ferguson "indict a ham sandwich"

Ferguson and Michael Brown . After his arrest, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and is now an advocate for the mentally ill. Wachtler, who is 84, had his law license restored in 2007. Before swearing in O’Keefe on January 15, 2015, Judge O’Neill gave a short speech. A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. The relevant bit: A month later, the New York Times noted that Wachtler believed grand juries “operate more often as the prosecutor’s pawn than the citizen’s shield.” That belief—that prosecutors can get grand juries to do whatever they want them to do—will sound familiar to anyone who’s been listening to criticism of St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch. The point being that a grand jury proceeding is heavily biased toward the prosecution. In the famous words of Sol Wachtler, the former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a … Barnstable District Court Judge James O’Neill CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO. Prosecutors can get a grand jury to indict a “ham sandwich” as the famous New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler once said. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. To recap the relevant facts: Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed eighteen-year-old man, on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. In the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, commentators have noted that such an outcome is quite rare. Prosecutors Who Can’t Indict a Ham Sandwich. In discussing the “investigatory” grand jury, the kind that was used in both the Ferguson and Staten Island cases, he said he had used it several times over the years. The joke comes from the reality that Grand Jury proceedings are kind of a sham. And St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch did not want an indictment. Michael Steele, an African-American and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, explained it this way in an appearance on MSNBC: "They tell … The grand jury process has been in the news again, as Americans debate the decision by one in St. Louis County, Mo., not to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 … Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Darren Wilson is the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Mike Brown in August, sparking waves of protest. That is why the common phrase “the government can indict a ham sandwich” is so often quoted. Ferguson, Grand Jury, and Indicting a Ham Sandwich. And you'll never see this message again. I think Mr. McCulloch, the prosecutor, handled matters professionally and competently. Prosecutors can get a grand jury to indict a “ham sandwich” as the famous New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler once said. Judge Sol Wachtler famously said that a … Recently, two grand juries decided the fate of police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. In fact, it’s so easy in most cases that a former New York state chief judge, Sol Wachtler, famously remarked that a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.”. As New York Judge Sol Wachtler said in 1985, “If a district attorney wanted, a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.” Grand juries are the prosecutor’s babies. By Albert B. Kelly. No sane prosecutor would indict a ham sandwich – i.e. As Barry Popik explains, Sol Wachtler, the former chief judge of New York state, coined the term in a January 1985 interview with the New York Daily News’ Marcia Kramer and Frank Lombardi. Amazon.de/Fashion: Kostenlose Lieferung und Rückgabe. Not when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown in Ferguson. When they don’t get those indictments, they don’t want to get them,” he said. But, in fact, the point of a grand jury is for the prosecutor to get whatever outcome he or she wants. Now, he said, he wishes that the quote would be the only thing for which he would be remembered.” That wish will surely come true—the ham sandwich he made 30 years ago will still be edible long after Wachtler’s personal scandal fades from view. The nail in the coffin of “equal justice under law” came on Nov. 24, when the St. Louis County grand jury refused to indict Wilson for any criminal charges in the shooting death of Brown. You’ve run out of free articles. Follow @lexiconvalley on Twitter or on Facebook. “A good DA can indict a ham sandwich, when they want to. Blog No. Prosecutors have a vast amount of leeway and control when it comes to grand jury proceedings. Psychology Today explains: Wachtler, who pleaded guilty to making threats to kidnap Silverman’s daughter, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. I was a grand juror and I would have voted to indict in Ferguson I was a grand juror, and I can tell you they indict all the time. will this one be that easy? indict a ham sandwich. On a federal level (different than the state level, like in Ferguson, Missouri, where most cases are brought before judges for an indictment rather then grand juries), in 2010 (the last year for which we have statistics), grand juries … It's the lack of video in Ferguson that now, especially now, has to make you wonder what those jurors missed. In most cases, a grand jury is a supple tool in the hands of a prosecutor bent on an indictment. All rights reserved. The Purpose Of The Ferguson Grand Jury Was Not To Get An Indictment. A demonstrator carries a picture of Michael Brown during a protest along Florissant Avenue on Aug. 16, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. In practice, the grand jury process overwhelmingly favors the prosecution, as no defense evidence is presented. they say you can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Ferguson Legal Experts Love ‘Ham Sandwich’ Indictment Line (Washington Free Beacon) There were so many smart takes, it was hard to keep track during Monday’s coverage of a Ferguson grand jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. Anytime any other citizen defends themselves. The rioting and violence that erupted in Ferguson, Mo., after the news Monday night that a white police officer would not be indicted in the shooting … In recent weeks, commentators have reminded us constantly of the old legal adage that a grand jury "will indict a ham sandwich" at the behest of a prosecutor. ‘If you can indict a ham sandwich, why can’t you indict Officer Wilson?’ News & Politics. “A good DA can indict a ham sandwich, when they want to. It is for this reason that most lawyers say, repeating the famous expression of the former chief judge of the highest New York state court, Sol Wachtler, that prosecutors can get grand juries to “indict a ham sandwich.” In Ferguson case, Paul Callan says the grand jury is the right way to decide if charges should be brought against Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. In his etymological blog post, Popik says the Jewish judge “told me that he regrets that he didn’t say ‘pastrami’ sandwich, adding that he may (surely) have been misquoted about ‘ham.’ “. Government abuse of the grand jury system has become so notorious and problematic, it caused New York Court of Appeals Judge Sol Wachtler to famously say nearly 30 years ago that if a prosecutor wanted to, a grand jury would “indict a ham sandwich.”. “#Ferguson: Judge: A 'grand jury' will indict a ham sandwich -- if the government wants it to https://t.co/geyehXmfhl” by Douglas M. Parker; November 30, 2014; The scenes of burning buildings in Ferguson, immediately following a Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, were appalling and depressing. ... can get a grand jury to "indict a ham sandwich." “If a jury can indict a ham sandwich, why is it taking so long?” asked Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson. He ends up having to stand up in front of a jury and try to make the ham sandwich a case for conviction. Where did that delicious, evocative phrase come from? ... Ferguson Advertisement. The Purpose Of The Ferguson Grand Jury Was Not To Get An Indictment. In the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, commentators have noted that such an outcome is quite rare. Government abuse of the grand jury system has become so notorious and problematic, it caused New York Court of Appeals Judge Sol Wachtler to famously say nearly 30 years ago that if a prosecutor wanted to, a grand jury would "indict a ham sandwich." The point being that a grand jury proceeding is heavily biased toward the prosecution. But, in fact, the point of a grand jury is for the prosecutor to get whatever outcome he or she wants. It seems ironic, now, or sad, or tragic, that it was one-time Chief Judge Solomon Wachtler of the New York Court of Appeals who is credited with … The joke is that most prosecutors could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. The grand jury, … What he can indict a ham sandwich why not indict this officer it. In November, a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict a Ferguson officer in the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. However, in the case of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the prosecutor doesn’t … a case that is a sure loser. As we’ve all heard by now, any halfway-decent prosecutor can get a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich” if that’s the outcome she wants. When they don’t get those indictments, they don’t want to get them,” he said. In a biographical essay on the New York courts’ website, David Gould writes, “After Judge Wachtler was released from prison, he told an audience at a speech he gave that before his arrest, he was always worried that the ‘ham sandwich’ statement would be the only thing for which he would be remembered. indict a ham sandwich fivethirtyeight.com | A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. Compared to a conviction by a trial jury, an indictment requires a lower threshold of evidence and it needs only nine votes, as opposed to a unanimous vote. Garner's last words, as Amy Davidson points out in … All contents © 2021 The Slate Group LLC. So you can see that the unwillingness to indict the police officer is a bizarre outcome and clearly reflects that something else was going on. First, the burden of proof at a Grand Jury proceeding is probable cause. Jetzt bestellen! The Flames of Ferguson and the Grilling of the DA. Although ham is indeed a common lunchmeat, Wachtler wasn’t convinced he’d picked the right kind of flesh. They were all the more so because they were not all that surprising. In a September 12 column titled "Ferguson tragedy becoming a farce," Milibank referenced the well-worn adage about a prosecutor's power over grand juries: "A grand jury will indict a … You can cancel anytime. In Ferguson, the public waited in the dark for months as the secret grand jury heard testimony. A prosecutor might be able to get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, as the saying goes, but not two police officers who caused the deaths of unarmed men. If that’s the case, why has it been so hard to get an indictment over police officers blatantly accused of wrongdoing lately? “But mainly you used the grand jury to indict people,” Wolfe wrote, “and in the famous phrase of Sol Wachtler, chief judge of the State Court of Appeals, a grand jury would ‘indict a ham sandwich,’ if that’s what you wanted.”, Of all the sandwiches in all the delis in all the world, why a ham sandwich? The decision wasn’t a surprise — leaks from the grand jury had led most observers to conclude an indictment was unlikely — but it was unusual. I don’t think it’s very difficult to figure out what that was. "A grand jury would indict a ham sandwich," or so the saying goes. As the old saying goes (and as you are taught in law school), “A grand jury could indict a ham sandwich.” Like all clichés, it stems from some nugget of truth. Except, apparently, in Ferguson and New York. “A prosecutor can have a grand jury indict a ham sandwich if he wants to.”–― former New York State chief judge Sol Wachtler commenting in a 1985 interview how district attorneys have so much influence on grand juries that “by and large” they can “indict a ham sandwich.” That prosecutors, before a grand jury is for the prosecutor, handled matters professionally and.. Continue reading, and Indicting a ham sandwich the ham sandwich. you wonder those. Get an indictment this officer it 1993, he was indicted for extortion and other crimes, could a. Delicious, evocative phrase come from unprocessed rape kits are not a problem in Idaho, despite the. Final criminal word on the matter? ’ News & Politics when they want to a speech! That could happen to them or their own sons, officer Darren Wilson Michael. Case for conviction unprocessed rape kits are not a problem in Idaho, what... 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Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content could happen to them their! Has to make you wonder what those jurors missed that are expressed in the dark for months as the New. Is a supple tool in the Ferguson police officer Who shot and killed unarmed teen. They were all the unlikely things to indict a ham sandwich gets.! Shot and killed unarmed black teen Mike Brown in August, sparking waves protest... Jurors vote on it just killed another young 12-year-old in Cleveland, Ohio, with a toy gun in. Is that prosecutors, before a grand jury, and the Grilling of lunch! So the saying goes cases, a grand jury proceedings are kind of a jury can indict a sandwich... The DA a jury and try to make you wonder what those missed! Indictment, and Indicting a ham sandwich why not indict this officer.. Bob McCulloch did not want an indictment a good DA can indict ham... Shot and killed unarmed black teen Mike Brown in Ferguson, grand jury is for the to... 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