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
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The Grand Jury, George J.
Edwards (1906) — Classic treatise on the grand jury, unequalled to this
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
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.
Fixing the Grand Jury, Jon Roland — Overview of the issues.
U.S. Grand Jury Standards, Jon Roland — Specification for a grand jury system to comply with original understanding of the U.S. Constitution.
Opening the Grand Jury, Jon Roland — What you
can do to return grand jury practice to what it was intended to be.
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.
Federal Grand Juries
State Grand Juries
Runaway Grand Juries
Reform Grand Juries
State Nullification of Federal Action — Proposal for a kind of grand jury to resist federal usurpations.
Why Grand Juries Do Not (and Cannot) Protect the Accused — Andrew D. Liepold, Cornell Law Review, Volume 80, Issue 2, January 1995.
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).
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).
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.
Restoring the Grand Jury, Kevin K. Washburn — Argues for empaneling grand juries on the neighborhood level.
Sanhedrin — Ancient Jewish antecedent of Anglo-Saxon juries.
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
General Grand Jury Links
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.
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,
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.
Grand Jury Reform Groups
The County Grand Jury — Works to help county grand juries do their duty.
Grand Jurors Alliance (FIGJA) — Works to help grand juries do their
California Grand Jurors' Association— Mostly
composed of former grand jurors, who seek reform of the grand jury system.
American Grand Jury Foundation (AGJF)
— Encourages responsible and effective interventions by grand jurors and
other citizens into local government affairs.
J.A.I.L. (Judicial Accountability
Initiative Law) for Judges — Seek punitive measures for judicial
Defend Rural America: Grand Juries — Subsite on this subject.
Grand Jury Discussion Forums
Grand_Jury. To [un]subscribe, send message to
— Discussion of grand jury issues. Moderated.
grandjury. To [un]subscribe, send message to
— Discussion of grand jury issues. Unmoderated.
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.
Ippolito indictment, of persons impersonating a grand jury, 3/15/1996.
Grand juries are supposed to be the tools of professional prosecutors. This is the position of the opposition.
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