November 25th, 2014

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So many things. But I will limit myself to the following:

I cannot think of any steps that the government officials in Ferguson and St. Louis County could have done more to undermine confidence in the process and the verdict. Starting with the deployment of militarized police in the first day. Strategic leaks. Defensive press conferences. A grand jury process that looks impressive unless you actually know how grand jury processes work (the grand jury is supposed to be a very modest hurdle to determine if there is sufficient reason to proceed to trial. It is the trial with its evidence and procedure designed to provide a full airing of the case, that is supposed to clear the innocent subject to a reasonable doubt). Here, the prosecutor simply dumped a great mound of evidence with no guidance and failed to do his job, which is to actually prosecute and leave the defending to the defense.

I note in passing that an Israeli jury has indicted a police officer for using live fire rounds to contain rioters and killing at least one Palestinian teenager.

I cannot pretend to speak to what others are feeling, particularly young black men who know that they live their lives under a cloud of suspicion simply for being who they are. I will say that when the confidence in the rule of law erodes, it ultimately undermine society as a whole. No system will ever deliver perfet justice. But a system that is perceived as consistently failing to deliver justice is one that commands neither legitimacey or respect.