Petition to Introduce a System of Prosecutors Dedicated to Criminal Cases Where the Plaintiffs are Police Officers in the State of New Jersey
Whereas there has been a massive public outcry against the handling of grand jury trials pertaining to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner,
Whereas it is recognized that the aforementioned grand jury trials were not under the jurisdiction of the State of New Jersey; however, they are indicative of a more common subversion of the judicial process that occurs in all fifty States,
Whereas it has been demonstrated that police officers are far less likely on average to receive an indictment in grand jury than other citizens, which, at least superficially, seems to undermine the very notion of impartiality that is so paramount to our criminal justice system,
Whereas it is at least possible that this disparity in indictment proportions is to some degree due to local prosecutors' close relationship with police officers, which may impact their ability to "make a compelling case against officers, whether consciously or unconsciously" [Casselman],
Whereas this close relationship between prosecutors and the police officers they may have to prosecute is not only unfair to the victims of police brutality, but also innocent police officers who appear to benefit from an unfair advantage they did not intend to receive,
Whereas we believe that police officers in our State and in all fifty States deserve equal treatment under the law, and that the current grand jury system creates a conflict of interest that makes such equal treatment improbable if not impossible,
Whereas we believe that this conflict of interest is an anomaly in our justice system and that targeted and fair adjustments to our legal system can help our State better administer justice,
Therefore, this petition seeks to compel the Legislature of the State of New Jersey to propose a viable System of prosecutors (hereafter known as "System"), dedicated to the prosecution of police officers throughout the State of New Jersey, which have little or no ties to the police officers which they will prosecute.
Specifically, this System should automatically assign dedicated prosecutors to any and all criminal cases where the police officer is the plaintiff, and is therefore different than a "special prosecutor". Otherwise, the System would in all respects behave in the same way as our current system of criminal prosecution.
This petition further seeks to compel the Legislature to provide adequate resources necessary to provide thorough research and investigation to aid the creation of this System, as well as the resources required to adequately publicize the proposed System for a public debate.
This petition further seeks to compel the State of New Jersey to add a question to the ballot during the nearest appropriate general election in the State of New Jersey regarding the acceptance of the System.
Let it be known that this petition in no way reflects on the innocence or guilt of any past criminal proceedings involving police officers in the State, nor does it suppose any wrongdoing or unethical behavior on the part of any police officers in the State. Rather, this petition hopes to address a potential cause of partiality within our justice system.