Saturday, January 17, 2015

Why Is a Ferguson Grand Juror Being Silenced?

Just when America thought that the story of the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson — which divided the country along race and economic lines like no high-profile court case since perhaps the trial of O.J. Simpson — had reached a controversial but final end, the American system of checks and balances, and one still-anonymous member of the grand jury that decided Wilson’s fate, has pulled it back in.

After the weeks of discussion, outrage and even occasional violence that followed the decision of the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, not to indict Wilson, it was announced in early January that one of the grand jurors (known, for now, as Grand Juror Doe), with representation from the Missouri branch of the ACLU, was suing in order to be allowed to speak freely about his experience — and the ways in which, he claims, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch had led the public astray in his descriptions of the process.

Recently, Salon spoke over the phone with Jeffrey Mittman, the executive director of the Missouri ACLU, in order to better understand the suit, as well as why the ACLU considered it necessary for the preservation of American citizens’ constitutional civil liberties. Our conversation is below and has been lightly edited for clarity and length.


No comments: