tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 29, 2015 7:00am-7:46am EST
debatestial consultant the political your ahead. we take phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. >> good morning, a grand jury in cleveland ohio yesterday decided that the officer who killed tamir rice will not face criminal charges. starts a debate about the prosecution process and the role of grand jury trials. we want to begin with your experience serving on a jury. even if you have been summoned and not called. dial-in.entral if you live in the mountain .acific part (202) 748-8001 you can send us a tweet or on facebook.com. you can send an e-mail as well.
are open.lines let me show you this piece in the washington post. video is no guarantee of conviction in police shooting cases. he reports that prosecutors are often reluctant to pursue these cases for many reasons. have long-standing relationships with police and are hesitant -- -- police make avoid putting cells in harms way out of fear of making an error. takes any it often extraordinary circumstance such as a video recording of the incident to persuade prosecutors to press charges. juriese of thumb is that tend to find police witnesses
more credible than average citizens and are easily persuaded that excessive force is often necessary. judges 10 to favor the police and the case already faces charges of judicial favoritism. we turn to you this morning to get your thoughts. experienceen your serving on a jury? also if you happen summoned that were not picked, dial in as well and tell us. if you ask to be excused, we want to know your story as well. i want to show you from cleveland, the cuyahoga
prosecutor tim mcginty, what he had to say. [video clip] juryday the grand completed its thorough investigation of the fatal shooting of the 12-year-old tamir rice. december 22, 2014 at the recreation center. based on the evidence they heard in the law as it applies to the police use of deadly force, the to bringy declined criminal charges against the police officers. that was also my recommendation and that of our office after reviewing the investigation and the law. a short time ago we informed tamir's mother of the grand jury's decision. of ouress condolences office to sheriffs detectives and everyone else who worked so
wishently and our sincere that these events had unfolded differently. we explained that this was a put to chargesion police even in a situation that was undeniably tragic, the state must be able to show that they acted outside the constitutional boundaries set forth by the supreme court of these united states. given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police. prosecutorhoga falls tim mcginty talked about not being able to prosecute the police officers because they could not show intent. the washington post says a first-degree murder charge
presents the most difficult burden because it requires proving intent. but when police officer are the defendant the burden is less so because the lot requires intentional force bolts -- intentional force. they cannot just shoot felons they need to prove they pose a of harm to risk to them or others. go ahead. lived in maryland in the 90's i sent on two cases. one with sexual assault and one was battery. sexual assault was closed and opened. the assault charge was different. it took us a while to work it out. there was one guy who was a holdout and saw the pictures and saw the guys face and said i cannot believe this guy is not guilty but by the law he was not
guilty. host: what one fool? -- what was the law? beate law was that someone up on someone else without provocation and he was not guilty of that law. that's what people need to understand. it is not about whether someone did something bad it is about whether they broke the law. host: we'll was the guidance you got from the judge in this case? did you feel you had power? caller: we did have some difficulties and we had to go back to the judge and tiptoe around -- to discover pick a fight, was it consensual and the give uss hesitant to any guidance. he basically restated the law and said you need to work this out.
did not do us a lot of leading but at the end it was up to us to try to convince the one that this guys was not guilty of that law, despite how bad the fight was. experience?as the would you say it was a rewarding one? caller: did you say borderline? i didn't hear. host: rewarding. caller: definitely. i thoroughly enjoyed it. i have not been called back since but if i were called back i would like to go back. just to be a part of that and participate in that process. people joke about it but i would love to do it again. in arizona. good morning to you. caller: i was called twice for
duty and each time i was because my husband is a police officer, my brother is a police officer. they didn't want anything to do with me. host: they thought you would have a bias toward police officers. caller: obviously they did. i have another comment to make. about all these people talking about police conduct. i don't think any of them should be allowed to do so with half the story. i think politicians and all the weight down should have to ride with a police officer for a couple of weeks so that they know something about what they are talking about. troy in ethan, maryland.
called to jury duty for january and this is my first time. hopefully i do get called to be on a jury. host: why are you looking forward to it? caller: like the color from virginia, i like being involved and hopefully i can shed some light. host: do you believe in the system we have set up? caller: that is a good question. i pray it is the right system but it has a lot of flaws. host: how so? --ler: the judicial system it's a hard question to ask, but i think we to all come together and try to make it better. host: you want to participate but you don't sound that
confident in the whole system. >> definitely not. i've been a decide -- retired disabled vet and i have seen a lot of -- what is the word, higherty people of status and they are not truthful. thought justice was supposed to be about the truth and if you cannot beat truthful than the system is flawed. distrust ofa anything that has to do with government? >> definitely. with this upcoming year it's getting even worse. >> look at the facebook page at some of the answers we're getting there. he says i and the woman juror got into a disagreement with who of the jury foreman refuse to give the old lady victim any compensation and i ended up missing my own retirement already because of
it. craig hill says i served in two juries in one of them was a gruesome capital murder case. we were sequestered each time the case was different. all were an inconvenience but rewarding at the same time. >> i serve in the grand jury and we ended up having the prosecutor do a direct indictment. he was going around robbing he had getting 25 years. just an effective police and i amcutors and people, caucasian but i am also cherokee hadan and my cousin parkinson's and was cleaning his shotgun on his own part --
porch. summary got nervous and call the police and because of this parkinson's his arms were moving and he got shot by the police. he was white. me goter guy related to in a shootout with police. he lost and they won and he was white. why hope all people understand is that police in my opinion are good people but they are trained to kill and they fire thousands of rounds per year and if they are in a situation with a feel like somebody has a gun they fit -- they react in a way they are trained. i don't think it's an executioner judge dredd thing. that is how they act. that's the way they acted with connect most of the time prosecutors and police get it right. >> explained to those that don't know, you were called to serve
in the grand jury against a police officer. explain it. met every three months and prosecutorhe supplied us with all the evidence, the cop didn't even know he was under grand jury investigation. using theutor was grand jury as a way of protecting himself and if we hadn't come up with a true bill the prosecutor doesn't have to indict. basically, it is a tool that prosecutors can use so if the jury comes back and says no bill the prosecutor can say they
didn't think we had enough evidence to prosecute. so justice worked in that it is a sad thing, i don't like seeing these things happen -- host: but you said that the police officer did not know he was being investigated so what is that mean for you on the grand jury. in secret, the public didn't knows what instructions were you given? >> we couldn't talk about it at all. we were told that you cannot talk about to your family friends or anybody. if you see anything on the news you have to turn the channel. -- it's high stress about justice type of situation.
>> over three months? ok we lost them. he was saying he believes this is a tool used by prosecutors, it is a trial run to see if they should take the case to a trial jury. this was put together by the washington post last year when the grand jury did not indict the police officer in the shooting of michael ferguson. 99.99% of the time. cases, prosecutors pursued and prosecuted 162,000 of them. that grandto say jury's at the federal level almost always vote to accuse the prosecutors of a crime. grand jury's at the state level
often do not indict police officers. the rarity of grand jury's not indicting noting the recent houston chronicle investigation found that police have been nearly immune from criminal charges in shootings in recent years. research by a criminologist found that officers are rarely charged in on-duty killings. what would be best to show is the frequency of indictments at the grand jury level. it allows police officers to shoot to kill as long as they believe their life is in imminent danger which wilson has said he believed was the case. invent eaton, we are getting your thoughts. glenn tell us the story. i would likething
to say is that you ought to get glenn beck on there because he foretold this five years ago with his chalkboards and everything. on the grand jury, when i was on a grand jury, i was there for a week. it started out with a video. , thelaw and order prosecutor explained what they are doing in the local prosecutor mostly for drug charges. probably about 20 cases in of the 20 we elected not to indict one guy out of 20. but what i learned is the police have what they call no knock warrants. they don't have to holler police. the first and the do shoot the dog.
they break a lot more than drug dealers and stuff did. they stop people without any probable cause and i asked an officer -- you get to ask questions. that he washis guy a uniformed officer and they had a couple of plainclothes officers and he stopped at a place they couldn't figure out why they made the stop they pulled him over and had a uniformed police officer pulled him over and i said what was the probable cause? i don't need any, he says. when it comes to my afro-american brothers when they talk about colored -- they are absolutely right. if you have green, the money to get a lawyer, you will make out fine. but the one guy we elected not to indict, the prosecutor had a fit. he went completely stark raving
mad. you ought to get glenn beck on there because like i said he foretold this. host: let me ask you about the grand jury. the police officer -- does he testify and most of those cases because in cleveland the police officers did not testify at the grand jury. >> they are all different because this was in a federal case because you could ask questions and a guy couldn't have his lawyer in their that he could speak and the only guy we let off was the guy who came before the grand jury and spoke. they don't get a lawyer to the reason we left -- let the guy office because he was charged with selling drugs and just arrived
in that town. he was using but wasn't selling and it was evident. most of the time they way overcharged. the one guy they stop for having a firearm violation he had three or four boxes of ammunition and they charged him for the ammunition one bullet at a time so it was 60 charges. would the prosecutor react the way that he did? >> he wanted them all. he said that was a good case. but it wasn't in it made him angry. money,said, if you have if you can afford a good lawyer you can get out of a lot of stuff. bieber and a lot of your ballplayers they get caught for drugs and all kinds of stuff.
get a local level you can drunk driving charges reduced. but that district attorney really got upset that we let that guy go. inwe will go to harry lindley new york. eye surgeon a grand jury in the biggest thing that amazed me over a three month period the biggest thing that amazed me was 80 to 90% of the cases were drug-related. small drug charges. theseat has happened people, to get off of a cop -- charge they stitch on somebody else. it is an endless circle.
80% of the time the court was taken up by these drug charges. >> what about the philosophy from the police department ofing we catch a bunch little fish and they give up the big fish. the little fish say no and you are cleaning up the streets that way. >> all i am saying is in our particular area, 80% of the cases are minor marijuana up all and it is taking the courts time and the lawyer's time and the public is paying for all of this. term we had ais murder trial. fellow was accused of killing his wife.
the papers for him asked theed up and i district attorney where he was. he said we don't know or signing the papers to pick him up. home -- i am 76 years old. backdoorun inside my who was veryife good with guns i said, if any person comes and tries to break into this house you had better he ready to use this weapon because this fellow murdered his wife and he is a local area resident. stressut me under much until this murder trial -- the
fact that it went to a trial and he was convicted it was a very .ood outcome in my case my i think it puts undue pressure on people to serve on the grand jury for three months and the under this circumstance. jury where trial they decide whether the defendant committed the crime as charged in the criminal case alleges that it injure the plaintiff in a civil case if convicted the trials are generally public but jury deliberations are private. they have the right to appear testify and call witnesses on their behalf the verdict in favor of the plaintiff or civil case. when it comes to a grand jury, it prevented -- presented with
evidence, the grand jury determines whether there is probable cause to believe the individual committed a crime and should be put on trial. if the grand jury determines that is enough evidence an indictment will be issued. usually the proceedings are not open to the public. the defendants and their attorneys do not -- the grand jury proceedings are not open to the public and the defendant in their attorneys to have the right to appear before the grand jury. we are talking to you about your experience serving on the jury, you are on the air. trial andalled for medicalsed because of issues. i never had the opportunity to serve but i wanted to. but i wanted to comment.
than 3 -- rice, i do want to excuse the behavior of the officers, but i had a fosterfather who was a cop and a lot of service members in my the area in which this happened has become massively influx with gang violence. summer, 10 minutes south there was a gentleman mugged and when they he tried to fight back they shot him in the head in front of his daughters. a quick draw type attitude with the gangs. understand putting myself in the shoes of the officers seeing the gun in
trying to quickly react. >> that's airy talking about giving his view of the context in which the police officers act. the new york times reporting this that the police chief said that the officers would remain unrestricted duty until the administrative review had been completed. it said the shooting itself and the aftermath. werees on to say that some outraged. this democrat whose district includes part of cleveland said she believes it was a miscarriage of justice and that mr. mcginty should step down. thed not get all of information from the grand jury, -- isl of the process
outrageous that a case would take that long. the family of tamir rice put out a statement yesterday saying it's been clear for months at the cuyahoga prosecutor was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to create a vote against indictment that even though the video shows them shooting him in less than one second ginty hired so-called expert witnesses to exonerate the officers and tell them the conduct was reasonable and justified. portland, oregon, your experience. >> i would like to make a comment about a prepared statement, an active participant in the jury debate. not to recall a specific neighbor to put my two cents in. reading a prepared statement written by others.
host: i am not following. let's go to new york, jim. caller: it is a broken system. i don't even know how in a democracy that is allowed. because as someone said the defendant from -- the lawyer's defendant cannot even appear. my experience was that i was asked to serve but i was because i have a neurological disease that makes it difficult to process and make those kinds of decisions. my wife was called a couple of times and we have a broken system. day to be called for the grand jury was a big honor. your employer back you up. but now if she were to go she could very well lose her job. i think that is ridiculous.
needed is as rotating door so they can be sort of professional jurists. host: why would she lose her job? theyr: they told her that were not going to say sure, no problem. you do this and we will continue to pay you. it was going to be, no we are not going to pay you. so if you opt for this it will create trouble. it is said subtly but the implications are there. also, when you get a letter to go for a grand jury or any duty, if that comes in the mail and you're are on vacation, that is your problem.
the new are allegedly find for a failure to show up. john in chester, illinois. what are your thoughts? caller: 30 years ago i was on a federal grand jury and a bit of it was over small cases like people stealing social security checks and some semimajor cases but we had one major case and i was very highly impressed with the thoroughness of the agent and the prosecutor. it is amazing they would sit there for a year and has no notes and could tell you dates, times and instances. if you are doing wrong, the fbi is after you and you will be got because it was amazing what they presented.
every time we voted we almost had a unanimous vote. information they present is so thorough. host: is that to indict? caller: it was the grand jury. host: you voted to indict every time? caller: because the information they laid out there, you could not put much against that. times amazing they had name states right off the tip of their mind. questionered every thoroughly. it was a very interesting year. host: what did you think about your role as a jurist -- juror. >> there are 23 of you and any question you have there glad to have it and they took it and answered you thoroughly.
i thought it was a very well run situation and if you had anything that you doubted you could ask it and they would answer you very well. >> that was john in chester illinois, with 15 minutes to get your experience serving on a jury. was it rewarding or an inconvenience. what was it like for you and your role. pagesnews on that front we will start with the washington post. iraqi forces appear set to retake ramadi. and many ofadline them this morning. they are being led by the iraqis with the help of the united states. the washington post and the wall street journal all saying this morning the importance of taking
ramadi and what is next for the efforts of the iraqi forces killed by the united states to other partsl and that isis has control of. the most admired people in united states, president obama comes in first, the pope and the donald were in a tie for number two. you also have this front page of the wall street journal, tokyo and seoul, south korea. exportation that dates back to world war ii, comfort women. korean women used as sex slaves during world war ii is a festering wound that is the inflamed tension. under the accord, japan will supply 8.3 million in government
funds to support the so-called comfort women. ministerpanese prime apologized for their treatment, something he had been reluctant to do previously. you also probably heard that iran has handed over their stockpile of enriched uranium to russia. the ship left on monday carrying all of the uranium fulfilling a major step in the nuclear deal struck last summer and for the first time in nearly a decade leaving them with too little fuel to manufacture a nuclear weapon. today,o have this in usa the so-called obamacare is no cure for the working poor. a study that usa today did and it found that as many as 5 million americans remain not only poor but uninsured. these people are caught in a health care netherworld.
their employers classify them as part-time workers therefore avoiding any obligation to provide health care. the state government has not expanded it to include low-wage earners. coverage that is not affordable at all for these families. on the washington journal we are going to be talking about health care. we have reporters covering it talking about this year. the debate over and what is to come with a lot next year. the business section says the u.s. may soon reject drivers license as an air travel id. because federal state officials have been arguing for years about the merits of the law called the real id act. the proponents argue it is a necessary tool to refuse identity theft and to enhance national security.
the federal government can gain compliance in other ways. in october they began requiring basesisitors to military recruit -- produce a drivers license from a state that complies with the law or show another id like a passport. the home department could soon require the same it airports. moving onto paul in minneapolis. your experience serving on a jury. my experience serving on a jury is irrelevant to what they are trying to get across. if a been american male among white or black, the prosecution would have been defending rice and his family.
officerit is a police that shot and killed rice, why is the prosecutor allowed to go to the grand jury hearing and to sentence these police officers? host: marina in indianapolis, did you serve on a jury? yes, i served on a jury about three years ago and i really enjoyed it. it was my first time but i enjoyed the experience. but this morning i went to my mailbox and there were assignments in the box for me to appear on the jury. and i didn't even get it. it was supposed to be may 18 of this year. i was so upset so yesterday morning i called and they said
that you could be held in contempt and there no date when they send them. it's not stamped with the date so they say they send it out in april of this year. me and they talk to said, i tell you what, whatever you will be available to come and serve on the jury just let me know and i will put it in the computer. so she said what about february 18th. she started february 18 and i said no. to let me come serve april 18. happent know it could that way. i really didn't know you could put the date you wanted to serve but she said i could so we
decided to go. >> rene in new york, you are up. caller: this -- i am a little be nervous this is going to a little bit different today. in 2007 in july, i was asked to appear for potential jury duty and so i did. there were about 50 of us in the room and i listened as each than awas interviewed got to me and it got to a specific question which i knew i could not honestly answer because they wanted to know what my husband did for work and that can have an impact on the case. so i asked the opposing attorneys politely if they would step outside and they did. so we got outside in the hallway
and i said i'm not exactly what i appear to be. and they said what you mean? cannot have a husband because i am a transgender woman. and they said will do you feel you could render an impartial honest decision? and i said absolutely. that is how i ended up on a journey -- jury. it went on for about five days. courtt back to the numerous times to ask the testimony be reread to us. we went back and forth and eventually we rendered a decision. that was my experience. it was a very good experience.
we all got along well together and i learned a lot from that. recently i got another notification of potential jury duty so that is my experience. >> next mike in oregon. good morning. what was your experience like? i it was 10 years ago or so served on a trial jury for dui. the grand jury process here in oregon was we only heard felony cases and in the morning, we would have a list of cases with the appropriate oregon revised statute that the suspect was charged with and the volumes of statute were on the table. so you look up the appropriate law and hear the evidence of the crime and decide whether or not
there was the preponderance of evidence for the case to proceed to trial. or a trialguilty itself, was there enough evidence for the charges to proceed. host: what did you find? caller: it was very interesting, educational and seems like a very fair system. the people i served with, i would've hoped they would of heard my case because it was deliberated fairly. we stuck to the law. majority of the cases were drug cases, a bunch of dui, felony assaults. there were not burgers or kidnappings or hard-core stuff, but it seemed like a very fair process. host: what do you make of this prosecutor?
,ringing in special witnesses in order tosses argue that the police could not be charged? >> i guess i cannot know. in oregon, the process that we had, we would have had to step strictly to the statute, what was being charged and the evidence regarding that statute and i would say if an expert witness was called, whether ballistics or -- i don't know. that would be part of what you consider in reference to the specific charges brought. host: on twitter this and the prosecutors should not conduct grand jury's against officers, there is clear bias in most cases in this case was clear. in the paper it notes that there is legislation in congress to prosecutorsdent
when there is a case of a police police officers and u.s. attorney prosecutors have to work so closely in many cases. good morning to you tom if you are our last on this conversation, what was your experience like. >> i wanted to say we're coming at this the wrong way. we are saying someone is guilty or not a somewhat we hear in the media but we cannot decide someone's guilt by hearing stuff in the media. the things we can do that is valuable and can contribute to is that we goress to the root of the problem. we can see why it begins and why is there so much violence on the streets. and the reason is because