McCulloch and, more importantly, risks perpetuating a number of pernicious misconceptions about grand juries
and the relationship of prosecutors to them.
Cohen closes by arguing that these changes, if enacted, will help grand juries
perform their unique function of limiting the power of government's executive branch by standing between it and the citizen accused of crime.
We've been told that grand juries
determine whether criminal charges, often subject to mandatory minimum sentences, should be brought against an accused person.
10) In addition, there were grand juries
that refused to indict the Stamp Act rioters or to indict former Vice President Aaron Burr.
Federal grand juries
consist of 23 people with 16 constituting a quorum.
Unlike regular juries, grand juries
typically hear only a prosecutor's presentation of evidence, without rebuttal from the defense.
Historically, grand juries
empowered citizens to combat overzealous criminal prosecution.
The history of grand jury secrecy and the interests underlying the secrecy rules reflect a consistent theme: grand juries
are exclusively intended for use in the investigation and prosecution of crimes.
Nixon alumni who now rank among the elder statesmen and mentors of the Federalist Society and other institutions of the legal right with which Starr is so famously entangled-worked assiduously through the courts to expand the power of grand juries
and draw the noose tighter around recalcitrant witnesses.
Although grand juries
had considerable independence and were a major avenue for popular participation in the early Republic, their powers have dwindled.
A former TDHCA staff member said two federal grand juries
are continuing to investigate the activities of other TDHCA board members and staff.
Numerous studies have shown that grand juries
in the state and federal court systems almost always indict people after considering evidence presented to them by prosecutors in the secret proceedings.
Court officials Thursday said new special grand juries
for criminal indictments will be convened at the district attorney's request.
He said grand juries
exist to keep prosecutors from running amok and charging people without justification.
Court Executive Officer Mike Planet said two types of grand juries
will be impaneled in the future - one for government oversight, another for criminal cases.