The shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18 year old black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014, by a since retired white Ferguson, Missouri, police office, Darren Wilson, is the subject of this, the first of two Radio Curious interviews devoted to this topic.
Our guest is 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. Professor Cohen and I review 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 Robert McCulloch. His office exclusively organized and presented that evidence, which “with some exceptions,” according to Prosecutor McCulloch, was “made public” shortly after he announced that the grand jury failed to return criminal charges against former Officer Wilson, on November 24, 2014.
When Professor Cohen and I visited by phone on December 5, 2014, we created a context for what occurred when the Ferguson Grand Jury met between August 20, and November 21, 2014. We began our conversation with a brief history of grand juries, originally organized in England to protect the people from wonton acts of the King.
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 or on the media player below.
Click here to listen to part two.