As the shock waves slowly wear off from a Missouri Grand Jury refusing to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown, many still feel great anger and distrust toward prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and the entire American Justice System. And while much of the evidence that was presented to the grand jury is now public, it will not change the opinions of those who called, and still call for criminal charges against the police officer.
Media Influence in the Ferguson Case
Long before the evidence was made available, people formed deeply entrenched opinions about what should be the outcome of the case. What seemed like minutes after the shooting, the media descended upon Ferguson to tell the story of what had happened. Like all stories, whoever is telling it gets to put a spin on it. Unfortunately, that spin shaped the perception of many before the blood even dried at the crime scene.
Many high profile cases have proven no different. From the time that Casey Anthony’s daughter was found dead, she was cast as the villain and the story line was set in motion. When the jury found her not guilty – and essentially went off Hollywood’s script – there was outrage.
Only a small handful of witnesses were actually at the scene of the shooting and know what happened. They have talked to detectives and ostensibly to the grand jury. I was not there and really don’t know what transpired. I do know that a grand jury didn’t find sufficient evidence to charge Darren Wilson and that if the public’s opinions and expectations weren’t so drastically influenced by media coverage early in the game, perhaps half a town wouldn’t be in ashes.
For more insight from our Phoenix criminal defense lawyer, contact us today!