The Breonna Taylor case proves that prosecutors have too much power

“After spending six months investigating the shooting in which Taylor was killed in her own home, he only recommended charges of wanton endangerment to just one of the three officers who fired a total of 32 shots into her apartment on March 13. That single charge was the only one jurors were allowed to consider — whether former officer Brett Hankison endangered neighbors when he shot through Taylor’s apartment, not whether any of the officers committed murder or even manslaughter in regards to Taylor.

Cameron also didn’t immediately admit that this was the only charge he presented to jurors. And after a judge ordered Cameron to release the grand jury recordings earlier this month, some argued that he heavily relied on witnesses that supported the officers’ version of events.

For example, Cameron’s team presented testimony from a witness who said he heard the officers knock on Taylor’s door that night, but did not present testimony from the dozenother witnesses who said police had not knocked, according to attorneys for Taylor’s family. All of this has left advocates casting doubt on Cameron’s process — and questioning the vast amount of latitude he’s been afforded.

And the doubt isn’t without reason — prosecutors are rarely ever checked or disciplined for their decisions. According to Kami Chavis, a professor of law at Wake Forest University and director of the school’s criminal justice program, prosecutors have broad discretion, discretion that’s rarely ever challenged. And grand jury proceedings, a body of peers tasked with determining whether to bring charges against an alleged perpetrator, are often done under secretive pretenses. While there’s good reason for grand jury proceedings to be secret, Chavis says, cases like Taylor’s, in which public distrust is high, demand transparency.”

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