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Thread: A Grand Façade: How the Grand Jury Was Captured by Government

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    A Grand Façade: How the Grand Jury Was Captured by Government

    A Grand Façade: How the Grand Jury Was Captured by Government
    by W. Thomas Dillard, Stephen R. Johnson, and Timothy Lynch

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    The impression that I get is that grand juries in America were formed by the people or by de jure citizenry rather than by attorneys at bar. The empanelment of 23 citizens into a 'grand jury' by an attorney may cause them all grand jury members to fall under the attornment of the attorney: all of their powers vesting in him, the citizens totally clueless and incompetent by design (education system). Grand juries were used to correct abuses in the early colonies. No surprise they were co-opted.

    One thing about the below-mentioned 18-page article is that he doesn't quite put his pulse on just when the transition of the people's Grand Jury into an prosecutor-wielded menace. If read closely, the best hint the author provides is that started right around 1859, the onset of the Civil War.

    Maybe the Civil War really was about slavery as in enslaving as many people as possible. Under the guise of war, the nature of government was changed so that the Grand Jury could be co-opted because it could otherwise get in the way of tyrants.

    If one considers the cost burden for honoring subpoenas falls upon businesses or 'individuals': the co-opting of the Grand Jury allowed for a bypass of restrictions on government. Money and property could be stolen without due process --all under the guise of the Grand Jury. The road to sanity has something to do with Grand Jury reform in the people learning how to empanel grand juries without initiation by a prosecutor and without special protections being given to citizens based on their employment by government.

    Executive Summary
    The grand jury is perhaps the most mysterious institution in the American criminal justice system. While most people are generally familiar with the function of the police officer, the prosecutor, the defense lawyer, the judge, and the trial jury, few have any idea about what the grand jury is supposed to do and its day-to-day operation. That ignorance largely explains how some over-reaching prosecutors have been able to pervert the grand jury, whose original purpose was to check prosecutorial power, into an inquisitorial bulldozer that enhances the power of government and now runs roughshod over the constitutional rights of citizens.

    Like its more famous relative, the trial jury, the grand jury consists of laypeople who are summoned to the courthouse to fulfill a civic duty. However, the work of the grand jury takes place well before any trial. The primary function of the grand jury is to inquire into the commission of crimes within its jurisdiction and then determine whether an indictment should issue against any particular person. But, in sharp contrast to the trial setting, the jurors hear only one side of the story and there is no judge overseeing the process. With no judge or opposing counsel in the room, grand jurors naturally defer to the prosecutor since he is the most knowledgeable official on the scene. Indeed, the single most important fact to appreciate about the grand jury system is that it is the prosecutor who calls the shots and dominates the entire process. The grand jurors have become little more than window dressing.

    At present, Congress seems to be interested only in proposals that will further expand the powers of the grand jury. Recent "anti-terrorism" proposals, for example, have sought to remove critical limitations on the dissemination of grand jury material. Because the grand jury can easily function as a stalking horse for prosecutors to bypass the constitutional rights of individuals and organizations, it is imperative that its powers be scaled back, not unleashed.
    Full article: click here.

    Last edited by allodial; 07-08-16 at 01:18 AM.
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    "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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