Eclectic Floridian: The Grand Jury System - Accused's Rights (HA!)

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Grand Jury System - Accused's Rights (HA!)

I know people who were unfortunate enough to be subject to a Grand Jury investigation. It put a burr in my shorts that just won't go away. I'm working on a ... er ... mini-series on the subject. Today, I'll only ask you some questions.

Most people pay no attention to the Grand Jury system. Afterall, what's the chance they'll ever be subject to an investigation! In short, very good if you upset a prosecutor. Here are some facts that I've cleverly disguised as questions. In each case, the answer is, "a Grand Jury".

What judicial body:
  1. allows a prosecutor to charge anyone with anything, anytime?
  2. doesn't generally allow the accused to be present?
  3. never allows the accused to have an attorney present even if he/she is required to appear?
  4. doesn't screen it's jurors in any way?
  5. grants the accused no right to rebut lying witnesses against him?
  6. has no judge present during deliberations?
  7. specifically tells jurors that most of their procedural questions will be answered by the prosecutor (only natural since no defense presence is allowed)?
  8. presents the jury with only the witnesses provided by the prosecutor?
  9. allows presentation of illegally obtained evidence?
  10. allows the presentation of hearsay evidence (pronounced "RUMOR")?
  11. gets an indictment 99.9% of the time, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse?
  12. is referred to when prosecutors say, "I can indict a ham sandwich"?
  13. has no requirement that evidence of innocence be presented?
  14. gives the accused no compensation, even for the 0.1% that are not indicted?
This is "The Land of the Free!" ... well if you're a prosecutor, otherwise, even ham sandwiches aren't free.


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