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Legal Roundtable Probes Grand Jury Secrecy And Prosecutor’s Discretion

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell speaks with supporters at a reception at the Buzz Westfall Justice Center following his swearing in ceremony. Jan. 1, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
The "St. Louis on the Air" Legal Roundtable discussed the actions of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell (shown at his swearing-in ceremony in 2019) in reopening the investigation into the death of Michael Brown.

Six years after Michael Brown was killed by a Ferguson police officer, his death continues to generate debate. This month, that included two new developments discussed by St. Louis on the Air’s Legal Roundtable: St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell’s decision to reopen and then close the case, and another setback for a grand juror seeking to discuss what happened behind closed doors in the criminal probe into Brown’s death.

Attorneys Eric Banks of Banks Law, Nicole Gorovsky of Gorovsky Law and Mark Smith, who is a vice chancellor and dean for Career Services at Washington University, dug into both developments. The trio discussed the standard for when a prosecutor may bring a case, as well as their concerns about who is being protected by grand jury secrecy.

They also discussed the following matters involving the judicial system:

The panel also heard from callers.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Sarah Fenske joined St. Louis Public Radio as host of St. Louis on the Air in July 2019. Before that, she spent twenty years in newspapers, working as a reporter, columnist and editor in Cleveland, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and St. Louis.

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