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Grand Jury Investigative Functions (From Criminal Justice Administration Cases and Materials, Fourth Edition, P 578-609, 1991, Frank W Miller, Robert O Dawson, et al. -- See NCJ-129355)

NCJ Number
F W Miller; R O Dawson; G E Dix; R I Parnas
Date Published
32 pages
After an introductory discussion of grand jury investigative powers, this chapter presents U.S. Supreme Court cases that pertain to the grand jury's subpoena power and questioning and the privilege against compelled self-incrimination.
The discussion of the grand jury's investigative powers addresses its investigatory role and subpoena power, its independence, and "one man" grand juries. The U.S. Supreme Court cases pertaining to grand jury subpoena power are United States v. Dionisio (1973) and United States v. Mara (1973). In these cases the Court held that a grand jury subpoena is not a "seizure" within the meaning of the fourth amendment and that the amendment is not violated by a grand jury directive compelling production of "physical characteristics" that are "constantly exposed to the public," namely, voice and handwriting exemplars. Consequently, the government is not obligated in such cases to make a preliminary showing of "reasonableness." Regarding the privilege against compelled self-incrimination in a grand jury proceeding, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Washington (1977) that it is sufficient to advise respondents, after being sworn, that they have a right to remain silent and that any statements made could be used in a subsequent criminal proceeding. Such a warning prior to the grand jury proceeding is not required. Notes on the cases are included.


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