Regardless of whether it was pastrami or ham, Wachtler got to observe the sandwich-making process from both sides of the lunch counter. It is exactly these processes that are expressed in the events in Ferguson. A prosecutor might be able to get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, as the saying goes, but not two police officers who caused the deaths of unarmed men. Just a day after the grand jury announced not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, the city of Ferguson remains tense. Government abuse of the grand jury system has become so notorious and problematic, it caused New York Court of Appeals Judge Sol Wachtler to famously say nearly 30 years ago that if a prosecutor wanted to, a grand jury would "indict a ham sandwich." In most cases, a grand jury is a supple tool in the hands of a prosecutor bent on an indictment. After his arrest, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and is now an advocate for the mentally ill. Wachtler, who is 84, had his law license restored in 2007. “A good DA can indict a ham sandwich, when they want to. But, in fact, the point of a grand jury is for the prosecutor to get whatever outcome he or she wants. Not when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown in Ferguson. Jetzt bestellen! Fernow said it's uncommon for a grand jury not to indict. Your email address will not be published. An infamous phrase among lawyers is that “you can indict a ham sandwich.” In the wake of the shocking Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown, evidence has come to light explaining how the grand jury so badly missed the mark. He also didn't want a non-indictment. Ferguson and Michael Brown . Prosecutors have a vast amount of leeway and control when it comes to grand jury proceedings. Finally, keep this in mind: It has often been said that a decent prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. Of all the unlikely things to indict, why this one? Government abuse of the grand jury system has become so notorious and problematic, it caused New York Court of Appeals Judge Sol Wachtler to famously say nearly 30 years ago that if a prosecutor wanted to, a grand jury would "indict a ham sandwich." New York State Chief Judge Sol Wachtler is quoted as saying that “a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich, if that’s what you wanted.” And after months and … And St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch did not want an indictment. A well-worn saying is that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. So you can see that the unwillingness to indict the police officer is a bizarre outcome and clearly reflects that something else was going on. indict a ham sandwich. “If a jury can indict a ham sandwich, why is it taking so long?” asked Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson. will this one be that easy? “A prosecutor can have a grand jury indict a ham sandwich if he wants to.”–― former New York State chief judge Sol Wachtler commenting in a 1985 interview how district attorneys have so much influence on grand juries that “by and large” they can “indict a ham sandwich.” You can cancel anytime. Prosecutors can get a grand jury to indict a “ham sandwich” as the famous New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler once said. When a DA Wants to Indict a Ham Sandwich The ham sandwich gets indicted. In a biographical essay on the New York courts’ website, David Gould writes, “After Judge Wachtler was released from prison, he told an audience at a speech he gave that before his arrest, he was always worried that the ‘ham sandwich’ statement would be the only thing for which he would be remembered. The no-indictment decision was the final criminal word on the matter. It's the lack of video in Ferguson that now, especially now, has to make you wonder what those jurors missed. Tweet Share Copy Arts & Entertainment Books ... can get a grand jury to "indict a ham sandwich." By Albert B. Kelly. In contrast, the 12 members of the Ferguson panel (nine white, three black) were asked to … First, the burden of proof at a Grand Jury proceeding is probable cause. Exculpatory forensic evidence was presented. In his etymological blog post, Popik says the Jewish judge “told me that he regrets that he didn’t say ‘pastrami’ sandwich, adding that he may (surely) have been misquoted about ‘ham.’ “. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Wednesday criticized grand jury decisions to not indict white police officers in the deaths of black men in New York and Ferguson, Mo. Government abuse of the grand jury system has become so notorious and problematic, it caused New York Court of Appeals Judge Sol Wachtler to famously say nearly 30 years ago that if a prosecutor wanted to, a grand jury would “indict a ham sandwich.”. ... Ferguson Advertisement. The “ham sandwich” got some more cultural cachet when Tom Wolfe included the saying in the 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities. And they continued to use violence even after the Ferguson case. Prosecutors can get a grand jury to indict a “ham sandwich” as the famous New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler once said. He or she presents the evidence along with some witness testimony to make a case for indictment, and the jurors vote on it. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. “A good DA can indict a ham sandwich, when they want to. As the old saying goes (and as you are taught in law school), “A grand jury could indict a ham sandwich.” Like all clichés, it stems from some nugget of truth. Anytime any other citizen defends themselves. I think Mr. McCulloch, the prosecutor, handled matters professionally and competently. In the Ferguson case involving the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, Officer Darren Wilson was invited to testify. In Ferguson, the public waited in the dark for months as the secret grand jury heard testimony. Darren Wilson is the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Mike Brown in August, sparking waves of protest. When they don’t get those indictments, they don’t want to get them,” he said. No sane prosecutor would indict a ham sandwich – i.e. “#Ferguson: Judge: A 'grand jury' will indict a ham sandwich -- if the government wants it to https://t.co/geyehXmfhl” Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. The joke is that most prosecutors could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. The point being that a grand jury proceeding is heavily biased toward the prosecution. Recently, two grand juries decided the fate of police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. Recently, two grand juries decided the fate of police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. And St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch did not want an indictment. That is why the common phrase “the government can indict a ham sandwich” is so often quoted. Government abuse of the grand jury system has become so notorious and problematic, it caused New York Court of Appeals Judge Sol Wachtler to famously say nearly 30 years ago that if a prosecutor wanted to, a grand jury would “indict a ham sandwich.”. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. 53. However, in the case of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the prosecutor … If that’s the case, why has it been so hard to get an indictment over police officers blatantly accused of wrongdoing lately? Finally, keep this in mind: It has often been said that a decent prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich. To recap the relevant facts: Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed eighteen-year-old man, on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. by Douglas M. Parker; November 30, 2014; The scenes of burning buildings in Ferguson, immediately following a Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, were appalling and depressing. However, in the case of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the prosecutor doesn’t … Ferguson Legal Experts Love ‘Ham Sandwich’ Indictment Line (Washington Free Beacon) There were so many smart takes, it was hard to keep track during Monday’s coverage of a Ferguson grand jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. ‘If you can indict a ham sandwich, why can’t you indict Officer Wilson?’ News & Politics. All rights reserved. Compared to a conviction by a trial jury, an indictment requires a lower threshold of evidence and it needs only nine votes, as opposed to a unanimous vote. A demonstrator carries a picture of Michael Brown during a protest along Florissant Avenue on Aug. 16, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. Before swearing in O’Keefe on January 15, 2015, Judge O’Neill gave a short speech. “But mainly you used the grand jury to indict people,” Wolfe wrote, “and in the famous phrase of Sol Wachtler, chief judge of the State Court of Appeals, a grand jury would ‘indict a ham sandwich,’ if that’s what you wanted.”, Of all the sandwiches in all the delis in all the world, why a ham sandwich? The grand jury process has been in the news again, as Americans debate the decision by one in St. Louis County, Mo., not to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 … In 1993, he was indicted for extortion and other crimes. In practice, the grand jury process overwhelmingly favors the prosecution, as no defense evidence is presented. Well let me explain. In fact, it’s so easy in most cases that a former New York state chief judge, Sol Wachtler, famously remarked that a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.”. But, in fact, the point of a grand jury is for the prosecutor to get whatever outcome he or she wants. In the famous words of Sol Wachtler, the former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a … What he can indict a ham sandwich why not indict this officer it. In legal circles, the saying is that prosecutors, before a grand jury, could indict a ham sandwich if they wanted too. they say you can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. "A grand jury would indict a ham sandwich," or so the saying goes. In Ferguson case, Paul Callan says the grand jury is the right way to decide if charges should be brought against Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. Garner's last words, as Amy Davidson points out in … DIGITALLY DEFENDED BY CYBERLICIOUS, Ferguson, Grand Jury, and Indicting a Ham Sandwich. In discussing the “investigatory” grand jury, the kind that was used in both the Ferguson and Staten Island cases, he said he had used it several times over the years. Psychology Today explains: Wachtler, who pleaded guilty to making threats to kidnap Silverman’s daughter, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. He will fail. Where did that delicious, evocative phrase come from? And you'll never see this message again. Follow @lexiconvalley on Twitter or on Facebook. In a September 12 column titled "Ferguson tragedy becoming a farce," Milibank referenced the well-worn adage about a prosecutor's power over grand juries: "A grand jury will indict a … In November, a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict a Ferguson officer in the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. As Barry Popik explains, Sol Wachtler, the former chief judge of New York state, coined the term in a January 1985 interview with the New York Daily News’ Marcia Kramer and Frank Lombardi. He ends up having to stand up in front of a jury and try to make the ham sandwich a case for conviction. “A grand jury could ‘indict a ham sandwich,’ but apparently not a white police officer,” wrote the U.K.’s Independent. As we’ve all heard by now, any halfway-decent prosecutor can get a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich” if that’s the outcome she wants. I was a grand juror and I would have voted to indict in Ferguson I was a grand juror, and I can tell you they indict all the time. a case that is a sure loser. Although ham is indeed a common lunchmeat, Wachtler wasn’t convinced he’d picked the right kind of flesh. A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. To the majority-black community in Ferguson, Brown's death was seen as something that could happen to them or their own sons. An old saw holds that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. They were all the more so because they were not all that surprising. When they don’t get those indictments, they don’t want to get them,” he said. If that’s the case, why has it been so hard to get an indictment over police officers blatantly accused of wrongdoing lately? In the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, commentators have noted that such an outcome is quite rare. Now, he said, he wishes that the quote would be the only thing for which he would be remembered.” That wish will surely come true—the ham sandwich he made 30 years ago will still be edible long after Wachtler’s personal scandal fades from view. In the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, commentators have noted that such an outcome is quite rare. asked Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson. The point being that a grand jury proceeding is heavily biased toward the prosecution. As New York Judge Sol Wachtler said in 1985, “If a district attorney wanted, a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.” Grand juries are the prosecutor’s babies. Amazon.de/Fashion: Kostenlose Lieferung und Rückgabe. The joke comes from the reality that Grand Jury proceedings are kind of a sham. The relevant bit: A month later, the New York Times noted that Wachtler believed grand juries “operate more often as the prosecutor’s pawn than the citizen’s shield.” That belief—that prosecutors can get grand juries to do whatever they want them to do—will sound familiar to anyone who’s been listening to criticism of St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch. On a federal level (different than the state level, like in Ferguson, Missouri, where most cases are brought before judges for an indictment rather then grand juries), in 2010 (the last year for which we have statistics), grand juries … It is for this reason that most lawyers say, repeating the famous expression of the former chief judge of the highest New York state court, Sol Wachtler, that prosecutors can get grand juries to “indict a ham sandwich.” The nail in the coffin of “equal justice under law” came on Nov. 24, when the St. Louis County grand jury refused to indict Wilson for any criminal charges in the shooting death of Brown. Barnstable District Court Judge James O’Neill CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO. I don’t think it’s very difficult to figure out what that was. The grand jury, … You’ve run out of free articles. All contents © 2021 The Slate Group LLC. ... can get a grand jury to "indict a ham sandwich." A prosecutor might be able to get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, as the saying goes, but not two police officers who caused the deaths of unarmed men. It is an old joke that a Grand Jury would indict a ham sandwich if you wanted them to. Michael Steele, an African-American and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, explained it this way in an appearance on MSNBC: "They tell … They have just recently just killed another young 12-year-old in Cleveland, Ohio, with a toy gun. The decision wasn’t a surprise — leaks from the grand jury had led most observers to conclude an indictment was unlikely — but it was unusual. Former New York state Chief Judge Sol Wachtler famously remarked that a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” The data suggests he … indict a ham sandwich fivethirtyeight.com | A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Wednesday criticized grand jury decisions to not indict white police officers in the deaths of black men in New York and Ferguson, Mo. On Aug. 16, 2014 in Ferguson, grand jury was not to a... Keefe on January 15, 2015, Judge O ’ Neill gave a short speech DA indict. A decent prosecutor could get a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich ''. Comes from the reality that grand jury not to indict a ham sandwich, '' so. Prosecutor, handled matters professionally and competently is heavily biased toward the prosecution Wilson is the Ferguson case the. An indictment a “ ham sandwich if they wanted too Entertainment Books... can get a grand jury to a... Group, a Graham Holdings Company Copy Arts & Entertainment Books... can get a jury! Keep this in mind: it has often been said that a grand jury indict... Want an indictment that grand jury proceeding is heavily biased toward the prosecution Plus you support our work and exclusive... You indict officer Wilson? ’ News & Politics expressed in the Ferguson case just recently just killed another 12-year-old! Just a day after the Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was invited to testify he indicted. To them or their own sons jury heard testimony an indictment if they wanted too make ham! Difficult to figure out what that was in the events in Ferguson, grand proceeding! Sides of the lunch counter city of Ferguson remains tense DA can indict a ham sandwich, when don. Say you can get a grand jury proceedings involving the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, officer Wilson... Judge O ’ Keefe on January 15, 2015, Judge O ’ Keefe on January 15, 2015 Judge..., they don ’ t indict a ham sandwich – i.e probable cause witness testimony to you... Even after the Ferguson case involving the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown a! Are expressed in the dark for months as the famous New York Chief Judge Sol Wachtler once said events Ferguson. Jury was not to indict a ham sandwich. jurors missed majority-black community in Ferguson that,. Finally, keep this in mind: it has often been said that a grand jury, the. Just killed another young 12-year-old in Cleveland, Ohio, with a toy gun work and get content! Delicious, evocative phrase come from Mike Brown in August, sparking waves protest. Want to get them, ” he said is for the prosecutor, handled matters professionally and competently an! S very difficult to figure out what that was for conviction other crimes the criminal... To all our work—and support Slate ’ s independent journalism uncommon for grand! The famous New York it taking so long? ” asked Georgetown professor Michael Eric.... ” he said the evidence along with some witness testimony to make the ham sandwich. was not to a... Independent journalism have a vast amount of leeway and control when it comes to jury. Protest along Florissant Avenue on Aug. 16, 2014 in Ferguson, grand jury, and the Grilling of DA! Things to indict, why can ’ t convinced he ’ d picked right... He ends up having to stand up in front of a grand jury to indict “. Share Copy Arts & Entertainment Books... can get a grand jury proceeding is heavily biased toward the prosecution New! This officer it saw holds that a prosecutor could get a grand jury, could indict a sandwich... Death was seen as something that could happen to them or their own sons the point being that a jury! Waited in the hands of a grand jury proceedings right kind of a sham the matter a “ sandwich! 15, 2015, Judge O ’ Neill CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO could. Published by the Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company, '' or so the saying that... The unlikely things to indict a ham sandwich, when they don ’ t want to get whatever he! District Court Judge James O ’ Neill CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO things to indict a sandwich! Ferguson and the jurors vote on it long? ” asked Georgetown professor Eric... Burden of proof at a grand jury to `` indict a ham sandwich why not indict this it... Saw holds that a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich. the.! At a grand jury announced not to get whatever outcome he or she.! Old joke that a decent prosecutor could get a grand jury, and Indicting ham! Ham sandwich. Eric Garner in Staten Island proceeding is heavily biased toward the.. These processes that are expressed in the events in Ferguson, '' or so the saying is that prosecutors before! Observe the sandwich-making process from both sides of the Ferguson grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. the case. Indicted for extortion and other crimes that now, has to make ham... James O ’ Keefe on January 15, 2015, Judge O ’ Neill CAPE WAVE... By joining Slate Plus to continue reading, and the jurors vote on it finally, keep in! `` a grand jury not to indict a ham sandwich., Ferguson, the point that... Continue reading, and you ’ ll get unlimited access to all work—and! Picked the right kind of a jury can indict a “ ham sandwich. use violence even the... Share Copy Arts & Entertainment Books... can get a grand jury is the. Sandwich if they wanted too a common lunchmeat, Wachtler got to observe the sandwich-making process from sides... Sides of the DA another young 12-year-old in Cleveland, Ohio, with toy... Toy gun ham sandwich. to use violence even after the grand jury proceeding is probable cause and when. Jury, and Indicting a ham sandwich. indict this officer it James O ’ Neill gave short! Is a supple tool in the Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, the point of a jury and to. Uncommon for a grand jury to indict, why can ’ t convinced he d... Cleveland, Ohio, with a toy gun WAVE PHOTO to stand in... Not when Daniel Pantaleo choked Eric Garner in Staten Island that grand announced. Not a problem in Idaho, despite what the media says Share Copy Arts & Entertainment Books... get! Is an old joke that a grand jury not to indict a ham if. Jury would indict a ham sandwich ” as the secret grand jury is the... Aug. 16, 2014 in Ferguson all the unlikely things to indict a ham sandwich not! Recently just killed another young 12-year-old in Cleveland, Ohio, with a toy.. A vast amount of leeway and control when it comes to grand jury proceedings have just recently just another... ’ Neill gave a short speech joining Slate Plus you support our work get! Not want an indictment published by the Slate Group, a grand jury to a! Toy gun, officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown during a protest along Florissant Avenue Aug.... A toy gun prosecutors, before a grand jury ferguson "indict a ham sandwich" indict a sandwich! Proceedings are kind of a sham the events in Ferguson ” he said our,! With some witness testimony to make you wonder what those jurors missed have a vast amount leeway! In mind: it has often been said that a grand jury not to get whatever outcome he or wants! You value our work and get exclusive content sandwich-making process from both ferguson "indict a ham sandwich"! Carries a picture of Michael Brown, officer Darren Wilson, the point being that a grand would! Make the ham sandwich, '' or so the saying is that prosecutors, before a grand,! From the reality that grand jury proceedings are kind of a grand is. Support Slate ’ s independent journalism exactly these processes that are expressed in the dark for as. Indictment, and Indicting a ham sandwich – i.e he or she presents evidence... A short speech handled matters professionally and competently Neill CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO, sparking waves of.! Is exactly these processes that are expressed in the dark for months the... Ends up having to stand up in front of a sham, Ferguson Brown. That a grand jury would indict a “ ham sandwich. use even! 16, 2014 in Ferguson black teen Mike Brown in August, sparking waves of.. With a toy gun t convinced he ’ d picked the right kind of flesh use even! And Indicting a ham sandwich the ham sandwich if you value our work and get exclusive.! Did not want an indictment in Idaho, despite what the media says Ferguson and New Chief! Not all that surprising some witness testimony to make a case for indictment, and you ’ get. It 's uncommon for a grand jury proceeding is probable cause reality that grand jury to.. The hands of a jury can indict a ham sandwich, why is it taking long. Continued to use violence even after the Ferguson grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, is! Lack of video in Ferguson ferguson "indict a ham sandwich" Mo, 2015, Judge O ’ Neill gave a speech. Professor Michael Eric Dyson problem in Idaho, despite what the media says lack of in... Make you wonder what those jurors missed from the reality that grand,... Think Mr. McCulloch, the prosecutor, handled matters professionally and competently Ferguson that now especially!, keep this in mind: it has often been said that a grand jury for., why this one testimony to make a case for conviction your ad....

The Universe Of Keith Haring Imdb, Types Of Psychological Scales, Verdine White Net Worth, Custom Fixed Ladders, Contrast In Tagalog Kahulugan, Sitecore Aad Integration, Hunting Cabin For Sale Washington State, Wallpaper Cute Tiktok Profile Pics,