Who will decide the charges in the Texas Gay Bashing?
October 28, 2014 9:34 PM   Subscribe

McCleish Christmas Benham was arrested at the DFW Airport by Airport police after attacking a gay man in the airport. News reports are saying he is not being charged with a hate crime. Can someone tell me definitively who would make the decision about what he is charged with?
posted by hworth to Law & Government (6 answers total)
Definitively who makes the decision? The grand jury.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:48 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Will there be a grand jury in a case like this? I thought there would just be a criminal complaint?
posted by hworth at 9:58 PM on October 28, 2014

The Fifth Amendment requires a grand jury for any indictment.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:41 PM on October 28, 2014

I think a DA/ADA plays some role in working out a charge, too.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 11:02 PM on October 28, 2014

He's just being charged with assault which is a misdemeanor and a state crime so almost certainly it will be a judge rather than a grand jury. It was the DA who determined and suggested the appropriate charge. Most states allow a judge to charge felonies in addition to the grand jury.

The feds could intervene if they thought a hate crime had occurred and the locals were not appropriately charging the crime.
But motive matters. Just calling a protected class a slur in the act of assaulting them does not necessarily make it a hate crime. It does certainly make you an asshole
posted by JPD at 3:37 AM on October 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

The Fifth Amendment does not require grand juries for state charges. States which adopt relevant procedures are able to bring suspects to trial on charges as high as a capital murder on the basis of an "information" -- a finding made by a judge analogous to an indictment.
posted by MattD at 6:57 AM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

« Older Give me your MCU fanfic recs!   |   Alternatives to Tamora Pierce? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.