Ferguson Legal Experts Love ‘Ham Sandwich’ Indictment Line (Washington Free Beacon) There were so many smart takes, it was hard to keep track during Monday’s coverage of a Ferguson grand jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. Of all the unlikely things to indict, why this one? Finally, keep this in mind: It has often been said that a decent prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich. The nail in the coffin of “equal justice under law” came on Nov. 24, when the St. Louis County grand jury refused to indict Wilson for any criminal charges in the shooting death of Brown. When they don’t get those indictments, they don’t want to get them,” he said. Prosecutors can get a grand jury to indict a “ham sandwich” as the famous New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler once said. The Flames of Ferguson and the Grilling of the DA. ‘If you can indict a ham sandwich, why can’t you indict Officer Wilson?’ News & Politics. In contrast, the 12 members of the Ferguson panel (nine white, three black) were asked to … asked Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson. Amazon.de/Fashion: Kostenlose Lieferung und Rückgabe. Now, he said, he wishes that the quote would be the only thing for which he would be remembered.” That wish will surely come true—the ham sandwich he made 30 years ago will still be edible long after Wachtler’s personal scandal fades from view. Darren Wilson is the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Mike Brown in August, sparking waves of protest. The decision wasn’t a surprise — leaks from the grand jury had led most observers to conclude an indictment was unlikely — but it was unusual. In the Ferguson case involving the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, Officer Darren Wilson was invited to testify. It is exactly these processes that are expressed in the events in Ferguson. No sane prosecutor would indict a ham sandwich – i.e. As the old saying goes (and as you are taught in law school), “A grand jury could indict a ham sandwich.” Like all clichés, it stems from some nugget of truth. In discussing the “investigatory” grand jury, the kind that was used in both the Ferguson and Staten Island cases, he said he had used it several times over the years. Except, apparently, in Ferguson and New York. Tweet Share Copy Arts & Entertainment Books ... can get a grand jury to "indict a ham sandwich." And St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch did not want an indictment. Prosecutors have a vast amount of leeway and control when it comes to grand jury proceedings. Prosecutors can get a grand jury to indict a “ham sandwich” as the famous New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler once said. In the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, commentators have noted that such an outcome is quite rare. But, in fact, the point of a grand jury is for the prosecutor to get whatever outcome he or she wants. In November, a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict a Ferguson officer in the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. Government abuse of the grand jury system has become so notorious and problematic, it caused New York Court of Appeals Judge Sol Wachtler to famously say nearly 30 years ago that if a prosecutor wanted to, a grand jury would "indict a ham sandwich." To recap the relevant facts: Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed eighteen-year-old man, on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. An infamous phrase among lawyers is that “you can indict a ham sandwich.” In the wake of the shocking Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown, evidence has come to light explaining how the grand jury so badly missed the mark. 53. An old saw holds that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. a case that is a sure loser. And St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch did not want an indictment. indict a ham sandwich. DIGITALLY DEFENDED BY CYBERLICIOUS, Ferguson, Grand Jury, and Indicting a Ham Sandwich. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Wednesday criticized grand jury decisions to not indict white police officers in the deaths of black men in New York and Ferguson, Mo. But, in fact, the point of a grand jury is for the prosecutor to get whatever outcome he or she wants. “A good DA can indict a ham sandwich, when they want to. I think Mr. McCulloch, the prosecutor, handled matters professionally and competently. Where did that delicious, evocative phrase come from? Well let me explain. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Wednesday criticized grand jury decisions to not indict white police officers in the deaths of black men in New York and Ferguson, Mo. The point being that a grand jury proceeding is heavily biased toward the prosecution. Recently, two grand juries decided the fate of police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. They were all the more so because they were not all that surprising. In recent weeks, commentators have reminded us constantly of the old legal adage that a grand jury "will indict a ham sandwich" at the behest of a prosecutor. However, in the case of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the prosecutor … The grand jury, … Judge Sol Wachtler famously said that a … will this one be that easy? What he can indict a ham sandwich why not indict this officer it. indict a ham sandwich fivethirtyeight.com | A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. In the famous words of Sol Wachtler, the former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a … A prosecutor might be able to get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, as the saying goes, but not two police officers who caused the deaths of unarmed men. So you can see that the unwillingness to indict the police officer is a bizarre outcome and clearly reflects that something else was going on. Jetzt bestellen! A demonstrator carries a picture of Michael Brown during a protest along Florissant Avenue on Aug. 16, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. In 1993, he was indicted for extortion and other crimes. He ends up having to stand up in front of a jury and try to make the ham sandwich a case for conviction. Regardless of whether it was pastrami or ham, Wachtler got to observe the sandwich-making process from both sides of the lunch counter. To the majority-black community in Ferguson, Brown's death was seen as something that could happen to them or their own sons. In Ferguson case, Paul Callan says the grand jury is the right way to decide if charges should be brought against Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. The no-indictment decision was the final criminal word on the matter. As the old saying goes (and as you are taught in law school), “A grand jury could indict a ham sandwich.” Like all clichés, it stems from some nugget of truth. Your email address will not be published. It's the lack of video in Ferguson that now, especially now, has to make you wonder what those jurors missed. They have just recently just killed another young 12-year-old in Cleveland, Ohio, with a toy gun. The grand jury process has been in the news again, as Americans debate the decision by one in St. Louis County, Mo., not to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 … If that’s the case, why has it been so hard to get an indictment over police officers blatantly accused of wrongdoing lately? Michael Steele, an African-American and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, explained it this way in an appearance on MSNBC: "They tell … “If a jury can indict a ham sandwich, why is it taking so long?” asked Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson. Prosecutors have a vast amount of leeway and control when it comes to grand jury proceedings. That is why the common phrase “the government can indict a ham sandwich” is so often quoted. You’ve run out of free articles. He also didn't want a non-indictment. By Albert B. Kelly. The relevant bit: A month later, the New York Times noted that Wachtler believed grand juries “operate more often as the prosecutor’s pawn than the citizen’s shield.” That belief—that prosecutors can get grand juries to do whatever they want them to do—will sound familiar to anyone who’s been listening to criticism of St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch. Just a day after the grand jury announced not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, the city of Ferguson remains tense. Barnstable District Court Judge James O’Neill CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO. In Ferguson, the public waited in the dark for months as the secret grand jury heard testimony. It is an old joke that a Grand Jury would indict a ham sandwich if you wanted them to. However, in the case of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the prosecutor doesn’t … It is for this reason that most lawyers say, repeating the famous expression of the former chief judge of the highest New York state court, Sol Wachtler, that prosecutors can get grand juries to “indict a ham sandwich.” As Barry Popik explains, Sol Wachtler, the former chief judge of New York state, coined the term in a January 1985 interview with the New York Daily News’ Marcia Kramer and Frank Lombardi. When they don’t get those indictments, they don’t want to get them,” he said. And they continued to use violence even after the Ferguson case. In his etymological blog post, Popik says the Jewish judge “told me that he regrets that he didn’t say ‘pastrami’ sandwich, adding that he may (surely) have been misquoted about ‘ham.’ “. It seems ironic, now, or sad, or tragic, that it was one-time Chief Judge Solomon Wachtler of the New York Court of Appeals who is credited with … In a September 12 column titled "Ferguson tragedy becoming a farce," Milibank referenced the well-worn adage about a prosecutor's power over grand juries: "A grand jury will indict a … I was a grand juror and I would have voted to indict in Ferguson I was a grand juror, and I can tell you they indict all the time. I don’t think it’s very difficult to figure out what that was. As New York Judge Sol Wachtler said in 1985, “If a district attorney wanted, a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.” Grand juries are the prosecutor’s babies. Exclusive content most prosecutors could get a grand jury would indict a “ ham sandwich indicted! Amount of leeway and control when it comes to grand jury proceedings DA indict. New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler once said with a toy gun to grand proceedings! 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