18 August 2014

Holder Orders Autopsy-- a Third Autopsy

Again, Ferguson.

It's always dicey when a criminal case goes political.  Not just because of the obvious danger of the facts getting bent to the political end, but also for the opposite danger of the political end making dubious what would otherwise be easily-established facts.

Now we have a third autopsy on Michael Brown.

The second one, as a matter of prudence, I understood.  This one is a bit strange.  Maybe a criminal lawyer can comment if this happens very often.  But I wonder if the findings of the autopsies already conducted make the political agents uncomfortable:

From the New York Times:

FERGUSON, Mo. — Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.
One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.
Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.
The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body. However, that determination could change if it turns out that there is gunshot residue on Mr. Brown’s clothing, to which Dr. Baden did not have access.[...]
Again, it bears repeating that it is too early, and we have too few facts, to determine anything.  But the published autopsy reports, showing all shots hitting in the front, and Brown's head leaning forward, cast serious doubt on the claims of the eyewitness already made public.  There apparently is another tape found that recorded a conversation between witnesses at the scene (who didn't know they were being recorded) which fits with these autopsy findings.
My previous opinion that there was a 99% chance the officer gets convicted of some form of wrongful homicide has moved to 85%.  It might be lower, but politics are involved.
If there is no charge filed, or not conviction obtained, may I suggest you remain indoors awhile?

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