Grand Jury Not So "Grand"

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), along with many other organizations, has long voiced concerns about the integrity of the Grand Jury process and the overwhelming influence of prosecutors over that process and its outcomes. The NACDL has long advocated reform of the Grand Jury process to ensure fundamental fairness. Prosecutorial abuse has traditionally resulted in indicting accused persons without due process or fundamental fairness.

As the saying goes, the Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich. The irony is that the Grand Jury process is now being criticized and scrutinized when people are not being indicted. While the current criticism is certainly justified in light of the recent incidents in New York and Missouri, it is a sad commentary that so many innocent people have been unjustifiably indicted by the Grand Jury process with no public outcry. In my 30 years of experience, the Grand Jury process is the most misused weapon in the Government's arsenal.

"The rules of the road by which criminal charges are considered must be fair and transparent, and must be one that commands the respect of the entire public in all cases." (NACDL President Theodore Simon).