I once served on a federal grand jury for two years and heard testimony in about 50 cases. My experience was utterly unlike the travesty created by St. Louis County, Missouri, “prosecutor” Bob McCulloch in the case of Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson, Michael Brown’s killer.

I put “prosecutor” in quotes because Mr. McCulloch’s entire performance before the grand jury addressing the death of Michael Brown was as a defense attorney for Officer Wilson. The transcript makes it clear that there was no prosecutor in the jury room.

Our judicial system is based on trials with adversarial lawyers. The function of a grand jury is to determine whether there is “probable cause” to proceed to try a defendant.

The prosecutor presents sufficient evidence to establish probable cause; no more is needed. No defense lawyer is allowed in the grand jury room, and it is rare for a defendant to be present.

A grand jury indictment is no indicator of guilt; guilt or innocence is decided by trial. These legal principles are or should be taught in every public school.

Because of the actions of Mr. McCulloch, there will not be a criminal trial to assess whether Officer Wilson is innocent or guilty. In its absence, he cannot escape the cloud that will probably hang over him for the rest of his life. If Officer Wilson is, in fact, innocent, Mr. McCulloch did him no favor.

Furthermore, Mr. McCulloch has undermined what little remains of African-Americans’ faith in the fairness of our judicial system.

Meredith N. Springer

Scarborough