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Grand Jury Practice (From White Collar Crime: Business and Regulatory Offenses, P 8-1, - 8-81, 1990, Otto G. Obermaier and Robert G. Morvillo, eds. - See NCJ-126261)

NCJ Number
J R Wing; H J Yale
Date Published
81 pages
The duality of the grand jury, which is independent yet supervised by the court and directed by the prosecutor, provides a potential for abuse and inevitable tension between its roles as advocate and legal adviser.
The legal qualifications for grand jurors are few, and grand juries need not be comprised of a fair cross-section of the entire population of a district. However, there must be no deliberate exclusion of distinct groups from the grand jury. The defense may challenge the grand jury composition on several grounds involving legal standards prima facie cases. Issues relating to grand jury secrecy include court orders requiring witnesses to keep their testimony secret, disclosure of grand jury material, and impermissible disclosure of grand jury matters. The primary rights and privileges of grand jury witnesses revolve around the Fifth Amendment privilege, the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product, and joint defense privilege. Attorneys subpoenaed to testify in cases against their clients can move to quash the subpoena on grounds of the attorney-client privilege, attorney work product, relevance and necessity, and the sixth amendment right to counsel. Objections to the grand jury process are generally based on alleged hearsay, illegal search and seizure, perjury, or failure to disclose exculpatory evidence. Other legal grounds include use of grand jury to gather evidence for already pending indictments, the quorum requirement, or prosecutorial misconduct. The steps of testifying before the grand jury -- preparation, testifying, and memorializing the testimony -- are also described. 398 notes.