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Law professors explain why there is a grand jury

Law professors at Mizzou said the grand jury decision is just a preliminary stage in the Michael Brown case.

They also said grand juries are not commonly used in most states anymore.

Rod Uphoff, a professor at MU’s law school, said the grand jury was originally set up to be a protection for the accused and gives the citizens a chance to look at evidence and decide if a crime has been committed.

In a grand jury there is no judge, only a prosecutor who is leading the case.

The prosecutor is in control and decides what is to be presented to the jurors.

If this grand jury said an indictment should be issued, it’s nowhere near the end of the road for Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown.

“He can still fight the case at trial, so it’s not the end of the game by any stretch for Darren Wilson,” said Rod Uphoff.

On the other side, if the jurors said Wilson is not guilty, the prosecutor still has the option to file a case against him.

Uphoff said more than likely the prosecutor will go along with what the grand jury says.

“If those certain members of the community listen to the evidence and they don’t believe charges are warranted, the prosecutor is very likely to heed, their opinion and probably won’t go forward with charges,” said Uphoff.

Uphoff said it’s nearly impossible to know how long a grand jury will take to sift through evidence.

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