Prosecutor McEachran Calls Racism Charge “Preposterous”

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Sun, Nov 23, 2014, 3:27 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Considering the preposterous

We are still waiting to see how many votes Nymia the Dog garnered in her write-in campaign for County Prosecutor.  We do know that there were about 76,000 ballots cast and Prosecutor McEachran gained only 52,000 votes running unopposed.  Inquiring minds want to know whether one third of voters didn't bother to vote for McEachran or if they made an extra effort to pick the dog.  Citizens deserve to know.  So does the dog.

Before the election, I wrote a article promoting Nymia based on the story of Mike Grundy, a black man with the misfortune of having attracted the prosecutor's attention.  His extraordinary treatment began with cozy relations between the judge, who systematically denied any mitigating evidence and refused to properly instruct the jury, and the prosecutor, who refused any reasonable plea bargain.  Both allowed an improper trial and set bail at an unachievable level to assure they could ruin the kid's life and that he would spend the full sentence in jail before his case could come up on appeal.

Well, the kid served his time, the case was remanded for correction on appeal, and now the prosecutor is determined to waste more money punishing the lad with further prosecution on the fullest possible charge. There is no way a black man is going to strike a white man without being made an example in Bellingham.  By comparison, a white man can break into someone's home, pistol whip and threaten to shoot the occupants, steal their money  and receive a lesser charge than a black man who takes a wild swing while surrounded by whites threateningly calling him "nigger".  Go figger.

Now comes the attorney for the defendant, with a letter suggesting that this man's treatment has been racist throughout.  McEachran steps in, taking over from the assigned prosecutor to reply that the allegation is "preposterous", that the defendant can take or leave the prosecutor's offer because he is perfectly willing to squander pubic funds excoriating the black man who accidentally broke a football jock's jaw. If there is something preposterous here, that is it.

In the wake of racial tensions in Ferguson, MO, Brad Heath of USA Today dug into the data and discovered there are places far more racist than Ferguson.  In fact, 1,581 of 3,538 jurisdictions examined arrest blacks at rates even more disproportionately than in Ferguson.  Guess what?  Bellingham is one of them, so just how preposterous are the defense attorney's comments?  Ferguson arrests blacks three times as often as non-blacks.  In Bellingham, blacks are arrested five times more frequently.

Bellingham was once home to one of the largest Washington State chapters of the Klu Klux Klan.  Some suggest that while Klan activity has shrunk from sight, the chapters themselves never really disappeared, and that many have served in public offices as mayors, prosecutors, judges and representatives in congress.

It would be nice to believe this scourge has been eradicated, but cases like Grundy's make it hard to believe.  Research like Heath's make it unfortunately impossible.

It can't happen here?

Related Links:

-> Letter from the defense
-> McEachran's response
-> USA Today's article
-> Fergusonham article
-> The Klan in Bellingham

Barbara Perry  //  Sun, Nov 23, 2014, 6:50 pm

Why won’t anyone run against this smiling, everything’s OK,  [delete]?  I would vote for someone out of law school if s/he ran against him.  How long is he in for this time?


Mike Rostron  //  Sun, Nov 23, 2014, 7:11 pm

This is why all citizens should be informed of their rights as jurors. Many people do not understand that the jury, not the judge, decides cases. Regardless of the instructions by the judge, the jury should have returned a verdict of not guilty. This is called “jury nullification.” The courts have upheld time and time again, and at the highest levels, the rights of juries to return a verdict of not guilty in case where the law is unfair, or where the law is applied unfairly. (Without jury nullification alcohol might still be illegal—at a certain point it became impossible to convict citizens for drinking. Something similar has happened with respect to marijuana.)

From wiki: “Jury nullification occurs in a trial when a jury acquits a defendant, even though the members of the jury believe the defendant to be guilty of the charges.”
Here is a great site. Spread the word to all citizens. Share the link. It is our single greatest weapon against this type of police and prosecutor behavior.
The Fully Informed Jury Association
+ Link


Bob Burr  //  Sun, Nov 23, 2014, 10:43 pm

A tip of the hat to Tip for hanging in against a vindictive DA on behalf of a young man—who had he been white in a crowd of drunken blacks, would likely never have been prosecuted. And, thanks to Mike Rostrum for reminding us of what I think is often a civic duty in these times—jury nullification. If you want to be removed from the roster from whom potential jurors are selected, all you need do is agree with me on this forum.


Barbara Perry  //  Mon, Nov 24, 2014, 3:27 pm

Thanks Bob, Now I know why I never get asked to serve on a jury.

Note: A large homemade sign sat in the middle of Red Square this afternoon
reading:

EMERGENCY:  OUT OF THE 15,000 STUDENTS AT WWU, 225 LIST THEMSELVES AS AFRICAN-AMERICAN.

I wonder, does racism in this town scare African-American’s away?


Walter Haugen  //  Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 5:26 pm

Bob Burr - You are and Mike Rostron are correct about jury nullification. We discussed this in law school way back when. Of course you don’t have to be blatant about it. You just have to be unconvinced about the evidence.


Marian Beddill  //  Thu, Nov 27, 2014, 12:59 pm

Hey, Walter Haugen.  I am fuzzy about the bunch of “you’s” in your post, since Walter named four or five people in Walters post, and I(Marian) can perceive multiple ways to read it(your post).   

Please re-post, without any “you”‘s.


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