Saturday, August 4, 2012

Why a Grand Jury & Why a Plea Agreement?

In the 21st Century, grand juries are unique to the United States, and only about half the states employ them in their judicial system. In Alabama, the prevailing theory is to let a grand jury make the decision of who is indicted and for what. It may be an old system, but it does provide some checks and balances for criminal prosecution.

One reader was particularly concerned with the Jerry Ivy murder. It will be up to a grand jury to decide if shooter Junior Clemmons is indicted for Capital or Felony Murder. Since Ivy was in a vehicle when he was shot, it would seem that this case qualifies as a capital crime.

Another reader was also concerned about plea agreements. We've been astounded at some pleas offered in the Shoals area, but in many cases, they are a prudent choice. If a member of your family is killed, you want to see the perpetrator punished. If a case goes to jury trial, the defendant may walk. It comes down to taking a chance on the killer going free or agreeing to a sure 25 year sentence with no chance of parole.

Currently, Junior Clemmons remains incarcerated in the Florence Detention Center. One of our readers who knew both Clemmons and his victim is preparing some information for us, and we'll  publish it as soon as possible.


Pen-N-Sword has published a bio of former youth minister Oliver Brazelle. He's truly a man of many accomplishments, and it's sad that his legacy has been marred by these accusations. It's even more sad that the lives of several young Sheffield men may have been horribly hurt by someone they and their families trusted.


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