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Hidden Cause, Visible Effects

Grand Juries, despite the romantic view of them, are creatures of the prosecution. The prosecutor decides what evidence to show the jurors and what to withhold. The prosecutor instructs the jurors on the law and draws up the bill he wants them to find. They have such little independence that former New York State Chief Judge Sol Wachler once said that a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich if the prosector wanted.

Of course, the opposite is true.

How do we know, however, that the prosecutor in Furguson intended the grand jury to return no true bill? The answer is that the target Officer Darren Wilson chose to testify to the grand jury.

Now consider this: In a grand jury a target has no lawyer. There is no judge to decide what questions can be put to him. A target is at the mercy of the prosecutor, if he…

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