An inconvenient truth

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Photizo, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

    Okay, witness 40... then you have the witnesses whose testimonies were clearly proven to be lies based on the forensic evidence. Then you have the witnesses whose testimonies were confirmed by the forensic evidence. Result? Wilson does not need to stand trial.
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  3. Bells Staff Member

    How in the world can you come to this conclusion?

    Witness 40 was never there. There is no testimony that matches any evidence from her because she was not there. She cannot even be classified as a witness.

    He also said that other witnesses were lying and he knew they were lying while they were testifying.

    The grand jury hearing was tainted because the prosecutor allowed and even invited people to lie and mislead the grand jury. Do you actually understand why this is wrong and how allowing witnesses to perjure themselves in such a way will and does taint the whole hearing? The grand jury were lied to and those lies influenced their decision.

    The whole process became rubbish when the prosecutors allowed and even invited and encouraged this to happen.
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  5. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

    The entire judicial process is tainted to one degree or another by definition. That said, when you consider the forensic evidence and the witness testimonies that are corroborated by that same evidence, I think one can reasonably conclude that Michael Brown was not a victim of officer Wilson's lawless behavior, but rather his own.
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  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    And your point is…? It is telling that you focus so much time and attention on an inconsequential witness and misrepresent her as a star witness because her testimony supported Wilson and ignore all the many witnesses who falsely testified against Wilson’s testimony.
    He also showed the grand jury the evidence they needed to understand she lied. Apparently you don’t know what a material witness is Bells. The grand jury investigation isn’t a criminal proceeding. It is an investigatory proceeding. A crime was not found to have existed. In your mind, you have already determined a crime had occurred and Wilson was guilty before all the evidence was in. You don’t have material witnesses in grand jury proceedings. Every witness is the same.
    And again you are obsessed with one witness who lied and testified against Brown and ignore all the witnesses who falsely testified against Wilson. The prosecutor allowed all those witnesses to testify too, because the grand jury is an investigative body not a criminal body. The prosecutor allowed all witnesses to testify. You repeatedly have failed to understand the grand jury isn’t a criminal proceeding. Stop treating a mouse as it were an elephant. It isn’t.
    I am sure you do, but I am not the one consistently misusing the term. Using your definition, every time a witness lies to a cop and every time the cop allows her to tell the lie again the cop is suborning perjury. Your version of “suborning perjury” is not only demonstrably wrong, it is absurd. Nor do you understand the role of the grand jury. You keep acting as if it was a criminal jury, and as I have repeatedly pointed out to you, it isn’t. It is an investigative body. It determines if a crime had occurred and if a crime had occurred who should be charged based on probable cause.
    No, it isn’t, you need to go back and reread the definition of “suborning perjury” and check you biases at the door.
    Photizo likes this.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Actually, Joe, it is telling that at this point you're politicking at this thin valence.

    And Joe, come on, it's okay to admit that this better be one hell of a witness if you're going to put her on the stand in a procedurally irregular hearing after investigators have found her to be lying. Mouse and elephant? You're reaching, and you know it. If she was such an insignificant witness, why call her at all?

    And I think you know the answer to what happens next.

    You cannot separate this individual from the greater process; this revelation comes at a time when the very process itself is already under question. Everything about this grand jury investigation bears the taint of having been tanked, and here you are trying to downplay one of the most astounding things a prosecutor has ever done in full witness of the public?

    Pretending that a grand jury investigation isn't a legal proceeding is problematic, Joe. There were already questions about how McCulloch treated the witnesses compared to a statistically normal grand jury procedure, and now we have his confirmation that he put liars on the stand. The next question is toward whom he was adversarial and why.

    Prima facie, there is a problem with this process.

    And what bugs me about the tack you're on is that you know just why people are pissed off. What is it you're defending, Joe? What stake do you feel you lose if this comes down on McCulloch and Wilson?

    Will you please walk a brief digression with me? It's a trip down Nostalgia Lane, a period farce that we both remember. One of the contrasts is simply the difference between conservative politics then and now; it's a striking transformation.

    When I was a lad we heard people bemoaning simple ideas like camp citizenship awards as liberal hippie gobbledygunk. And yet, how many people on both sides of the aisle lament an absence of conceptual citizenship, of team play and knowing that it means something to be an American?

    They bemoaned moral relativism and humanism as destabilizing influences that would lower our perceived value of human life. Look at the crosstabs on the recent survey about the torture report, and tell us where the perceived value of human life is lower; the difference is stark.

    They complained that their children were too stupid to listen to rock and roll without becoming psychopathic killers and satanists. Yet how quickly did they roll on cultural symbolism as behavioral influence—talk of Second Amendment solutions, mapping enemies with crosshairs, &c.—when Jared Lee Loughner shot up Tuscon?

    They denounced vigorous judicial defense of criminal suspects, and in some cases that criminal suspects should have any rights at all. Yet look at who gets to walk away for all the weird technicalities.

    Do you remember any of this? Into and through the eighties? Into the nineties until the Revolution of '94?

    And look at how the pattern goes. The same groups who denounced it all then need it all now just to sit up to the table.

    And remember the talk about lawyers? Why wouldn't we? It's pretty much the same, today. But, yes, we have again seen the concept flipped; what was lamented then is what is needed right now to save Darren Wilson and Bob McCulloch from themselves.

    And it's what we're getting, in plain view.

    This was not a normal grand jury proceeding; indeed you'll find some discussion in there about how everyone should get this process. But they don't. And the question is why this individual gets this process on this occasion. And there is no good answer at this time. This is what we've come to. Bob McCulloch is getting ready to stand on a presupposition of good faith↑.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Among others, we know more than one but we don't know how many, his most important and significant eye witness - the only eye witness that corroborated the details of Wilson's testimony that conflict with the physical evidence - witness 40.

    And he knew all of her testimony was likely to be false, because it was all presented as eye witness testimony and he had good reason to believe she was not present, and because he knew she had had time to invent testimony and had an official record of doing so in the past. He concealed this knowledge from the jury, presented her as an undoubted eye witness to the crime, and never challenged or questioned any of her testimony in front of the jury despite his knowledge.

    Like who? We have a witness who said Wilson shot Brown in the back, and he wasn't shot in the back - but that's easily explained: maybe the witness didn't see that Wilson missed with his first shots. That's a mistake, not a lie. Otherwise, what have you got for forensically contradicted claims? Other than Wilson's, that is.

    That would most of them, except Wilson himself. Up until a couple days ago, that included witness 40.

    Apparently my several repetitions of that point have finally sunk in - now you can take the next step: as I keep pointing out, you can't try a case in front of a grand jury. They can't - physically cannot - evaluate "both sides" of controversial case and determine whether a crime has been committed. They cannot evaluate all the circumstances of a case, determine credibility of witnesses and implications of physical evidence, and so forth.

    For example: Faced with the audio evidence of all shots from one spot, and Wilson's testimony of retreating while firing, they have no way of deciding or comparing or evaluating significance. That's what the cross examination of the witnesses and the lawyer's arguments are for. That happens in a trial, and only in a trial.

    What the grand jury can do is evaluate the prosecutor's case, just that, largely based on the prosecutor's opinion of what the facts and evidence imply, and their own familiarity with life in general. The grand jury is a check on the State's propensity for persecution and over-zealous prosecution. A grand jury faced with a prosecutor who is trying to hide from a case, trying to avoid prosecuting someone, is all but helpless.

    That isn't necessary. Abetting voluntary dishonesty under oath, even just allowing a witness to present unchallenged and unquestioned testimony to a jury when you have good reason - not perfect omniscience, just good reason - to think it false, is suborning perjury. It doesn't matter why the witness is lying, or who talked them into it if anyone. Read the law.

    For starters, he presented witness 40 as an undoubted eye witness when he knew or should have known that not to be the case. That's not even subornation - that's the prosecutor himself lying to the grand jury.

    Perjury is not just lying. Perjury is lying while under oath in a legal proceeding. The crime is not witness 40 lying to the police if she feels like it - that would be a different crime, obstructing justice or the like. The crime is abetting her dishonesty in a grand jury hearing, using one's position as the prosecutor to help her lie to a grand jury while under oath. That isn't legal.
    No, he didn't. That evidence was uncovered by journalists after the hearing, and they didn't find it by reading the transcript. Nowhere in the transcript of the hearing is there any record of the prosecutor informing the jury that this person's claim to be an eye witness is dubious, her testimony appears to have been copied from Wilson's public statements, and she has an official record of inventing stuff like this in the past.

    And that's yet another reason why we have trials, rather than grand jury hearings, to determine this kind of stuff. It's a lot harder to get away with that kind of garbage in a trial.

    There are no such "many witnesses who testified falsely against Wilson's testimony". As far as the relative credibility and accuracy of the various testimony, about all we know without a trial is that the physical evidence seems to weigh against Wilson's account and in favor of the eyewitness accounts.

    Take that rigged, biased, incompetent hearing's testimony - just that. Throw out Wilson's account, and witness 40s, and the prosecutor's assertions and wordings; read just the eyewitness accounts as they stand and the physical evidence: try it, see what you think. No trial, even? He walks, without ever facing a trial?
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    LOL, talk about some serious revisionism...if you maintain "you can't try a case in front of a grand jury" then why is it you have repeatedly acted as though the grand jury inquiry was a trial and railed about the absence of criminal trial protocols and rules (e.g. the lack of a cross examination). As I have repeatedly both you and Bells, the grand jury is a investigatory body not a criminal trial body. So if you understand that a grand jury isn't a criminal courtroom, stop treating it like a criminal trial courtroom, because it isn't.

    Here is another class A example of how you expect the grand jury to act as a criminal court. As I have repeatedly told both you and Bells, the grand jury isn't a trier of fact. A criminal court is a trier of fact. The grand jury isn't adversarial as a criminal court would be. It seems you have a great deal of difficulty getting that through you head. Again, as I have repeatedly told you the standard for the grand jury is probably cause, a lower standard than in a criminal court.

    Just because the grand jury process isn't adversarial, it doesn't mean they cannot look at all the evidence and make a reasonable decision as to wither a crime was committed and who should be charged for it. If the grand jury finds probable cause a crime was committed by an individual, as previously explained, then that individual will be charged and be tried in a criminal court of law. The indicted individual will be able to cross examine witnesses.

    So again Ice, if you understand what a grand jury is then start acting like it and stop expecting it to act like a criminal court.
  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    And then there was witness 41, “Witness 41: “And um, Michael Brown’s on his knees with his hands up and he was being shot up. And then he-he fell. The officer got out of his truck, SUV rather and that’s when he stood over the boy and just emptied his clip.”

    And then there is witness 42, “He shot again, shot the individual in the back, Mr. Brown, I don’t know what part of the back he shot but he turned around, Mr. Brown turned around…and literally put his arms up…in a, fashion to where…my understanding that means surrender.”

    Your speculation isn’t consistent with the evidence or the witnesses who testified against Wilson – yeah except for those small details. It's kind of difficult to turn around on your knees.

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    Both you and Bells are cherry picking. You want to focus all this attention on one insignificant witness and ignore a number of witnesses. That isn't what the grand jury did. The grand jury did what they should have done. They looked at all witnesses and all the evidence before drawing a conclusion.

    The prosecutor allowed ALL available testimony to be heard and all the evidence to be reviewed and I think that is the way all grand juries should be conducted. If the grand jury finds probably cause after reviewing all the accumulated evidence, then the accused should be legally accused and tried in a criminal court room in an adversarial process before a judge and/or jury to determine and validate facts and determine guilt or innocence. You are just pissed because the grand jury didn't share your biases and acted responsibly.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  12. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    well you know except for the fact they destroyed blood evidence.
  13. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    so you belive that the grand jury acted as it should than? ok why the fuck than aren't you out in the streets raging against the justice system that in all noncop cases never presents exculpatory evidence. so you sereriously want us to believe that 99+% of grand juries aren't doing what the there supposed to? again in big and bold so you understand just how fucking stupid your argument is.

    so you sereriously want us to believe that 99+% of grand juries aren't doing what the there supposed to?

    because that is exactly what your saying by saying the grand jury did its job.
  14. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Get serious.
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So? 1 ) Far more credible, both of them, than witness 40 or by now any other witness "supporting" Wilson's account, and 2) nothing in there as completely at odds with the forensic evidence as Wilson's account of retreating while firing.

    Neither of those statements is forensic evidence, and both are reconcilable with each other and with easily imagined and evidence-consistent sequences of event - your claim is that there were "many witnesses who testified falsely" against Wilson, and you can provide an example of not even one?

    That's OK, nobody else can either.

    And so far I have done no speculating inconsistent with any evidence - all my speculating, and there hasn't been much, has been directly and explicitly in the service of the forensic evidence, attempts to reconcile various accounts with the physical evidence. If Wilson's first shots were at a fleeing Brown, for example, then the eyewitness accounts and the physical evidence of these first shots align quite well.

    How is a grand jury supposed to be able to "review" evidence like this without analysis and examination and so forth? It can't be done. Look at the complete nonsense - testimony from mentally ill people claiming to be "eyewitnesses", four hours of coached and guided "testimony" from the suspect himself without cross examination, inexplicably presented contradictory accounts of the law involved, key physical evidence buried in thousands of pages of documents - they had to "review". You are asking for the impossible, and opening the door to the kinds of manipulation and injustice we see in this Ferguson debacle.

    You are asking a bunch of ordinary citizens to do the DA's job - do you understand why that job is not given to people with no legal training and no relevant experience?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  16. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    I am. this is not a joke as you seem to think its. this grand jury was conducted very different than most. so if it was the way a grand jury is supposed to be done and assuming your a decent intelligent person that you will stand by your conclusion that most grand juries are not done properly

    your as bad as trooper. answer the damn question. why is it ok in your mind that this grand jury was conducted in such a radically different manner than the thousands of grand juries that don't involve cops. every is beneath the law joe. there shouldn't be a different system for cops and non cops like you believe.

    Necesse est sub lege. et e magno ad infirma
  17. tali89 Registered Senior Member

    My goodness, it's like an echo chamber in here, isn't it? I guess that's how left-wingers operate: Have enough people repeat the same conjecture often enough, and it becomes fact in their minds. Let's have a look at the straws they are grasping at that somehow prove that Brown was supposedly gunned down execution style (or while running away. Again, liberals can't keep their own story straight!)

    For example, Witness 41 claimed that Brown was on his knees with his hands up when Wilson shot him. She claims she recorded the incident on her cell-phone. Unfortunately, she later dropped the cellphone in her toilet and then *threw it out*.

    Uhhh, whoops!

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    Fortunately, there is another witness who corroborates the left's revisionist interpretation of events. Witness 42 claims that he saw Brown shot in the back while trying to surrender. Unfortunately, when pressed further, he admitted he didn't see the events 'physically with his eyes'.

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    Watching liberals clutch at these stories to support their inherent bigotry is a tragic comedy.
  18. Bells Staff Member

    Oh look, Ann Coulter returns and this time it has a rash....

    You do realise that you are just making our point for us, yes?

    That the prosecutors knew people were lying and they put them on the stand anyway. Good job finding further instances of the prosecutors failing.
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  19. tali89 Registered Senior Member

    Left-wingers such as yourself are claiming that the grand jury proceeding was biased in favour of Wilson, yet the prosecutor presented numerous witnesses who claimed that Wilson shot Brown in cold blood. Yeah, that sounds like a rigged grand jury all right, with the prosecutor presenting numerous witnesses that would favour an indictment [/sarcasm].

    And let's not forget that iceaura and yourself have been citing what these witnesses said as gospel, as did the liberal media. Will liberals continue to perpetuate lies, now that one of your key witnesses has admitted that they didn't 'see the events physically with their eyes' (LOL!) Will they apologise for race baiting and encouraging inter-racial hostility? Come on Bells, surprise me.

    It's not Wilson's fault that the witnesses testifying against him were found to be unreliable by the grand jury proceeding. Instead of attempting to circumvent due process of law, you whiny left-wingers with a chip on your shoulder could, ya know, actually dredge up some reliable evidence against Wilson? That might be a bit better than relying on the testimony of someone who 'didn't see events physically with their eyes'.

    Oh, by the way, I love how joe liked your inanity. Like I said, echo-chamber. When left-wingers can't dominate in legal proceedings, they attempt to dominate in the public forum by shouting down opposition and preaching to the choir. Pathetic.
  20. Bells Staff Member

    Have you failed to notice that you are the only one whining?

    As we noted previously, the prosecutor allowed witnesses to perjure themselves and did so knowingly, in one instance, invited one back to do it again and present false evidence. And as I noted previously, you are simply making that point for us by giving yet further proof that the prosecutor knowingly allowed witnesses to perjure themselves before the grand jury. That is illegal. And the material witness who became the poster child for the right wing, who was repeatedly quoted by right wing media as corroborating Wilson was not even there when the shooting occurred. In short, she was the worst liar of the lot. And you defend this? Tell me Tali89, do you always defend perjury? Do you see any of us "left wingers" defending or supporting the perjury of those who were against Wilson? No, you do not. Why is that? Because allowing and inviting people to lie before the grand jury is not only illegal, it is also immoral.

    And my key witness? You do realise that I am not even American, yes? See, the difference between where I am and where you are is that we don't allow or invite people to perjure themselves. That is illegal. Nor is it defended, like you are trying to defend it.

    The only people race baiting here has been the one making derogatory and racist comments about black people. I notice you didn't speak out against that either. Interesting..

    So this display you are putting on now is what? What you have done is prove once again why politics has no place in a court room. You are so quick to turn it into a political issue that you don't even understand what you are defending.
  21. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Did Bob McCulloch intentionally persuade the witnesses to commit perjury?
  22. Bells Staff Member

    If the law is to be read literally, yes, it appears as though he did with at least one witness and possibly more according to tali89 who provided detail of other witnesses perjuring themselves. He knew she (witness #40) was not there before he even invited her to appear before the grand jury (the police investigators and the FBI had dismissed her as a witness because she was clearly never there - and he had her take an oath and lie under oath anyway) as a material witness. Not content with it happening the first time, she was then invited back and invited and encouraged to bring her fake journal which she said contained her notes about what she had seen during the shooting (which the prosecutors knew was a lie because they knew she was never even there before they put her in front of the grand jury), as evidence...

    He admitted he knew right from the start that they were lying. At no time were the grand jury advised that the witnesses were lying, as an officer of the court is meant to advise the grand jury that witnesses are lying the moment they find out or realise they are lying. Coupled with the prosecutors providing the grand jury with the wrong legislation for weeks before correcting themselves in the last days of the hearing and then telling them that it wasn't a law lecture when they asked about the differences between the incorrect law and the correct law they had just been given..

    That hearing was a sham. Any prosecutor or officer of the court that allows people to perjure themselves and does so knowingly and does not advise the court of it the moment they find out (and they knew those witnesses were lying) turns the whole proceeding into a sham.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    What does that sentence have to do with anything?

    It's not even a straw man; it's just complete irrelevance.

    The question as pertains to calling a known liar to the stand and encouraging her to perjure herself is on Bob McCulloch and his team.

    As to the witnesses against Wilson you're complaining about, neither should McCulloch have called them when he knew they had lied.

    Now consider these alleged witnesses known to have lied.

    Prosecutors challenged those who testified against the officer, questioned them adversarially. They did not do so when people testified on behalf of the officer. Indeed, in the case of "Witness 40", the perjury on behalf of the officer got her invited back for a second session.

    So the process goes something like this:

    • Should I call a perjuring witness?
    ―Legal answer, no. Functional answer, why not?
    • Is this witness perjuring on behalf of the officer or against him?
    ―Legal answer, doesn't matter. Functional answer, If testifying on behalf of officer, then no adversarial questioning. If testifying against officer, then discredit.

    The question isn't just who was called, but how those people were treated. This is an independent legal question of its own, but also pertains to the question of due process in the context of equal protection; as noted, this was an extraordinary process involving extraordinary protection under the law.

    Sometimes the difference seems a matter of directions on a flow chart; for some of us, Justice is an abstraction to be pursued, while for others it is simply whatever process is at hand. The latter is an outcome whereby the institution and processes of the courts themselves stands as a surrogate for justice. And when we add up those perspectives, the general theme that emerges is that everybody seems to know our justice system is awry, but many want to keep it that way for certain things. That is to say, you will hear about the courts as a tool for eminent domain, and how that is unjust; you will hear about how sleazy personal injury attorneys are, or divorce lawyers, or patent troll attorneys, and how those processes are unjust; and, of course, you will hear about our criminal justice system, and how it keeps falling all over itself; the truth is that it's all been trimmed and shaped and optimized to the point of being formally skeletal, and looks as if it could fall over if the winds are strong enough.

    It's why we watch judges, for instance. And it's why it matters who is nominated and confirmed to the federal bench. The grand jury process in Ferguson was such a mess that we haven't even gotten to the judge, yet.

    But consider politics and justice. In the recent gay marriage slate, what has emerged is that decisions favoring marriage equality are straightforward and generally consistent in their constitutional construction, while the decisions against are nearly incomprehnsible and rely on specifics that would not hold consistently if brought to general application. Robicheaux, a decision out of a federal court in Louisiana, went after single-parent households in order to justify its rejection of homosexual unions. Later that month, Judge Edward Rubin, in a state court at Lafayette, destroyed Louisiana's ban against same-sex marriage with a straightforward ruling attending the Constitution↱. The difference between the rulings in Robicheaux and Costanza is almost unbelievable; the former is a tantrum registering somewhere in the range of absurdity, the latter is a judicial ruling. (See also, the quick, nearly hilarious "clarification" of an injunction↱ from a federal court at Tallahassee; the judge is nearly disbelieving of the question put before him.)

    Trying to account for similar differences in the criminal justice system?

    The common thread is the idea of what direction a flow chart points. Constitutional principle is subservient to desire in Robicheaux, just as it is in any argument trying to call the Ferguson grand jury any respectable manner of due process.

    And it does make a difference; the analyst I was following in advance of the DeBoer decision against marriage equality was right, and I was wrong, insofar as the Sixth went against same-sex marriage, but, strangely, he got the judges exactly wrong insofar as Sutton and Daughtery switched places compared to the projection.

    That notion of what direction the chart flows matters.

    And this is also why we watch prosecutors. Three controversial names: Elliot Spitzer, Rudy Giuliani, and Chris Christie. Even among partisan support there are large factions that measure these individuals by an asshole scale. We might argue over their corruption or awfulness as Democrat or Republican, but how many will really stop and apply that consideration to their tenures as prosecutors? In other words, they were angels up until the day they stopped being prosecutors and became assholes.

    It's kind of the same expectation of good faith we are to show the police. You know, the kind that leads to the mentality that a police officer can lie in good faith. And good faith, as I have noted, is what Bob McCulloch is preparing to stand on.

    This is a difficult situation; we are at a point where the question is not simply what happened that day in Ferguson, but also includes our basic definitions of justice and due process. In every way this bad situation could have gotten worse, it has. Procedurally speaking, it will be a few months at least before it has a chance to get any better. This season of our discontent will persist for now. Justice sharpens her sword, if only in hopes of simply holding the line. This cannot keep getting worse; the People are running out of room to retreat.

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