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Inside Criminal Justice

A Case for Reforming the Grand Jury System

November 10, 2011 05:56:54 pm

The federal grand jury system is broken, according to a new report from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

"Today's federal grand jury system, and indeed that of many states, bears no resemblance to the independent body familiar to America's founders," said NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer in a statement.

Authors make a case for change by examining reforms implemented in New York and Colorado. Interviews with more than 250 defense lawyers and prosecutors in those states found that both sides believe reforms such as allowing witnesses a lawyer in the grand jury room and requiring prosecutors to present exculpatory evidence increase the accuracy and legitimacy of the grand jury. The NACDL also recommends witnesses receive advance notice to appear and have a right to view their grand jury transcript.

Read the full report here.


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