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View Diary: Darren Wilson's odds, according to St. Louis Public Radio (53 comments)

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  •  Well (10+ / 0-)
    Whether or not they would be willing to apply it in this situation would be a major political test for Obama and Holder.
    It's not a political question, it's a question of whether the facts would support Federal civil rights charges.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:30:13 PM PDT

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    •  Oh come now! (8+ / 0-)

      Yes facts are to be considered, but a proprietorial decision about a case in the full glare of public attention is going to be heavily influenced by politics.  

      •  Perhaps your'e right about that (6+ / 0-)

        I guess I should have made my point more clear. Yeah, I agree politics will enter into the equation whether or not to move forward...but only if the facts are there to justify doing so.

        And in my opinion, if the facts are there that Wilson acted specifically out of racial animus when he shot Brown, Holder would not hesitate to prosecute on civil rights charges.

        Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

        by Pi Li on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:35:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Proving animus is difficult. (13+ / 0-)

          However, Holder and his staff are not DAs who have to run for reelection. They could take a case to court that isn't a sure bet to win. That would only be a consideration if McCulloch acts in a thoroughly cavalier manner of refusing to consider a murder/manslaughter prosecution in the face of strong evidence. I assume that the federal investigation that is being conducted is going to be made public. They could turn up good murder/manslaughter evidence without coming up with a strong civil rights case. That would make an interesting pot of political stew.  

          •  Maybe (5+ / 0-)

            But as liberals I'm sure none of us want to see the United States Department of Justice bring a case to trial without a sufficient, and good faith factual basis for doing so, including an abiding belief that a conviction is possible under those facts.

            Don't misunderstand me...a case doesn't have to be a "sure bet" to win. But they do have to have evidence of that Wilson shot Brown at least partially out of racial animus to charge him with a civil rights violation (there's also the matter of the initial stop, but I won't get into the weeds on that here).

            Federal civil rights charges are not "second chance" to get a conviction that failed in state court, or a place to roll the dice.  And if there's sufficient evidence to convict Wilson of straight up murder or manslaughter, the proper venue for that is state court. If you're worried about evidence, no doubt the FBI will share any evidence they gather with the DA there.

            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

            by Pi Li on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:53:50 PM PDT

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            •  I certainly agree that this is properly (6+ / 0-)

              a matter for state court. However, in this instance the atmosphere of that is problematic. It may not be as obvious as Mississippi in 1963, but it has some of the same problems.  

            •  No 'racial animus' ? (0+ / 0-)

              If the prosecutor won't move the case forward because of what  - racial animus? - or  a mostly white jury won't convict because of what - racial animus? - then you somehow think that the DOJ can only bring a civil rights case if the shooter can be proven to have what - racial animus?  

              Are you intentionally ignoring the idea that the underlying basis for the civil rights type of prosecutions was state/local 'justice' systems which would often not even charge must less convict 'some types of persons' for killing 'some other types of persons'?  In these circumstances, bringing a federal civil rights violation case was not a 'second' shot at the same apple but rather a true first shot following a judicial farce perpetrated in e.g. Miss, Al, etc

              So if the forensic evidence in this case does turn out to be  strongly supportive of a either a second degree murder or some version of manslaughter but that the justice system of St Louis County could give a rat's ass - then DOJ can only proceed if they have clear evidence proving that Officer Wilson is a foaming at the mouth racist?

      •  Less so after Nov. 2014. (1+ / 0-)
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