Nancy Gertner, a former federal Judge, a current Harvard Law professor, and longtime advocate for civil rights has, written a nice and short piece relative to how recent Supreme Court cases made it more likely that the result in Ferguson — no indictment by the grand jury of Officer Wilson — was almost a foregone conclusion.
And, just like with the O.J. Simpson case, where Orenthal James (yup, that’s his real name) resulted in the famous acquittal for murder in his criminal trial, but an easy finding of liability in his subsequent civil trial (and a $33.5 million judgment, not much of which has been paid), Officer Wilson’s legal troubles are far from over. He is likely to be the defendant in a civil rights case, which could be brought in either state or federal court. Since the state is Missouri, more likely that it would be federal court. The most famous federal civil right statute — 42 U.S.C. § 1983 — can be used against Officer Wilson for depriving Michael Brown of his civil rights under the “color of state law.”