Bolton’s Bias: Ferguson protesters are wasting their time

Opinion Editor Will Bolton discusses his opinion with anyone who will listen, in person. This column gives him a place to do it where people can escape from his tirades on everything from school programs to American politics by just putting the article down—although given a chance they probably won’t want to.


I have a comment to make to all the people peacefully protesting and complaining about the failure of a grand jury to indict police officer Darren Wilson.

Thank you for being peaceful, but you are wrong.

There is nothing to protest against any more because the courts have had their say and the result was not even close. Grand juries are designed to give the prosecution a high chance to get an indictment. The panel of jurors listens to only the prosecutor’s case. They only see the prosecutor’s evidence, and they only hear the witnesses for the prosecution’s testimony without cross examination.

If a case does not have enough damning evidence to get past a grand jury, it would never have resulted in a guilty verdict anyway. The point of grand juries is that the prosecutor can tell from the jury’s response whether or not a trial is worth pursuing. The reason Wilson was not indicted was that it was clear there was no case and, at this point, there still is not.

The indictment you so fervently call for, at this point, would be counterproductive to your cause. If it was to be tried at this point, the prosecution would lose the case as well as any hope of bringing Wilson to justice.

The Double Jeopardy clause of the 5th Amendment makes clear that someone cannot be tried twice for the same charge after a legitimate acquittal. This is the reason the case did not go to trial. It was not due to racism, corruption, or any other failure of the system.

Because of the 5th Amendment, if a case is brought to trial without proper evidence, it’s over. After the defendant is found not guilty, no amount of further evidence can be brought against he or she on the same charge.

I will not say “I understand” how angry you are or what you have experienced because I do not. I realize that this is a protest centered on the race issue and you are protesting the disenfranchised nature of many African American communities, but this is not the case to form your rallying cry around.

A race conversation clearly needs to take place on the national scale, but trying to use this case as the catalyst for that conversation undermines your credibility because this man cannot be found guilty with the current evidence.

I would also encourage you not to convict him in the court of public opinion too soon. One of the reasons our system works is because everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Keep that in mind before you convict him in your mind. That same protection is offered to anyone who finds himself as a suspect in a crime, regardless of race.

The legal system worked, so stop protesting and complaining. Wait for the federal investigation to finish. And then, if enough evidence is discovered, the case can be taken before a grand jury again.

Will Bolton is an Opinion Editor for The Patriot and