Thursday, November 27, 2014

nothing enigmatic about what's been laid bare in misery...,

WaPo |  As a matter of maintaining calm and assuaging public concern about a criminal justice system that seems inevitably tilted in the direction of law enforcement and against young black men, an indictment and trial would, no doubt, have been the preferable outcome. A public trial would have offered more airing of the evidence, providing additional closure for society and confidence in the outcome of the case. 

At least in theory, anyway. Previous cases — recall the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin — and the facts in this one suggest an eventual jury verdict finding Wilson not guilty of any charges, a result that would have further inflamed those who see the system as irredeemably biased. 

Yet the decision before the grand jury involved a single incident, discrete facts about the encounter, and a criminal justice system properly focused not on the broader societal implications of the episode but on the two individuals involved, the shooter and the victim. 

County prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s news conference Monday night, with his complaints about “the 24-hour news cycle and its insatiable appetite for something, for anything to talk about,” was inappropriate, verging on embarrassing. 

But the prosecutor’s unusual move to release transcripts of grand jury testimony served as an important and welcome relief valve, adding evidence to a situation understandably overwhelmed by emotion.