Tagged: shooting

Ferguson After Grand Jury

The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has been in the media forefront since the tragic shooting in August 2014 but it gained new traction recently when the Ferguson Grand Jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson. Traditionally, a grand jury hearing is a one-sided presentation of the facts and evidence by the prosecutor. Not here, however: District Attorney Robert McCulloch decided to let the grand jury hear all the evidence, including a narrative statement by the target. Why? Take a moment to explore this question and read Reflecting on the Ferguson Grand Jury by Joel Cohen & Bennett L. Gershman.

The central irony in this case is that the familiar abuses in the grand jury process typically occur when prosecutors refuse to present all of the evidence and, indeed, hide evidence that might have led a grand jury to refuse to indict – to vote a “no true bill.” What is particularly odd about the Ferguson Grand Jury presentation is the complaint that by his decision to present all of the evidence, McCulloch actually dis-served the prosecution. Why did McCulloch take these steps? We do not know, and we are likely never to know.

The McBride Shooting: A Culpable Accident?

The fatal shooting of Renisha McBride by a homeowner on the front porch of a home outside Detroit raises questions about the reasonableness of shooting under “stand your ground,” self-defense, and culpable accident doctrines. Pace Professor Bennett Gershman analyzes the case for the Huffington Post.  Click here to read the article in full: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bennett-l-gershman/i-didnt-mean-to-kill-reni_b_4325738.html

Police Encounters with the Mentally Ill

Another unfortunate fatality resulted last week in New Rochelle, when the police attempted to deal with a man who was clearly mentally disturbed. These complicated and dangerous situations continue to generate controversy, particularly in these economic times when police departments may not have the resources to secure the immediate help of mental health professionals.

Pace Professor Bennett Gershman addresses the issues raised by these incidents in a recent editorial.