Governor Nixon is calling for a “vigorous prosecution” of the Michael Brown shooting case. But he says he is not asking St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to step aside. A petition circulated after the Brown shooting has called for McCulloch to recuse himself. But Nixon says there is a “well-established” procedure for a prosecutor to take himself off the case and have a special prosecutor be appointed. He says legal uncertainty would be injected into the situation and the prosecution could be jeopardized if that procedure is ignored.
“From the outset, I have been clear about the need to have a vigorous prosecution of this case, and that includes minimizing any potential legal uncertainty. I am not asking St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch to recuse himself from this case. There is a well-established process by which a prosecutor can recuse themselves from a pending investigation, and a special prosecutor be appointed. Departing from this established process could unnecessarily inject legal uncertainty into this matter and potentially jeopardize the prosecution.”