Does the Fifth Amendment Grand-Jury Protection Still Matter? By Andrew C. McCarthy

A number of commentators have argued tonight, with no challenge by their media interviewers, that even if the evidence was insufficient to indict Officer Darren Wilson, justice would have been better served if the grand jury had indicted anyway. That way, the reasoning goes, we could have had a public trial in the light of day where everyone could have seen that the case was insufficient. That, we are to believe, would have made it easier for the community to accept the result.

The interests of the community, however, are not the only ones in the equation, much less the most important ones. What about the interests of the suspect? Those are the interests the Constitution addresses.

The Fifth Amendment states: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury.”

The Constitution does not consider the grand jury to be a rubber stamp. It is a core protection. It stands as the buffer between the government prosecutor and the citizen-suspect; it safeguards Americans, who are presumed innocent, from being subjected to the anxiety, infamy and expense of a trial unless there is probable cause to believe they have committed a serious offense.

And put aside the constitutional argument. Rabble-rousers want Wilson indicted, despite the lack of probable-cause evidence, on the theory that it would be more just to have a public trial in a case where a man has lost his life. But why would it not be equally justifiable to argue that, because a man has lost his life, the ultimate trial jury should also ignore the law and convict, despite an even more stark lack of murder evidence beyond a reasonable doubt? At what point do we stop enabling the grievance industry to override our core constitutional protections?

If we are going to uphold our Constitution, it does not matter that thoughtful commentators suppose a public trial would best serve the community. The Fifth Amendment holds that a person has the right not to be subjected to a public trial – i.e., the right not to be indicted — unless the state can prove to a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe he committed a crime.

Officer Wilson had a constitutional right not to be indicted in the absence of sufficient evidence. That right to individual liberty outweighs the media’s abstract claim that a public trial would serve the public interest.

No Indictment in Ferguson By Patrick Brennan

There was not probable cause to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown this summer in Ferguson, Mo., a grand jury decided, according to county prosecutor Robert McCulloch. The grand jury was asked to consider five possible counts, from first-degree murder to involuntary homicide, but in all cases, they decided not to indict him. A federal investigation of the incident continues, and Brown’s family still has the chance to file a civil suit, where the level of evidence required is lower.

In a lengthy statement tonight, McCulloch complimented the “unprecedented cooperation between the local and federal authorities,” and noted that all the evidence gathered by respective agencies has been shared with each other. McCulloch also criticized the media’s treatment of the case, saying that “the most significant challenge in this investigation has been the 24-hours news cycle,” which “helped raise suspicion” among citizens who already distrust the criminal-justice system.

McCulloch detailed the events of the day of the killing: Officer Wilson, he said, encountered Michael Brown while responding to a 911 call regarding Brown’s theft of cigarillos from a convenience store, and their confrontation, including the first shots fired, occurred inside of Wilson’s vehicle. In sum, he noted, the grand jury examined the three autopsies performed of Brown’s body (by local authorities, federal authorities, and a Brown-family-hired examiner), examined evidence for 25 days over three months, listened to 70 hours of testimony and hours more of recordings, and then deliberated over two days.

The prosecutor repeatedly criticized the trustworthiness of some of the witnesses who had claimed to see the shooting and had gone public with accounts that seemed to suggest Wilson had shot Brown while he was fleeing the scene or had instigated the physical confrontation. Those witnesses were contradicted by many witnesses who hadn’t related their testimony publicly, McCulloch said, and public witnesses were often recanted in front of the grand jury or other authorities. “Some even admitted that they had not witnessed the event at all but had merely repeated what they’d heard” from other witnesses or acquaintances in the neighborhood, McCulloch said.

On Prosecutors Not ‘Directing’ the Ferguson Grand Jury By Andrew C. McCarthy

There is no shortage of half-the-story reporting from the mainstream media as journalists seek to frame our understanding of the grand jury’s imminent decision about whether to file an indictment in Ferguson. One theme being pounded in the last few days is that prosecutors are failing to “direct” the grand jury toward an indictment of Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

That is, after obligatory repetition of the bromide that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, it is explained that the prosecutors in Ferguson are not treating this grand jury as a puppet at the end of their strings. Instead, prosecutors are laying out all the evidence in detail, instructing the grand jurors on the relevant statutes that define potential offenses (e.g., intentional murder, manslaughter, etc.), and letting them decide for themselves rather than advocating for an indictment. This is said to demonstrate bias in the system because prosecutors typically ask for an indictment and push the jurors toward that result.

To the contrary, if there is bias in the system, it is almost certainly against Officer Wilson. In most cases where prosecutors decide not to charge a crime, they do not present the case to the grand jury in the first place. Moreover, the prosecutorial discretion not to seek an indictment is informed by the standard of proof that applies at trial.

At the indictment stage, the standard is mere “probable cause”; at trial, the standard is much tougher for the state – “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” It is perfectly proper to indict someone if you believe there is a good reason to suspect he committed the crime, even if you weren’t overwhelmed by the prosecutor’s presentation and wouldn’t be surprised if the state lost the case at trial. After all, the indictment doesn’t convict anyone; it simply means the case will be tried to a jury. By contrast, at that trial, the prosecutor’s “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden is much tougher; the accused has counsel and heightened due process rights not available to him at the grand jury stage; and the jury must be unanimous to convict (a grand jury need only have a super-majority – in Ferguson, it is a vote of nine out of twelve grand jurors; in federal court, it is 16 of the 23 grand jurors).

There are many cases in which it is possible to establish probable cause but where it would be highly unlikely to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. In normal cases, prosecutors do not waste their time indicting cases that technically satisfy the probable-cause standard if they know the chance of conviction at trial is slim to none.

Is Allah the Same as the God of the Bible? — on The Glazov Gang

Is Allah the Same as the God of the Bible? — on The Glazov Gang
Scholar of Islam I.Q. Al-Rassooli lifts the veil and reveals the true faces of Muhammad and Islam.

“Ideology and Age as We Look Toward 2016” Sydney Williams

A funny thing is happening on the way to the 2016 election. Youth, excitement and new ideas increasingly seem to be the province of Republicans. For decades – at least since Jack Kennedy – the Democrat Party has been the one associated with youth, vitality and concern for the needs of real people. However, with the long years they have spent in Washington, Democrats have morphed into a cynical, sanctimonious group of aging professional politicians. The smug Jonathon Gruber, now dismissed by Democrats for telling the truth, perfectly captured their Pecksniffian ways when he spoke of the “stupidity” of the average voter, of his and her inability to understand the magnanimity of what the Left was doing for the good of the common man. Process, despite being elemental to democracy, is irrelevant to these people. The end is all.

Democrats are driven by semi-contrived, elitist issues, like global warming (now called climate change since temperatures haven’t changed much in a decade and a half) and environmental issues, where they advocate products like electric cars and solar panels that only the elite can afford. They want wind farms, except not where they might interfere with their windsurfing on Nantucket Sound. They express concern regarding inequality, but not if it interferes with their remaining first among equals. They claim to want the best education (including free pre-K), as long as it doesn’t upset the teacher’s unions, or it doesn’t involve vouchers that might send the unwashed to the private schools where their own children are tucked safely away.

They have created victims where none existed. For example, not only is equality demanded in terms of scholastic outcomes, the federal government now requires public schools in Minneapolis to have equality in terms of punishment. In other words, on a pro rata basis African-American boys cannot be disciplined more than Asian girls, regardless of the natural inclination of the former to misbehave more than the latter. Democrats have re-lit the divisive fuse of racism, as a means of ensuring they keep the African-American vote.


Their every word and deed revealed an ancient civilization and traditions filtered through the centuries. Their bodies were turned into fountains of blood by the delirium of Islamist murderers who shouted “Allahu Akbar”. But to see them alive, shadows swaying, was to realize that those four learned men transmitted the plastic image of scenes from the Old Testament.

They each wanted to aspire to be a “talmid khakham”, students of rabbis who preceded them, in the tradition of those pious scholars who founded a democratic theocracy and rebelled against the most formidable autocratic monarchy of the time, Egypt.

The four Israeli rabbis killed with a machete in the synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem, lived with an acute sense of the Jewish tragedy. The destruction of the Temple, the mass pogroms of Chmielnicki and the Holocaust were physically present in their lives.

They spoke of “mesirut nefesh”, Hebrew for self-sacrifice. “The Lord chooses his children, we have to respect his wishes.” This infinite compassion was the greatness of Rabbis Moshe Twersky, Aryeh Kupinsky, Kalman Levine and Avraham Shmuel Goldberg. They had a pale and elusive beauty, intensified by a spiritual contempt for fear. They wore long white beards and blue eyes bursting with curiosity.
Twersky was heir to two of the families who have contributed volumes to the glory of Orthodox Judaism. A life of study and prayer. His maternal grandfather, the great Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Jewish philosopher and rabbinic head of Yeshiva University, known simply as “the Rav”, pressed Pope Paul VI to reinstate the condemnation of the charge of deicide during the writing of the Vatican encyclical on Judaism Nostra Aetate, which had disappeared from the draft under the pressure of the Arab eastern churches. The other grandfather, Rabbi Isadore Twersky, famous for his works on Maimonides, founded the Center of Jewish studies at Harvard.


Kenya has been a frequent target of Jihadists:
In 1980, the Jewish-owned Norfolk hotel was attacked by the PLO. In 1998, the US embassy in Nairobi was bombed. In 2013, the militant group Al-Shabaab killed over 80 people at Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Mall.
In 2002 terrorists attacked an Israeli-owned hotel and a plane belonging to an Israeli airline in Mombasa, Kenya. An SUV crashed through a barrier outside the Paradise Hotel and blew up, killing 13 and injuring 80. At the same time two surface-to-air missiles were fired at an Israeli charter plane. The Israeli air-force escorted the plane home. In June 2014 48 people were killed when Moslems attacked a Kenyan coastal town overnight, targeting a police station and two hotels.

In June 2014 48 people were killed when Muslims attacked a Kenyan coastal town overnight, targeting a police station and two hotels. No comments from Obama about the terror in his paternal homeland…..rsk

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s deputy president Sunday denounced the killing of 28 bus passengers by Islamic extremists and said the nation’s military responded by killing more than 100 militants in Somalia.

William Ruto, speaking on a national broadcast, said Kenya is a target of international terrorist groups, including Somalia’s al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaida. He said Kenya’s security forces will protect citizens, including by raiding mosques.

In response to the bus attack, Kenyan security forces struck the al-Shabab camp in Somalia where the bus attack was planned, said Ruto.

“Our message to them is clear; you may sneak and attack innocent civilians. But for any attack on Kenya and its people, we shall pursue you wherever you go,” Ruto said.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is in Abu Dhabi on an official visit.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the bus attack, in which non-Muslims were singled out and killed Saturday. The Somali rebels said the attack was in retaliation for the closure of four mosques on the Kenyan coast by Kenyan authorities last week.


The president’s operating principle appears to be that democracy is what you can get away with.

My mother was, in her modest way, an Ayn Rand villain, someone who lived by the moral principle that John Galt mockingly summarized: “It is your need that gives you a claim to rewards.” She believed that being poor gave one a warrant to exploit any situation to one’s own material benefit. The results of this were generally comical, if cringe-inducing: On the few occasions upon which we found ourselves staying in motels, she and her husband would steal practically everything that was not nailed down: towels, bathrobes, ashtrays — this was in the pre-Enlightenment era, when hotel rooms still had ashtrays and Gideon Bibles. Come to think of it, there were a couple of Gideon Bibles in our house, too, the provenance of which was suspicious. This belief was not limited to economic concerns: She was an enthusiastic partisan of the intentional, strategic foul in football, and of the proposition that athletes should attempt, when possible, to inflict disabling injuries on their opponents. Having been initiated into the ancient mystery cult that is West Texas high-school football, I knew these beliefs to be barbarous, heretical. The Lubbock High School Westerners had a fine long tradition of losing with honor.

I have seen a high-school football coach refuse to shake the hand of his opposite number after a football game in response to perceived affronts to sportsmanship, and that’s a serious thing. (They take it seriously in that other kind of football, too.) It’s basically Sampson biting his thumb at Abraham in the opening of Romeo and Juliet. “When good manners shall lie all in one or two men’s hands, and they unwashed, too, ’tis a foul thing.” You don’t shake hands with somebody who has behaved dishonorably.

I do not think I would shake hands with Barack Obama.


Here’s his full quote:

“I think the American people, you know, they’re going to want — you know, that new car smell. You know, their own — they want to drive something off the lot that doesn’t have as much mileage as me,”

Now who could he possibly be talking about?


Lost in the hoopla of President Obama’s enormous administrative amnesty affecting mostly Mexican and Central American illegal immigrants is that he also implemented a special protective order allowing people from Ebola nations to stay in the United States.

It’s amnesty on steroids! The special Ebola reprieve was issued separately-and quietly-via a Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a humanitarian program that’s supposed to be short-term. Instead, we’ve seen the provisional benefit grow into a continual U.S. residency plan for illegal aliens under both Republican and Democratic presidents. Besides those who have entered the U.S. illegally, TPS has also helped foreigners who have overstayed their visa permanently evade deportation. That makes the phrase “temporary” deceiving and somewhat of a joke.

It also means that we might as well add the African Ebola folks to the official amnesty bandwagon. For now, the administration is designating Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone for TPS for 18 months. That’s how it always starts-for a short period of time then it grows into years. Before you know it, illegal aliens who benefitted from TPS for humanitarian reasons are legal residents enjoying all the generous perks-free education, food stamps, medical care etc.-that Uncle Sam has to offer.

This scenario has been repeated over the years. In fact, just a few weeks ago the administration extended TPS for tens of thousands of Hondurans andNicaraguans. The order was originally issued more than a decade and a half ago after a hurricane (Mitch) hit the Central American countries and has been renewed over and over again, illustrating that there’s nothing temporary about these reprieves. “There continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in Honduras (replace the word with Nicaragua) resulting from Hurricane Mitch, and Honduras remains unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of its nationals,” according to the government announcement posted to the federal register in mid-October.