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Encyclopedia > Grand jury
Criminal procedure
Investigating and charging crimes
Criminal investigation
Arrest warrant  · Search warrant
Probable cause  · Knock-and-announce
Exigent circumstance
Search and seizure  · Arrest
Right to silence  · Miranda warning (U.S.)
Grand jury
Criminal prosecution
Statute of limitations  · Nolle prosequi
Bill of attainder  · Ex post facto law
Criminal jurisdiction  · Extradition
Habeas corpus  · Bail
Inquisitorial system  · Adversarial system
Charges and pleas
Arraignment  · Indictment
Plea  · Peremptory plea
Nolo contendere (U.S.)  · Plea bargain
Presentence Investigation
Related areas of law
Criminal defenses
Criminal law  · Evidence
Civil procedure
Portals: Law  · Criminal justice

In the American common law legal system, a grand jury is a type of jury which determines if there is enough evidence for a trial. Grand juries carry out this duty by examining evidence presented to them by a prosecutor and issuing indictments, or by investigating alleged crimes and issuing presentments. A grand jury is traditionally larger and distinguishable from a petit jury, which is used during a trial. Image File history File links Scale_of_justice. ... Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the criminal law. ... An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by a public officer which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual. ... A search warrant is a written warrant issued by judge or magistrate which authorizes the police to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a criminal offense, and seize the evidence. ... In United States criminal law, probable cause refers to the standard by which a police officer may make an arrest, conduct a personal or property search or obtain a warrant. ... A knock and announce warrant, in the American law of criminal procedure, requires that the officer tasked with the responsibility of executing the warrant must knock on the door of the home to be entered for a search or arrest, and to announce their purpose. ... An exigent circumstance, in the American law of criminal procedure, allows law enforcement to enter a structure without a warrant, or if a they have a knock and announce warrant, without knocking and waiting for refusal under certain circumstances. ... Search and seizure is a legal procedure used in many common law whereby police or other authorities and their agents, who suspect that a crime has been committed, do a search of a persons property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The right to silence is a legal protection enjoyed by people undergoing police interrogation or trial in certain countries. ... The Miranda warning is a police warning that is given to criminal suspects in police custody or in a custodial situation in the United States before they are asked questions relating to the commission of a crime. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the criminal law. ... A statute of limitations is a statute in a common law legal system that sets forth the maximum period of time, after certain events, that legal proceedings based on those events may be initiated. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime, and punishing them, without benefit of a trial. ... An ex post facto law (from the Latin for from something done afterward) or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. ... Criminal jurisdiction is a term used in the law of criminal procedure to describe the power of a court to hear a case brought by the state accusing a criminal defendant of a violation of the law of the geographic area in which the court is located. ... Extradition is the official process by which one nation or state requests and obtains from another nation or state the surrender of a suspected or convicted criminal. ... In common law countries, habeas corpus () (Latin: [We command that] you have the body) is the name of a legal action, or writ, through which a person can seek relief from unlawful detention of themselves or another person. ... The word bail as a legal term means: Security, usually a sum of money, exchanged for the release of an arrested person as a guarantee of that persons appearance for trial. ... An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court or a part of the court is actively involved in determining the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the role of the court is solely that of an impartial referee between parties. ... The adversarial system (or adversary system) of law is the system of law, generally adopted in common law countries, that relies on the skill of the different advocates representing their partys positions and not on some neutral party, usually the judge, trying to ascertain the truth of the case. ... Arraignment is a common law term for the formal reading of a criminal complaint, in the presence of the defendant, to inform him of the charges against him. ... In the common law legal system, an indictment (IPA: ) is a formal charge of having committed a most serious criminal offense. ... In legal terminology, a plea is simply an answer to a claim made by someone in a civil or criminal case under common law using the adversary system. ... In the common law legal system, the peremptory pleas (pleas in bar), are pleas that set out special reasons for which a trial cannot go ahead. ... Nolo contendere, in criminal trials, in some common law jurisdictions, is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of guilty or not guilty. ... A plea bargain (also plea agreement, plea deal or copping a plea) is an agreement in a criminal case in which a prosecutor and a defendant arrange to settle the case against the defendant. ... A presentence investigation report (PSI) is a legal term referring to the investigation into the history of person convicted of a crime before sentencing to determine if there are extenuating circumstances which should ameliorate the sentence or a history of criminal behavior to increase the harshness of the sentence. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the process that courts will follow when hearing cases of a civil nature (a civil action, as opposed to a criminal action). ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the criminal law. ... The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries adopting the common law adversarial system or the civil law inquisitorial system. ... In the common law legal system, an indictment (IPA: ) is a formal charge of having committed a most serious criminal offense. ... This article is confusing for some readers, and needs to be edited for clarity. ...

Contents

History

The first grand jury was held in England in 1166. The grand jury was recognized by King John in the Magna Carta in 1215 on demand of the nobility. Its roots stretch back as early as 997 A.D., when an Anglo-Saxon king, Ethelred the Unready, charged an investigative body of his reign that it should go about its duty by accusing no innocent person, and sheltering no guilty one.[1] For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... The Assize of Clarendon was an act of King Henry II of England of 1166, whereby trial by jury became the norm in England, replacing alternatives such as trial by combat. ... This article is about the King of England. ... Magna Carta Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter, literally Great Paper), also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. ... A certified copy of the Magna Carta March 4 - King John of England makes an oath to the Pope as a crusader to gain the support of Innocent III. June 15 - King John of England was forced to put his seal on the Magna Carta, outlining the rights of landowning... Ethelred II (c. ...


In the early decades of the United States grand juries played a major role in public matters. During that period counties followed the traditional practice of requiring all decisions be made by at least 12 of the grand jurors, so that for a size of 23 a bare majority would be 12. Any citizen could bring a matter before it directly, from a public work that needed repair, to a delinquent official, to a complaint of a crime, and they could conduct their own investigations. In that era most criminal prosecutions were conducted by private parties, either a law enforcement officer, a lawyer hired by a crime victim or his family, or even by laymen, who could bring a bill of indictment to the grand jury, and if the grand jury found there was sufficient evidence for a trial, that the act was a crime under law, and that the court had jurisdiction, then by returning the indictment to the complainant, it appointed him to exercise the authority of an attorney general, that is, one having a general power of attorney to represent the state in the case. The grand jury served to screen out incompetent or malicious prosecutions.[2] The advent of official public prosecutors in the later decades of the 19th century largely displaced private prosecutions, but also led to them capturing grand juries and using them in ways for which they were not originally intended.[3]


It is also important to realize that in that era county grand juries seldom served a population of more than 3,000. Even large cities of the time had populations of less than 20,000. Crime rates were extremely low by present standards, and law was enforced by the entire population as militia. This meant that grand juries could meet part-time without compensation and devote a great deal of time to any criminal complaint, and most of their time to supervising governmental operations. A grand jury today may serve a metro area of a million people and have less than 10 minutes to decide each case. To be able to function as they did in the early Republic, there would have to be a grand jury for each voting precinct of about 3,000 persons.


Today

Grand juries are today virtually unknown outside the United States. The United Kingdom abandoned grand juries in 1933 and instead uses a committal procedure, as do all Australian jurisdictions. In Australia, although the State of Victoria maintains provisions for a grand jury in the Crimes Act 1958 under section 354 Indictments, it has been used on rare occasions by individuals to bring other persons to court seeking them to be committed for trial on indictable offences. New Zealand abolished the grand jury in 1961. Canada abolished it in the 1970s. Today approximately half of the states in the U.S. employ them,[4] and only twenty-two require their use, to varying extents.[5] Most jurisdictions have abolished grand juries, replacing them with the preliminary hearing at which a judge hears evidence concerning the alleged offenses and makes a decision on whether the prosecution can proceed. Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... In law, a committal procedure is the process by which a defendant is charged with a serious offence under the criminal justice systems of all common law jurisdictions outside the United States. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... “VIC” redirects here. ... Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... Within some criminal justice systems, a preliminary hearing (evidentiary hearing) is a meeting, after a criminal complaint has been filed by the prosecutor, to determine whether, and to what extent, criminal charges and civil cause of actions will be heard (by a court), what evidence will be admitted, and what... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


A grand jury is part of the system of checks and balances, preventing a case from going to trial on a prosecutor's bare word. The grand jury, as an impartial panel of ordinary citizens, must first decide whether there exists reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. The grand jury can compel witnesses to testify before them. Unlike the trial itself, the grand jury's proceedings are secret; the defendant and his or her counsel are generally not present for other witnesses' testimony. The grand jury's decision is either a "true bill" (meaning that there is a case to answer) or "no true bill". Jurors typically are drawn from the same pool of citizens as a petit jury, and participate for a specific time period. The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Separation of powers, a term faget from bob French political Enlightenment thinker Baron de Montesquieu[1][2], is a model for the governance of democratic states. ... Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard in United States law that a person; has been, is, or is about to be, engaged in criminal activity based on specific and articulable facts and inferences. ... In United States criminal law, probable cause refers to the standard by which a police officer may make an arrest, conduct a personal or property search or obtain a warrant. ... This article is about witnesses in law courts. ... A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute. ... Look up counsel in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is confusing for some readers, and needs to be edited for clarity. ...


Grand Juries in the United States

Federal grand juries

Charges involving "capital or infamous crimes" under federal jurisdiction must be presented to a grand jury, under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This has been interpreted to permit bypass of the grand jury for misdemeanor offenses, which can be charged by prosecutor's information. The U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1789 by a constitutional convention, sets down the basic framework of American government in its seven articles. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A misdemeanor, or misdemeanour, in many common law legal systems, is a lesser criminal act. ...


State grand juries

Unlike many other provisions of the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court has ruled[6] that this requirement was not incorporated to apply to state courts via the Fourteenth Amendment, and states therefore may elect to not use grand juries. Image of the United States Bill of Rights from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries  Atlas  Politics Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the acronym... Incorporation of the Bill of Rights is the legal doctrine by which portions of the U.S. Bill of Rights are applied to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. ... A U.S. state is any one of the 50 states which have membership of the federation known as the United States of America (USA or U.S.). The separate state governments and the U.S. federal government share sovereignty. ... Amendment XIV in the National Archives The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), intended to secure rights for former slaves. ...


Criticism

Some argue that most grand juries as they are set up and used today are unconstitutional, and that we need to return to grand jury practices closer to those that prevailed during the founding era. This would mean grand juries of 23 unpaid citizens each serving no more than 3,000 people, open to having anyone bring any matter before them, with no preferential treatment of public prosecutors, and deciding every question by a vote of 12.[7]


Critics argue that grand juries as conducted today are unjust as the defendant is not represented by counsel and/or does not have the right to call witnesses. Intended to serve as a check on prosecutors, the opportunity it presents them to compel testimony can in fact prove useful in building up the case they will present at the final trial. This article is about the concept of justice. ... For the fish called lawyer, see Burbot. ...


In practice, a grand jury rarely acts in a manner contrary to the wishes of the prosecutor. Judge Sol Wachtler, the disbarred former Chief Judge of New York State, was quoted as saying that a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to "indict a ham sandwich."[8] Many jurisdictions in the United States have replaced the formality of a grand jury with a procedure in which the prosecutor can issue charges by filing an information (also known as an accusation) which is followed by a preliminary hearing before a judge at which both the defendant and his or her counsel are present. New York has amended procedures governing the formation of grand juries such that grand jurors are no longer required to have previous jury experience. Sol Wachtler is a former New York State lawyer and judge, and former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, which is the highest position in the state judiciary. ... State nickname: Empire State Other U.S. States Capital Albany Largest city New York Governor George Pataki Official languages None Area 141,205 km² (27th)  - Land 122,409 km²  - Water 18,795 km² (13. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute. ...


Contrary to what some might expect, in some jurisdictions grand jurors are selected to serve by the local prosecutor, rather than by random selection from the community. Many who serve have done so many times and have a proven "record" to indict. No state has a provision to limit the number of grand juries a prosecutor can form to finally get the indictment he wants. If the first one doesn't indict he can form another. This issue was identified nationally when Texas prosecutor, Ronnie Earle, organized three grand juries before he could get an indictment on Congressman, Tom Delay. Ronnie Earle Ronald Dale Ronnie Earle (born February 23, 1942) is the District Attorney for Travis County, Texas. ... Thomas Dale DeLay (born April 8, 1947) is a former member of the United States House of Representatives from Sugar Land, Texas. ...


The Constitutionality of contemporary grand jury practices has been brought before the Supreme Court six times in history; however, the court has yet to allow a case to be heard. Some believe the high court sees a public, but not Constitutional, good in grand juries. Many defense attorney organizations say it is simply misnamed and should be called, "The Prosecutor's Inquisition". According to Mike Martin, former Texas State Representative in an interview with the Austin American Statesman in 1982, "A grand jury is nothing more than a perjury trap. They drag you in by court order, won't let you have an attorney present, tell you the Fifth doesn't apply because you are not accused of anything, then slap a felony charge on you at the end because you deny an accusation. It goes against everything our forefathers intended when they set up America's judicial system". Mike Martin is the name of: Mike Martin (baseball), baseball player and current head coach for the Florida State University Mike Martin (politician), former member of the Texas House of Representatives Mike Martin (musician), instrumental guitarist and composer, Lead guitarist for All That Remains. ...


In some rare instances, the grand jury does break with the prosecutor. It can even exclude the prosecutor from its meetings and subpoena witnesses and issue indictments on its own. This is called a "runaway grand jury." Runaway grand juries sometimes happen in government corruption or organized crime cases, if the grand jury comes to believe that the prosecutor himself has been improperly influenced. Such cases were common in the 19th century, but have become infrequent since the 1930s.[9]


In all U.S. jurisdictions retaining the grand jury, the defendant has the right under the Fifth Amendment not to give self-incriminating testimony. However, the prosecutor can call the defendant to testify and require the defendant to assert the right on a question-by-question basis, which is prohibited in jury trials unless the defendant has voluntarily testified on his own behalf. Most prosecutors try never to put the label, "defendant" on witnesses they intend to indict. In most state and federal cases, you cannot apply the Fifth Amendment if you are not presently being accused of a crime. There are countless cases of judges compelling a witness to testify who took the "Fifth" and who were later indicted for perjury. Other evidentiary rules applicable to trials (such as the hearsay rule) are generally not applicable to grand jury proceedings. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Hearsay is a legal term that describes a class of evidence generally disallowed by most courts in the United States. ...


County grand juries in California and Nevada

In the U.S., the states of California and Nevada have grand juries at the county level. Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Official language(s) English Capital Carson City Largest city Las Vegas Area  Ranked 7th  - Total 110,567 sq mi (286,367 km²)  - Width 322 miles (519 km)  - Length 490 miles (788 km)  - % water 0. ...


In California, each county is required by the state constitution to have at least one grand jury empaneled at all times. Grand Juries are governed by Title 4 of the California Penal Code, as well as other more general provisions. Grand juries are not subject to the Brown Act. The Brown Act, officially known as the Ralph M. Brown Act (California Government Code Sections 54950-54963), authored by Ralph M. Brown, a Central Valley assemblyman representing Turlock, was enacted in 1953 by the California State Legislature in an effort to safeguard the publics right to access and participate...


Most grand juries are seated on a fiscal cycle, i.e. July through June. Most counties have panels consisting of 19 jurors, some have as few as 11 jurors, others have as many as 23 (see California Penal Code Section 888.2). All actions by a grand jury require a two-thirds vote. Jurors are usually selected on a volunteer basis. A supermajority or a qualified majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple majority in order to have effect. ...


These county-level grand juries primarily focus on oversight of government institutions at the county level and lower. Almost any entity which receives public money can be examined by the grand jury, including county government, cities, and special districts. Each panel selects the topics which it wishes to examine each year. A jury is not allowed to continue an oversight from a previous panel. If a jury wishes to look at a subject which a prior jury was examining, it must start its own investigation and independently verify all information. It may use information obtained from the prior jury but this information must be verified before it can be used by the current jury. Upon completing its investigation, the jury may, but is not required to, issue a report detailing its findings and recommendations. ...


The grand jury is required to publish a minimum of one report containing a minimum of one finding and one recommendation. The published reports are the only public record of the grand jury's work; there is no minority report. Each published report includes a list of those public entities which are required or requested to respond. The format of these responses is dictated by California Penal Code Section 933.05, as is the time span in which they must respond.


County grand juries develop areas to examine by two avenues: juror interests, and public complaints. Complaints filed by the public are kept confidential. The protection of whistleblowers is one of the primary reasons for the confidential nature of the grand jury's work. A whistleblower s an employee, former employee, or member of an organization, especially a business or government agency, who reports misconduct to people or entities that have the power and presumed willingness to take corrective action. ...


Most county grand juries in California do not consider criminal matters, though by law they are able to. The decision of whether or not to present criminal cases to the grand jury is made by the county District Attorney.


The law governing county grand juries may differ in Nevada.


See also

Within some criminal justice systems, a preliminary hearing (evidentiary hearing) is a meeting, after a criminal complaint has been filed by the prosecutor, to determine whether, and to what extent, criminal charges and civil cause of actions will be heard (by a court), what evidence will be admitted, and what... In law, a committal procedure is the process by which a defendant is charged with a serious offence under the criminal justice systems of all common law jurisdictions outside the United States. ...

References

  1. ^ Florida Supreme Court Committee On Standard Jury Instructions In Criminal Cases (September 2005). Florida Grand Jury Handbook (RTF). Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
  2. ^ The Grand Jury, George J. Edwards (1906)
  3. ^ If It's Not a Runaway, It's Not a Real Grand Jury, Roger Roots, Creighton L.R., Vol. 33, No. 4, 1999-2000, 821
  4. ^ Frequently Asked Questions About the Grand Jury System. American Bar Association. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
  5. ^ Brenner, Susan; Lori Shaw (2003). Power to abolish Grand Jury. University of Dayton School of Law. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
  6. ^ Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516 (1884) and Hurtado v. California
  7. ^ Opening the Grand Jury, Jon Roland
  8. ^ Berliner, Uri (July 20, 2006). Would That Make Him a Genetically Modified Ham Sandwich?. Mixed Signals. NPR. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
  9. ^ Brenner, Susan; Lori Shaw (2003). What is a "runaway" grand jury?. University of Dayton School of Law. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.

The Florida Supreme Court is the highest court in the State of Florida. ... The Rich Text Format (often abbreviated to RTF) is a proprietary document file format developed by Microsoft in 1987 for cross-platform document interchange. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... American Bar Associations Washington, DC office The American Bar Association (ABA) is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The University of Dayton is a private Catholic university operated by the Society of Mary located in Dayton, Ohio. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Holding The words due process of law in the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States do not necessarily require an indictment by a grand jury in a prosecution by a State for murder. ... “NPR” redirects here. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The University of Dayton is a private Catholic university operated by the Society of Mary located in Dayton, Ohio. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Grand jury - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1037 words)
Grand juries carry out this role by examining evidence presented to them by a prosecutor and issuing indictments, or by investigating alleged crimes and issuing presentments.
A grand jury is traditionally larger and distinguishable from a petit jury, which is used during a trial.
Unlike the trial itself, the grand jury's proceedings are secret; the defendant and his or her counsel are generally not present for other witnesses' testimony.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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