Thoughts on Tonight

by Jonah Goldberg

I believe the grand jury operated in good faith and from what I can tell Officer Wilson had the facts and evidence on his side. Given the eagerness of some parties to exploit Brown’s death, it’s tempting to see this as a partisan victory against the forces of Sharptonism. And while I can’t muster sympathy for the looters, car-burners, the dress-up Bolsheviks and that ilk, I am trying to see this through the eyes of those I disagree with. The easiest people to sympathize with are Michael Brown’s family. They wanted a trial for entirely human and understandable reasons. Moreover, they should be applauded for their honorable and responsible public statements against violence and rioting.

Beyond that,  I think critics who see Robert McCulloch as too pro-police have a point. Or at least I can see where they are coming from. His statement tonight was very powerful and very persuasive, but not what you would expect from a prosecutor in other circumstances. If McCulloch wanted an indictment, I think he could have gotten one (prosecutors and ham sandwiches and all that). Whether he should have gotten one is open to debate. I certainly think you could make the case that the country would be better off in the long run if there was an open and transparent public trial. On the other hand, we don’t have trials of innocent men simply for appearances’ sake. Having a trial just for show is too close to a show trial as far as I’m concerned.

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