A grand juror has filed suit against Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, seeking to lift a lifetime gag order in the Darren Wilson case and alleging that the views of the grand jury have been misrepresented in public statements by the prosecutor.
The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the anonymous juror, according to ABC News. Though typically prohibited by law from discussing the cases in which they are involved, the grand juror has taken issue with McCulloch’s characterization of the case.
“In [the grand juror]’s view, the current information available about the grand jurors’ views is not entirely accurate — especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges,” the lawsuit states. “Moreover, the public characterization of the grand jurors’ view of witnesses and evidence does not accord with [Doe]’s own.”
The suit does not seek to allow all Missouri grand jurors to be able to publicly discuss cases, but rather asserts that the Ferguson case is unique, according to St. Louis Public Radio. The juror alleges in the lawsuit that the case was handled in a unique manner, far different than others put before the grand jury. McCulloch’s office presented thousands of pages of evidence to jurors, rather than recommending a charge.
“From [the grand juror]’s perspective, the investigation of Wilson had a stronger focus on the victim than in other cases presented to the grand jury,” the suit states.
— Kansas City (@SunTimesKC) December 23, 2014
Last month, McCulloch drew heavy criticism when he admitted that he knew some witnesses in the case lied while under oath. As the Inquisitr previously reported, McCulloch’s admission, made in conversation with KTRS-AM‘s McGraw Milhaven, prompted many observers to question the integrity of proceedings surrounding the case.
ACLU attorney Tony Rothert also noted that the Ferguson case was unique, crediting it with sparking a national debate about race.
“The Supreme Court has said that grand jury secrecy must be weighed against the juror’s First Amendment rights on a case-by-case basis,” Rothert asserted. “The rules of secrecy must yield because this is a highly unusual circumstance. The First Amendment prevents the state from imposing a lifetime gag order in cases where the prosecuting attorney has purported to be transparent.”
Bob McCulloch’s spokesperson, Ed Magee, noted that the prosecutor had not yet been served with the juror’s lawsuit, and had no comment on its filing.
[Image: Bill Greenblatt/ UPI via St. Louis Public Radio]