The Grand Jury investigating the recent shooting in Ferguson MO of Mike Brown by Police Officer Darren Wilson may have been irreparably compromised, reports the Washington Post.

The proceedings of Grand Juries are, of course, confidential, and jurors are prohibited from discussing them with others.  This prohibition is made explicitly clear to all Grand Jurors.

Nevertheless, yesterday saw the publication of a Tweet suggesting that someone on the Ferguson Grand Jury was talking:

Ferguson MO compromised

The tweet was reportedly deleted within moments, at the urging of numerous other Twitter users, but had already been screen-captured.

The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office confirms that they were informed about the above tweet by an activist in the Ferguson matter, Shaun King.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 6.39.53 AM

If the Grand Jury has, in fact, been compromised in this manner then the proper recourse is to seat a new Grand Jury to hear the Ferguson matter.

Of course, a new Grand Jury will not hear substantively different evidence than did the first one. If in fact the evidence is insufficient to support a prosecution of Darren Wilson simply having a new group of people evaluate that same evidence is unlikely to yield a different outcome.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.