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cleduc

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Member since: Fri Jul 13, 2012, 12:38 PM
Number of posts: 620

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This sentence from the article is what rattled me:

"As long as there is still the slightest possibility that Wilson acted in his own defense, Missouri law favors Wilson"


Maybe I'm getting hung up on semantics.

With DNA evidence, the possibility it is wrong is often quoted as something in the order of 1 in 13 billion. That's nearly as slight a possibility as you could find. But jurors often accept DNA as damning evidence - in spite of the fact that there is the "slightest possibility" it is wrong - because to them, 1 in 13 billion is so slight, it's not reasonable doubt - it's highly, highly unlikely.

In spite of whatever evidence is piled up against Wilson, the slant of that article suggests in Missouri, one racist on the jury can easily cling to Wilson's self defense claim having the "slightest possibility" it's true and it's game over. It should relate more to reasonable doubt - not unreasonable "slightest possibility".

I realize a racist on the jury could ignore all reason regardless. But "slightest possibility" gives them something easier to cling to.

It frightens me that the prosecution could put on a good case and fail because of "slightest possibility". From that, I'd fear Rodney King II: riots in Ferguson causing damage and potentially death.

This distresses me. I'm left to wonder if this is really justice.

There is an ordinance in Ferguson about walking in the middle of the road

Dorian Johnson has said they were walking in the middle of the road. So it's hard to pin profiling on Wilson because Johnson basically testified that they were in violation of that ordinance. Even if they're wasn't a specific ordinance, I doubt folks would have a big problem with a police officer expressing concern for citizens walking in the middle of the road. And Wilson initially didn't try to bust Johnson or Brown for it. Wilson just asked them (ordered them rudely according to Johnson) to get off the road.

I don't see a sustainable civil rights argument for profiling at that point.

Wilson, according to some accounts including Johnson's started to drive off. And then he backed up.

Why did Wilson back up?

I doubt at that point it was because he suddenly realized they were black. I strongly suspect he realized their race long before he drove away - probably as he initially approached them.

Maybe they said something that ticked him off.
Maybe they didn't show any sign of doing what he asked and that ticked him off.
Maybe he noticed the cigars in Brown's hands as he drove off that Johnson said were there and put two and two together with the robbery report that had been broadcast in the police radio.
Maybe something else that others can imagine or Wilson says ...

But from that above list, once again, so far, I do not see a convincing civil rights issue like profiling.

Maybe others have some thoughts on this and I'm missing something.

(and please, I'm not defending Wilson per se. I just don't want to go down a legal rabbit hole or get hopes up with an approach that isn't going to bear fruit holding the officer accountable for killing an unarmed man)

That's murky because of the cigars robbery

It's hard to argue beyond reasonable doubt for profiling - that the officer went after Brown because of his color - when the police radio was broadcasting the robbery and a description that matched Brown.

Ever since Obama entered his candidacy,

the racists sure came out of the closet.

The chances of finding 12 people in the US where one isn't a racist seems slim to me based upon what I've been seeing. And it's probably much worse in Missouri.

This garbage is still going on after 100s of years. It's awful.

Article: "Convicting Darren Wilson Will Be Basically Impossible"

I originally saw this article on Daily Kos
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/21/1323336/-Abbreviated-Pundit-Round-up-Can-Darren-Wilson-be-convicted?showAll=yes

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119157/darren-wilsons-conviction-will-be-basically-impossible
But generally, we expect situations of justified violence and legal killing to be the rare exception, and most people would probably imagine that policemen and citizens raising claims of justifiable homicide must meet a substantive burden of proof. But in Missouri, these justifications barely require any evidence at all.

In other states, claims of self-defense need to be proven as more likely than not, or in legal speak, to a “preponderance of the evidence.” It’s still the state’s obligation to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant actually killed the victim. But once that’s established, the prosecution doesn’t also have to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the killing wasn’t justified. That’s because justifications—like self-defense—require the accused to make an active case, called an “affirmative defense,” that the circumstances were exceptional. The logic here is simple: As a rule, homicide is a crime and justification is reserved for extraordinary cases. Once the state has proven that a defendant did in fact kill someone, it should be the accused’s obligation to prove his or her actions were justified.

Not in Missouri. Instead, as long as there is a modicum of evidence and reasonable plausibility in support of a self-defense claim, a court must accept the claim and acquit the accused. The prosecution must not only prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime, but also disprove a defendant’s claim of self-defense to the same high standard. Under Missouri law, all a citizen claiming self-defense or a police officer claiming to have fired while pursuing a dangerous criminal need do is “inject the issue of justification.” In other words, he only needs to produce some evidence (his own testimony counts) supporting the claim. Once he does so, “any reasonable doubt on the issue requires a finding for the defendant.” In Missouri, the burden doesn’t budge an inch, even after we know that the defendant has killed the victim. It doesn’t matter that there is certainty that Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown. As long as there is still the slightest possibility that Wilson acted in his own defense, Missouri law favors Wilson.


The author provides some links in their article to back up what they're claiming.

Not only is the Ferguson police force a disgrace. So it appears are the Missouri laws that protect it.

This whole situation is appalling. It seems the more I find out, the more appalling it gets.

In short, the prosecution have to prove Mike Brown did not bum rush the officer. They can produce witnesses to say that as we've already heard them. But the officer saying that isn't so may well be enough for reasonable doubt = he gets off.

If they go through with this as laid out above, I fear more people in Ferguson will die. Rodney King II. I don't think I'm over the top saying that. This could get uglier.

Looks like I stand corrected

Convicting Darren Wilson Will Be Basically Impossible
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119157/darren-wilsons-conviction-will-be-basically-impossible
But generally, we expect situations of justified violence and legal killing to be the rare exception, and most people would probably imagine that policemen and citizens raising claims of justifiable homicide must meet a substantive burden of proof. But in Missouri, these justifications barely require any evidence at all.

In other states, claims of self-defense need to be proven as more likely than not, or in legal speak, to a “preponderance of the evidence.” It’s still the state’s obligation to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant actually killed the victim. But once that’s established, the prosecution doesn’t also have to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the killing wasn’t justified. That’s because justifications—like self-defense—require the accused to make an active case, called an “affirmative defense,” that the circumstances were exceptional. The logic here is simple: As a rule, homicide is a crime and justification is reserved for extraordinary cases. Once the state has proven that a defendant did in fact kill someone, it should be the accused’s obligation to prove his or her actions were justified.

Not in Missouri. Instead, as long as there is a modicum of evidence and reasonable plausibility in support of a self-defense claim, a court must accept the claim and acquit the accused. The prosecution must not only prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime, but also disprove a defendant’s claim of self-defense to the same high standard. Under Missouri law, all a citizen claiming self-defense or a police officer claiming to have fired while pursuing a dangerous criminal need do is “inject the issue of justification.” In other words, he only needs to produce some evidence (his own testimony counts) supporting the claim. Once he does so, “any reasonable doubt on the issue requires a finding for the defendant.” In Missouri, the burden doesn’t budge an inch, even after we know that the defendant has killed the victim. It doesn’t matter that there is certainty that Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown. As long as there is still the slightest possibility that Wilson acted in his own defense, Missouri law favors Wilson.


Not only is the Ferguson police force a disgrace. So are the Missouri laws that protect it.

If they go through with this as laid out above, I fear people will die. Rodney King II

I didn't look at how long it took to cover the bodies

I did look at EMS for Brown. The police logs show them being called at 12:04 - right after the shooting. And there is video of them attending to Brown, checking his pulse, etc.

The outstanding question I have is why EMS did not arrive sooner than they did. They arrived fairly shortly/minutes after the shooting - it wasn't hours later. But when they arrived, police tape was already up all around the crime scene so it was more than a couple of minutes. The EMS guy walked to Brown - no jogging or rushing.

It's possible EMS were told it was kind of a formality because Brown was dead and his brains on the road. That was apparent to a number of the bystanders who shot the crime scene videos. They yelled out at the EMS guy "he's dead!" or something to that effect.

For me, I'm beyond merely thinking about justice

I'm way beyond revenge.

150 years after the Civil War. 50 years after MLK. And so many others who died or sacrificed.

We have a man as president who I think is absolutely wonderful, the best president ever to me and a racist congress who won't work with him - putting their ignorant hatred ahead of their country and it's people. Some of the ugly things they've said or lied about him make me cringe and feel wounded for him. And from a distance, the blacks in places like Ferguson see this.

I could fill in with so many more examples like Trayvon Martin - not only with the injustice of letting his murderer go free but with the awful racism that sprung up to belittle the victim and "his kind". Makes me sick.

And tonight in Ferguson, unarmed Mike Brown lies dead. Henry Davis is having to appeal his case against four officers who wrongfully arrested him and after they beat him because he wouldn't accept sleeping on a concrete floor, charged him with getting blood on their uniforms. The city government, school board & police force are almost 100% controlled by a white minority who issue more warrants per year than they have people and 50% more court cases than households disproportionately against blacks. And that drives the blacks deeper into poverty, depriving them of their right to vote because there's a warrant or a felony conviction against them. That leads to taking "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" away from them. Makes my head spin.

Maybe overwhelmed with disdain for this situation, I'm reading this wrong and overreacting but it sure looks like blatant oppression to me. 14,160 blacks live in Ferguson - in something that resembles a police state ... "in the land of the free". And this appears to have been happening ALL THEIR LIVES!!!

It's outrageous. Unbelievable in this day and age. A terrible disgrace and stain on this country.

I feel embarrassment, shame, disgust, frustration, anger, contempt, sadness, disappointment .... my heart aches for these people and what they've been put through. Many must feel hopeless.

We can't waste our time on revenge. Getting some justice may help to deter others and provide some healing but there may not be enough courts and judges to get all that done in our lifetimes. Look at all the effort it's going to take to deal with one cop who shot an unarmed man.

So they have to find a way to fix this problem faster.

When I see this problem, it leaves me wondering "where else is this happening?" Maybe there are things like arrest stats by race or ratios of white vs black government leaders vs mix of race in the population that could help identify them.

And then Ferguson can be used as a model of empowerment to solve the broader problem. Maybe the "fix" could be a series of steps that other communities or cities can execute.
- pardons for a bunch of the warrants or laws that ignore felons/warrants to allow them to vote
- recall the city government, school board, etc and hold a new vote
- dismiss the worst offenders on the police force - those with the most complaints or something like that
- hiring freeze on whites for all positions in city government, police, fire dept, etc until the racial imbalance is corrected
- implement body cams for the police force
etc

The black community leaders should be consulted and involved to help design what is effective and appropriate.

To me, something like that is what is needed here. And needed soon.

The thing that blew me away is

They've raised $30 mil more than last year in only three weeks.

I'm sure it will peter out but it's still seems to going strong. My daughter went to a special local event last night with a change of clothes to do it. It seems to still be growing.

Very, very sad about Cory. But when folks find out, that may give it a big boost. When Terry Fox had to stop his run for cancer because he'd developed lung cancer, it triggered more publicity and an enormous boost to his cause.

It wouldn't shock me if they hit $60-$100 mil with this amazing effort.

It is a horrific disease. Hopefully, this money will deliver some meaningful treatment.

You've really misunderstood my post. Big time.

I never said a bunch of what you allege nor do I believe the things you allege.

Since you've misunderstood, then maybe I didn't make myself clear so I'll try to clarify.

Wilson shot an unarmed man. He has a big problem. He has to justify his actions or he's going to jail. It's pretty hard to justify shooting an unarmed man.

To justify his actions, Wilson is alleged to take the position that Mike bum rushed him and when Mike allegedly did, according to Wilson, Wilson felt threatened that Wilson's life or well being was in danger. It's about the only thing I can imagine Wilson can say to try to save his butt. But to be clear: I'm not saying that. I'm just repeating roughly what has been alleged as Wilson's position.

I'm saying in my prior post that even if one believed Wilson (again, I'm not saying I believe Wilson), Wilson's still not out of the woods because following Wilson's alleged story and the ballistics/autopsy, Wilson's actions very arguably could be construed as he provoked Mike to act desperately. So Wilson's still not off the hook.

Wilson isn't saying "Yeah, I chased the unarmed the black SOB down and exterminated him - throw away the keys". He's going to fight it. In response, I'm kicking around the expected debate to counter with "here's one way to fight back".

No race has a monopoly on stupidity or brilliance.

Although the autopsy report is formally "inconclusive", so far, I have real trouble reconciling Wilson's account with the autopsy. I fully appreciate what the witnesses who have come forward and said in front of a camera that refute Wilson's account. Although I reserved final judgement until I've head all the evidence, I find those witnesses more credible.

Ferguson is a another disgraceful example in a string of way too many unacceptable examples of over-the-top outrageous and heinous white privilege.

Hopefully, that clears up your misunderstanding of what I was trying to say in my prior post.
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