box.
If there are are no Improper Inducements or Illegalities, such as Bribery or Blackmail, a Juries decision is almost always held to be Legally Valid.
Remember, in a Trial Setting, the Jury is instructed by the Presiding Judge, as to Matters of Law. Their Decision is to apply the Instructions to the Case at Hand.
A Grand Jury, however , IS NOT DECIDING ON THE GUILT OR INNOCENCE OF ANYONE. THEY MUST DECIDE IF A CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED, AND IF THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY THE PROSECUTION COULD RESULT IN A CONVICTION.
HOWEVER, THE JURY, IN EITHER SITUATION, NEED NOT EXPLAIN THEIR REASONING TO ANYONE. THEY ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO DO SO.
This leads us to Point #2- The Verdict in a Jury Trial, or the Decision to Indict, often will be the result of the LEGAL INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY THE JUDGE OR PROSECUTION. HOWEVER, IF THEY ARE FOLLOWED, IGNORED, OR EVEN IMPROPER MAY NEVER BE KNOWN OUTSIDE THE JURY ROOM.
Further, the DECISION OF THE JURY MAY BE BASED ON THE COMPETENCE OR PERFORMANCE OF THOSE PRESENTING EVIDENCE OR TESTIMONY BEFORE THE COURT.
This leads into a Concept that Many just Refuse to Accept:
YOU CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT ANY JURY DECISION IS EITHER RIGHT OR WRONG, IF YOU FOCUS ON ONLY ONE ELEMENT OF THE PROCESS. DOING THIS MAY EXCLUDE FACTORS THAT HAD INFLUENCE ON THE FINAL RESULT.
SEE PT 2