Bob McCullouch doesn’t really want to indict Darren Wilson. He doesn’t feel he committed a crime! His past performances make it clear he doesn’t view a police officer, especially a white one, killing an unarmed black “suspect”‘ to be a criminal act under any circumstances! Ferguson Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch’s Long History of Siding With the Police, August 29, 2014 Newsweek
However, there is the inconvenient accounts of several witnesses, many of whom are independent, that Mike Brown had his hands up in apparent surrender when he was killed. Additionally, there is the annoying evidence that Wilson fatally shot Mike Brown from a distance of 35 to 100 feet. Notwithstanding what might have occurred in the car, how could Brown, unarmed, with his hands allegedly raised, pose enough of a threat to justify Wilson killing him? In light of these circumstances, the worldwide publicity the case has generated and the uncomfortable civil disturbances, McCullouch, is forced to seek an indictment, or at least, pretend to.
McCullouhc’s novel approach to “seeking” an indictment while evading it, is well briefed in this excellent article: Bob McCulloch’s grand jury charade: County Prosecutor shows how to not get an indictment, October 14, 2014, Jerryl T. Christmas, The St. Louis American.
Yes, McCullouch is only “seeking” an indictment because he feels compelled to do so. Of course, he is doing everything to avoid getting the indictment he supposedly wants. It is like a Tom and Jerry cartoon! They may be cat and mouse but Tom only pretends to chase Jerry when the housekeeper is watching!
Yes, the old saw is that a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich. That is because the grand jury is a tool of the prosecutor! He or she controls the evidence that is placed before it and he or she has no obligations to the defendant. In other words, a grand jury will follow the lead of the prosecutor…even if that leads away from an indictment!
McCullouch is acting like a defense attorney, not a prosecutor. According to leaks, he allowed the defendant to testify for four hours! Ferguson officer appears before grand jury on shooting of Michael Brown, September 17, 2014,
As Attorneys Christmas and John Rogers point out, the only reason the defendant’s attorneys accepted McCullouch’s invitation to have their client testify is because that very invitation signaled that McCullouch wants to indict Wilson about as much as Wilson wants to be indicted! McCullouch and Wilson are like Tom and Jerry! Their adversarial relationship is a facade. McCullouch might as well be Wilson’s preemptive defense attorney! If there is no indictment, there is no trial!
No need to subject poor Mr. Wilson to a trial! There are many drawbacks to such an event…(1) No secrecy (not that it has been observed in practice…not only have there been leaks, but they have all favored Wilson) However, a full-blown trial allows everyone to see all the evidence, see the witnesses cross-examined and allows full discovery! Consequently, as in the Trayvon Martin case, the entire nation would be informed enough to view an acquittal, in contravention of the evidence, as a travesty; (2) A trial could actually result in a conviction, however remote that possibility might be. Better to make sure it doesn’t get to that stage!
Now the grand jury has seen McCullouch seek indictments against other potential defendants so they know how its done! They see how McCullouch approaches Wilson’s case and realize he would never afford another criminal defendant the privileges he is affording Mr. Wilson. Of course, Mr. Wilson is not just any criminal defendant to McCullouch and the grand jury sees that!
That’s why McCullouch is presenting all the evidence in the case to the grand jury without seeking a specific charge. He forces them to have to assume his job, i.e., parsing through all of it. The grand jury must go beyond the bounds of what they are impaneled to do, which is simply to see if there is probable cause for an indictment, which there is. They must now exceed the responsibilities and tasks of a normal grand jury and try the case. Quoting from Attorney Christmas’ article:
McCulloch’s decision to present every piece of evidence to the grand jury is a delay tactic, which in my experience overwhelms the grand jury and usually ends up with a vote not to indict. Keep in mind, this is just a “probable cause” hearing – the grand jury is not determining “guilt or innocence,” which happens at the actual trial. The grand jury doesn’t really need every piece of evidence to determine “probable cause.”
Now the grand jury deliberations are secret (well in theory) as opposed to a trial jury, and there is no discovery or cross-examination. Thus grand juries are not designed to try cases. It is not fair to either party! That explains why McCullouch wants to successfully “defend” the case at the grand jury stage. Of course, the many leaks of testimony and evidence solely favoring Wilson imply that McCullouch will indeed “win” the case. St. Louis County prosecutor expresses faith in grand jury, 10/31/14, Trymaine Lee, MSNBC
Darren Wilson could not have a better defense attorney than Bob McCullouch, the “prosecutor” and we are the “housekeeper.”