skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 50886 Find in a Library
Title: GRAND JURY
Journal: COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:(FALL/WINTER 1977)  Pages:73-77
Author(s): M R STOLAR
Corporate Author: Columbia University
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Columbia University
New York, NY 10027
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PURPOSE, DESIGN, AND FUNCTION OF THE GRAND JURY ARE DESCRIBED.
Abstract: THE ORIGINAL PURPOSE OF THE GRAND JURY IS TO PROTECT ALL PERSONS FROM UNREASONABLE CRIMINAL ACCUSATION. MOST GRAND JURIES ARE IN SESSION FOR 30 DAYS AND ARE COMPOSED OF 16 TO 23 PEOPLE. IT MUST BE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GENERAL POPULATION AND THIS COMPOSITION MAY BE CHALLENGED. THE RIGHT TO TESTIFY IS USUALLY NOT EXERCISED UNLESS THE LAWYER AND DEFENDANT AGREE THAT THE CASE MAY END AT THIS LEVEL. A GRAND JURY CAN INDICT WHEN VISIBLE EVIDENCE LEGALLY ESTABLISHES THAT AN OFFENSE HAS BEEN COMMITTED, AND COMPETENT AND ADMISSABLE EVIDENCE GIVES REASONABLE CAUSE THAT AN OFFENSE HAS BEEN COMMITTED. PERSONAL LAWYERS MAY NOT BE PRESENT IN THE GRAND JURY ROOM. A VOTE OF 12 GRAND JURORS IS NECESSARY TO RETURN AN INDICTMENT; A BENCH WARRANT FOR ARREST MAY BE ISSUED. A PROMISE OF IMMUNITY CAN NOT BE MADE FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS: IF A WRITTEN WAIVER OF IMMUNITY HAS BEEN SIGNED BY THE WITNESS; VOLUNTARY TESTIMONY HAS BEEN GIVEN ABOUT UNQUESTIONED CRIMES; AND/OR THE WITNESS'S EVIDENCE CONSISTS ENTIRELY OF BOOKS AND WRITTEN RECORDS. THE FOLLOWING ABUSES OF THE GRAND JURY PROVIDE GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL: (1) GATHERING EVIDENCE CONCERNING A DEFENDANT ALREADY INDICTED; (2) 'FREEZING' THE TESTIMONY OF A PROSPECTIVE TRIAL WITNESS; (3) SUBPOENAING MERELY TO INTERVIEW A WITNESS; (4) QUESTIONING A WITNESS TO CREATE BIASES; (5) HARASSING OR INTIMIDATING A WITNESS; (6) LEAKING SECRET EVIDENCE; (7) SHOWING RACIAL PREJUDICE; (8) PREJUDICIAL PUBLICITY; (9) USING OBTAINED EVIDENCE THAT VIOLATES THE ACCUSED'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS; AND (10) WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE BY THE PROSECUTOR. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (JCP)
Index Term(s): Grand juries; Indictment; Investigative powers; New York
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50886

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.