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Investigative Grand Jury in Alaska

NCJ Number
M A Kancewick
Date Published
87 pages
The Alaska Judicial Council offers recommendations for reform in the investigative grand jury in Alaska in the areas of due process protections for persons named in grand jury reports, judicial review, and guidelines for the publication and dissemination of grand jury reports.
Fairness and constitutional due process require that persons identified in grand jury reports have certain protections not currently specified by Alaska law. The Judicial Council recommends that when a report reflects adversely on a person named or identified in the report that the report be supported by substantial evidence, that it be related to the public welfare or safety, and that it not infringe upon any protected rights or liberties of that person. Guidelines, statutes, and case law in Alaska do not currently provide for the judicial review of grand jury reports. The Judicial Council recommends procedures for the judicial review of grand jury reports, including the authority of a judge to refer a report back to the grand jury with instructions when the report is not supported by substantial evidence. The council recommends that after a report has been approved for release that it be made public by the presiding judge. The judge may direct that additional materials be attached to the report as an appendix. This report contains a draft criminal rule and commentary which the State supreme court may wish to consider for adoption. 140 footnotes and appended supplementary material.