Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 07:40 am
A grand jury is a group of citizens who decide whether there is enough evidence to charge someone with a serious crime and have them stand trial. The grand jury doesn’t determine if someone is guilty or innocent – that’s for the trial jury if charges are brought.
The grand jury plays an important role as a check on prosecutors bringing unfounded charges, while also authorizing charges supported by probable cause. It acts as a bridge between the community and the legal system.
People are randomly selected from voter registration lists to receive a jury summons by mail. Those summoned fill out a questionnaire about their qualifications. Both the prosecution and defense can reject potential jurors at this stage.
Those not dismissed form the jury pool that grand juries are drawn from. When a grand jury is needed, 23 people are randomly selected from the pool. These 23 are questioned by the prosecution and defense and can be rejected for bias or other reasons. Once 16-23 qualified people remain, they form the grand jury.
Grand juries don’t have judges or defense lawyers present. They operate under the control of a federal prosecutor. The prosecutor presents the case to the jurors, outlining the potential charges and evidence against the accused.
The prosecutor can subpoena documents and witnesses to testify before the grand jury. The accused person does not have the right to testify, but can be invited by the prosecutor. The accused’s lawyer cannot be present, but they can wait outside the room.
After hearing the prosecutor’s case, the grand jurors vote by secret ballot on whether to issue an indictment. An indictment requires agreement from 12 or more grand jurors. If they vote to indict, the prosecutor can then move forward with the charges.
Grand juries have been criticized on a few grounds:
However, supporters argue grand juries play a valuable role in authorizing charges and checking prosecutorial power.
However, major reforms would likely require changes to longstanding legal rules and traditions around grand jury secrecy and independence.
Grand juries have sweeping powers to investigate crimes and approve indictments. They act as a bridge between the law and local communities. While designed to be independent, grand jury decisions often align with prosecutors’ wishes. Reform advocates believe steps should be taken to increase diversity, transparency and balance in the process.
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