Cohen, James — Ferguson Grand Jury: A Legal Analysis, Part Two

Posted on December 16th, 2014 in Law,Race,Relationships by LeGov

We continue our look into the Ferguson, Missouri, investigation of the August 9, 2014, shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18 year old black man, shot three times in the head by the now former Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson. 

The St. Louis County, Missouri, grand jury, convened by District Attorney and Prosecutor Robert McCulloch failed to return any criminal charges against Wilson.  This occurred after three months of weekly grand jury meetings.  Prosecutor Robert McCulloch gathered and organized the information and facts presented to the grand jury. 

Our guest is Attorney and Law Professor James A. Cohen, who has tried over 100 criminal jury trials and teaches criminal law and related topics at Fordham University Law School in New York City.  

In part one, Professor Cohen and I reviewed the evidence, including Wilson’s spoken testimony, the written police reports and medical reports presented to the St. Louis, Missouri, grand jury, by District Attorney McCulloch.

In this second part of our visit with Professor Cohen we continue a review of Officer Wilson’s testimony and the forensic evidence.  We then examine the duties of a prosecutor before a grand jury; the potential for conflicts of interest; and the prosecutor’s ethical obligations.  Professor Cohen asserts that had a special prosecutor been appointed to present the evidence of the facts surrounding Officer Wilson’s shooting of Brown, it is likely that a significantly different decision might have resulted from the grand jury’s deliberations.

In this program, recorded on December 5, 2014, we begin part two with Professor Cohen’s analysis of Officer Wilson’s testimony about why he shot Michael Brown nine times, including three shots to the young man’s head.

The books that Professor Cohen recommends are those written by Anders Ericsson:  “The Road To Excellence: The Acquisition of Expert Performance in the Arts and Sciences, Sports, and Games” and “Development of Professional Expertise: Toward Measurement of Expert Performance and Design of Optimal Learning Environments.”

Click here to listen to part two or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part one.

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  1. on December 16th, 2014 at 3:13 pm

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