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ABA (American Bar Association) Grand Jury Policy and Model Act (1977-82)

NCJ Number
M Christensen
Date Published
37 pages
This report presents policies relating to grand juries, including 30 principles and the Model Grand Jury Act.
The key principle of grand jury reform is the requirement that witnesses be permitted to have their own attorneys accompany them when testifying. Other provisions of the model act preclude the prosecutor from presenting evidence known to have been procured in violation of constitutional rights, mandate recording all grand jury proceedings, and list alternative grounds for quashing a subpoena. The act specifies that targets of grand jury investigations should have the right to testify if they are willing to sign waivers of immunity; prosecutors should be obligated to present evidence that might show a suspect to be innocent. Other principles deal with the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination, standards for informing grand jurors of the nature of the crimes being presented, and protection of witnesses from contempt charges for refusing to testify. Commentaries explain each principle and court decisions supporting it. The publication includes the text of the model act and its accompanying report. Appendixes include grand jury provisions of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and a list of members of the ABA'S Criminal Justice Section Grand Jury Committee.