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49 votes
Accepted

No evidence is required for an indictment by a grand jury?

An indictment is issued by a grand jury when they are convinced, on the basis of evidence presented to them by the government, that there is probable cause to believe that the person committed a crime....
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
25 votes

Why are there 23 members of the grand jury?

I completely agree with Jen's answer and I am writing here to discuss some deeper historical dimensions to the question. Historically, notion of using a 23 member grand jury dates to the reign of King ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 221k
22 votes

Why are there 23 members of the grand jury?

The Constitution does not require a 23-member grand jury; it does not specify a size: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or ...
Jen's user avatar
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21 votes
Accepted

Unpacking "If they have a question for the lawyers, they've got to go outside and the grand jurors can ask questions." from former US Fed. prosecutor

The witness can go outside and ask questions of the witness’ lawyers So if, for example, Mr Trump chooses to testify to the grand jury he goes in alone - no lawyers. If he wants to consult his lawyers ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
16 votes

No evidence is required for an indictment by a grand jury?

Beyond Nate Eldredge's excellent answer, I just want to focus on one portion of your question: "to deny commission of a crime is a "lie" apparently if the agent thinks you committed the crime." The ...
Zach Lipton's user avatar
15 votes

Why are charges sealed until the defendant is arraigned?

In a normal case, it is not merely the contents of the indictment that are secret, but also the very fact that an indictment exists. This level of secrecy surrounding grand jury proceedings is a ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.7k
11 votes

Why are charges sealed until the defendant is arraigned?

Without getting into the nitty-gritty chapter and verse, here is a sketch of the logic. Incidentally, since the indictment of Donald Trump today was in a New York State court, that indictment is ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 221k
8 votes
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Are priests held to the same standards as attorneys?

Confidential statements made in confession to a religious advisor are privileged in every U.S. state and in federal court. There is a body of law that surrounds each kind of privilege (attorney-...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 221k
5 votes
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How are US grand juries instructed not to 'indict ham sandwiches' if there is no judge or opposing counsel?

With only prosecutor(s) and a court reporter, are jurors at all instructed to not simply "rubber stamp" the prosecution's desire to indict? Not really. They are told their job and the legal ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 221k
5 votes

If the grand jury refuses to indict, can the prosecutor try again?

The General Rule Even if the charge is presented to a grand jury and it declines to indict, exactly the same charge that one grand jury declined to indict upon can be presented to a future grand jury ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 221k
4 votes

Is it unethical for a prosecutor not to try his hardest to get an indictment?

On the contrary, it is unethical for a prosecutor to bring a case where there is no reasonable prospect of conviction. The prosecutor is an officer of the court and as a representative of the state, ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
4 votes

Do police have special protection in shootings, related to Breonna Taylor

Yes, police have special permission to use force For example, from s230 of the new-south-wales LAW ENFORCEMENT (POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES) ACT 2002: It is lawful for a police officer exercising a ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
3 votes

How (and how come) are US state/federal prosecutors allowed to seal indictments?

The purpose of the grand jury system is to ensure that innocent people don't have their names dragged through the mud by the mere fact of being accused of a crime. The US founding fathers were ...
Justin Cave's user avatar
  • 3,067
3 votes

How (and how come) are US state/federal prosecutors allowed to seal indictments?

An indictment is not the deprivation of liberty. An indictment is actually part of the due process of law that is guaranteed in the Constitution. Deprivation of liberty means incarceration. The ...
Tiger Guy's user avatar
  • 7,139
3 votes
Accepted

Does failure to present a charge to a grand jury leave that charge open for future indictment?

Does failure to present a charge to a grand jury leave that charge open for future indictment? Yes. Indeed, even if the charge is presented to a grand jury and it declines to indict, exactly the same ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 221k
2 votes
Accepted

Do police have special protection in shootings, related to Breonna Taylor

Since there is already an answer regarding the use of deadly force, I'll only address the other part of the question. Namely, Is the violent entry that police may use when serving a warrant different ...
grovkin's user avatar
  • 2,598
2 votes

How (and how come) are US state/federal prosecutors allowed to seal indictments?

Grand jury proceedings and statements are sealed in their initial state, for example you can't go listen in on the hearing. At some point a legal document may be produced, and filed with the court: ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
2 votes

Why are there 23 members of the grand jury?

Here are a few minor historical details regarding juries. Although it was commonly thought that the Magna Carta guaranteed the right to trial, it did not. This is discussed extensively in an article ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
1 vote

Race of members of a grand jury when a case involves matters of race?

Your assumption is wrong Grand juries are selected at random from citizens residing in the relevant district. For Kentucky specifically: The Administrative Office of the Courts compiles a county-by-...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
1 vote
Accepted

Can a grand jury indict a person without identifying them beforehand?

This question is based upon U.S. law because it references a grand jury. Only one jurisdictions other than the U.S. continues to use grand juries, even though it was historically used in all ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 221k
1 vote

Can a grand jury indict a person without identifying them beforehand?

You didn't specify a jurisdiction, so I'm going to discuss the US federal system. According to http://law.jrank.org/pages/7199/Grand-Jury.html, there's no rule against hearsay testimony in a grand ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar

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