About

U.S. Grand Jury Reform

The grand jury at the federal level has had a troubled history. Required by the Constitution as a check on judicial and prosecutorial abuse, it has often been used as a tool of abuse against political dissidents. Most grand juries are mere "rubber stamps" for prosecutors, but others become "runaway" grand juries, taking the lead in investigations of official corruption and abuse.

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  • HTML Version or Menu Text Version The Grand Jury, George J. Edwards (1906) — Classic treatise on the grand jury, unequalled to this day.
  • HTML Version or Menu Text Version Let's Revive Private Criminal Prosecutions — by Jon Roland. Calls for use of private prosecutors in cases of public corruption and abuse where public prosecutors unwilling to prosecute.
  • HTML Version or Menu Text Version Brief on Private Prosecutions — Provides cites for recent cases involving use of private prosecutors. Can be authorized by grand jury returning bill of indictment to petitioner seeking to conduct a private criminal prosecution.
  • HTML Version or Menu Fixing the Grand Jury, Jon Roland — Overview of the issues.
  • HTML Version or Menu U.S. Grand Jury Standards, Jon Roland — Specification for a grand jury system to comply with original understanding of the U.S. Constitution.
  • HTML Version or Menu Text Version Opening the Grand Jury, Jon Roland — What you can do to return grand jury practice to what it was intended to be.
  • HTML Version or Menu Text Version 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 — Examines constitutional issues involved in current practices involving grand juries.
  • HTML Version or Menu Federal Grand Juries
  • HTML Version or Menu State Grand Juries
  • HTML Version or Menu Runaway Grand Juries
  • HTML Version or Menu Reform Grand Juries
  • HTML Version or Menu State Nullification of Federal Action — Proposal for a kind of grand jury to resist federal usurpations.
    • Word Version Draft bill proposing amendment to Texas Constitution for establishment of a state grand jury for the review of the constitutionality of the actions of United States government officials and agents, and to authorize state grand juries to investigate public administration.. 2011/09/20.
  • Remote Link - HTML Federal Grand Jury — Collection at the U. of Dayton of grand jury materials, published by Susan Brenner and Greg Lockhart. Describes current actual practice, not what constitutional practice would be.
  •  Federal Grand Jury Handbook
  • HTML Version or Menu General Grand Jury Links
  • Remote Link - HTML USAM Chapter 9-11.000, Criminal Resource Manual, Grand Jury, U.S. Department of Justice — This manual for U.S. attorneys provides insight into how federal prosecutors use grand juries. See how many constitutional violations it supports.
  • Remote Link - HTML Representation of Witnesses Before Federal Grand Juries, by Robert J. Boyle — This 2-volume publication of the Grand Jury Project of the National Lawyers Guild is a primary reference on the subject. Written for lawyers, it is also valuable for laypersons. Available from Clark Boardman Callaghan, 155 Pfingsten Road, Deerfield, IL 60015, 800/323-1336.
  • Remote Link - PDF PDF Version Why Grand Juries Do Not (and Cannot) Protect the Accused — Andrew D. Liepold, Cornell Law Review, Volume 80, Issue 2, January 1995.
  • Remote Link - PDF PDF Version A Grand Façade: How the Grand Jury Was Captured by Government, by W. Thomas Dillard, Stephen R. Johnson, and Timothy Lynch (Cato Policy Study, May 13, 2003).
  • Remote Link - PDF PDF Version Evaluating Grand Jury Reform in Two States: the Case for Reform, by Erin L. Crites, Jon B. Gould, and Colleen E. Shepard (National Association of Criminal Defense lawyers, Center for Justice, Law and Society, November, 2011).
  • Remote Link - HTML Federal Grand Jury Reform Report and Bill of Rights — Sponsored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Proposals are too timid but reflect an estimate of how much one group thinks might be attainable in the near term.
  • Remote Link - HTML Remote Link - HTML Restoring the Grand Jury, Kevin K. Washburn — Argues for empaneling grand juries on the neighborhood level.
  • Remote Link - HTML Sanhedrin — Ancient Jewish antecedent of Anglo-Saxon juries.

  • Grand Jury Reform Groups

    • Remote Link - HTML The County Grand Jury — Works to help county grand juries do their duty.
    • Remote Link - HTML Fully Informed Grand Jurors Alliance (FIGJA) — Works to help grand juries do their duty.
    • Remote Link - HTML California Grand Jurors' Association— Mostly composed of former grand jurors, who seek reform of the grand jury system.
    • Remote Link - HTML American Grand Jury Foundation (AGJF) — Encourages responsible and effective interventions by grand jurors and other citizens into local government affairs.
    • Remote Link - HTML J.A.I.L. (Judicial Accountability Initiative Law) for Judges — Seek punitive measures for judicial misconduct.
    • Remote Link - HTML Defend Rural America: Grand Juries — Subsite on this subject.

    Grand Jury Discussion Forums

    1. Grand_Jury. To [un]subscribe, send message to Grand_Jury-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. — Discussion of grand jury issues. Moderated.
    2. grandjury. To [un]subscribe, send message to grandjury-subscribe@googlegroups.com. — Discussion of grand jury issues. Unmoderated.

    Misguided efforts

    1. Common law grand juries. Self-appointed groups of citizens can privately investigate and report as a citizens committee, but not call themeselves a "grand jury", subpoena witnesses, or issue indictments.
      • PDF Version Ippolito indictment, of persons impersonating a grand jury, 3/15/1996.
    2. Grand juries are supposed to be the tools of professional prosecutors. This is the position of the opposition.

    Search grand jury history and reform

    Home » Jurisdiction and Due Process » Jury Reform
    Original URL: http://www.constitution.org/jury/gj/gj-us.htm
    Maintained:
    Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
    Original date: 1996/04/20 — 


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