News: “Ex-prosecutors at odds on police-caused deaths” – by Andrew Wolfson, Courier Journal Dec. 11, 2014

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Marc Murphy, left; and Dave Stengel, right.

In the wake (or even the midst) of the Ferguson, Mo. fracas, it looks like local ex-prosecutors David Stengel and Marc Murphy were having a fiery exchange of words on their own.  And of course, I missed it!

So, I could not let it go, and am publishing extracts of Mr. Wolfson’s story below.

You can catch the ENTIRE story by clicking on the link (and hopefully, it will be still available)

Ex-prosecutors at odds on police-caused deaths

– by Andrew Wolfson, Courier Journal Dec. 11, 2014

The failure of grand juries to indict white police officers in the deaths of blacks in Missouri and New York has triggered a war of words between former top prosecutors in Louisville — and a debate over whether special prosecutors should be appointed in such cases.

Responding to a Facebook post by former Commonwealth’s Attorney Marc Murphy that suggested police got off in both instances because the prosecutor “was with them in every way, the whole time,” ex-Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Stengel called Murphy’s conclusion “offensive” and an “easy answer.”

“If you had been in office longer, you would know that,” said Stengel, who defeated Murphy in a 1996 primary.

* * *

Former Commonwealth’s Attorney Nick King, who served in the office from 1992 to 1996, said it’s not that elected prosecutors can’t do a fair job; he said independent prosecutors should be appointed to “promote public confidence in the result.”

And retired Judge Geoffrey Morris, who presided over grand juries that heard evidence in two controversial police shootings, including Taylor’s, also said it is important that they be led by prosecutors who are “not beholden to the FOP.”

But other prosecutors and police said a blanket rule requiring that such cases be farmed out to special prosecutors is unnecessary — and could be counter-productive.

Tom Wine, the current Jefferson County commonwealth’s attorney, said his office has successfully prosecuted police for various crimes — and that when he was an assistant, he prosecuted one for rape.

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