View Poll Results: Should Direct Citizen's Referrals to Grand Juries be allowed?

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  • Yes, anyone should be allowed to ask a grand jury to consider an alleged crime

    1 20.00%
  • No, this would bury the system with bad complaints

    3 60.00%
  • Maybe, if structured correctly.

    0 0%
  • I have a different alternative (explain)

    0 0%
  • Only if prepared by a lawyer

    0 0%
  • Only for allegation of official corruption (politicans/police/judges/govnt staff)

    1 20.00%
  • No, but grand juries should have independent investigation power and staff for doing so

    0 0%
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Thread: Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

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    Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

    Multiple choice, public poll

    "Citizen's Direct Referral" means anyone may make a sworn criminal complaint and present evidence directly to a Grand Jury without DA permission. It would be up to the grand jury to decide if to consider or hear it.

    In nearly all states, only the DA decides what cases to present to a grand jury and only the DA may present evidence and witnesses. As a result, it predictable there won't be an indictment if the DA doesn't want one - and likely will if the DA does.

    Texas old constitution allowed anyone the right to make a complaint to and present evidence to a grand jury. This was done due to the extremely common corruption of Sheriffs (often owned by a wealth rancher or even a gang), wealthy landowners and corrupt politicians. Grand juries were picked by State District judges (not local judges) so were independent and had independent investigation power. If the grand jury foreman thought the complaint frivolous he could just ignore it, but the DA could not veto it either.

    Now? The legal system seems totally self protective. No matter how corrupt and illegal the action, you can neither sue or prosecute a judge or prosecutor. No matter how much a prosecution witness or police perjure themselves against you, you can do nothing without the DA agreeing - and why would a DA prosecute their own witnesses?

    Should Michael Brown's family been able to present evidence and witnesses to the grand jury? Their own experts findings? Or should it be entirely up the DA, who works for the same government as the police and has reasons to want no indictment to avoid a civil suit the DAs office then has to defend?

    Should ANYONE be able to present a sworn complaint and evidence to a grand jury (if willing to hear it) OR on the prosecutor? Do you have any other changes to the Grand Jury and indictment system?
    Last edited by joko104; 12-04-14 at 02:48 AM.

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    Re: Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    Multiple choice, public poll

    "Citizen's Direct Referral" means anyone may make a sworn criminal complaint and present evidence directly to a Grand Jury without DA permission. It would be up to the grand jury to decide if to consider or hear it.

    In nearly all states, only the DA decides what cases to present to a grand jury and only the DA may present evidence and witnesses. As a result, it predictable there won't be an indictment if the DA doesn't want one - and likely will if the DA does.

    Texas old constitution allowed anyone the right to make a complaint to and present evidence to a grand jury. This was done due to the extremely common corruption of Sheriffs (often owned by a wealth rancher or even a gang), wealthy landowners and corrupt politicians. Grand juries were picked by State District judges (not local judges) so were independent and had independent investigation power. If the grand jury foreman thought the complaint frivolous he could just ignore it, but the DA could not veto it either.

    Now? The legal system seems totally self protective. No matter how corrupt and illegal the action, you can neither sue or prosecute a judge or prosecutor. No matter how much a prosecution witness or police perjure themselves against you, you can do nothing without the DA agreeing - and why would a DA prosecute their own witnesses?

    Should Michael Brown's family been able to present evidence and witnesses to the grand jury? Their own experts findings? Or should it be entirely up the DA, who works for the same government as the police and has reasons to want no indictment to avoid a civil suit the DAs office then has to defend?

    Should ANYONE be able to present a sworn complaint and evidence to a grand jury (if willing to hear it) OR on the prosecutor? Do you have any other changes to the Grand Jury and indictment system?
    No, a victim should have no means of presenting evidence and witnesses if we are going to maintain that the trail is suppose to be fair. What the Prosecutor did in this case was brilliant; instead of putting out the scientific evidence to the public (which he would of had it gone to trial) he held it back as long as possible and used it to judge the truthfullness of the testimony of the so called "witnesses". That way, he (along with the grand jury) was able to see who was actually there, and who was lying their asses off.

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    Re: Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamster Buddha View Post
    No, a victim should have no means of presenting evidence and witnesses if we are going to maintain that the trail is suppose to be fair. What the Prosecutor did in this case was brilliant; instead of putting out the scientific evidence to the public (which he would of had it gone to trial) he held it back as long as possible and used it to judge the truthfullness of the testimony of the so called "witnesses". That way, he (along with the grand jury) was able to see who was actually there, and who was lying their asses off.
    No, the grand jury only "saw" what the DA wanted them to see. And only the DA decided who was lying and who wasn't. I gather in your opinion the Grand jury is an unnecessary redundancy - and in some states such as Florida it isn't even necessary and is only used if the DA wants to use it. Otherwise, as in Zimmerman's case, the GJ is bypassed.

    Do you think grand juries should be eliminated? If they only hear what DAs decide it true and relevant - and they don't hear anything else - they don't seem to have any purpose.

    Strange concept you have that victims should be irrelevant to grand juries.

    Why shouldn't the grand jury have been who decided who is lying their ass off? Why was that singularly the DAs decision? Should the grand jury should have been who decided who is telling the truth and who isn't?
    Last edited by joko104; 12-04-14 at 03:29 AM.

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    Re: Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    Multiple choice, public poll

    "Citizen's Direct Referral" means anyone may make a sworn criminal complaint and present evidence directly to a Grand Jury without DA permission. It would be up to the grand jury to decide if to consider or hear it.

    In nearly all states, only the DA decides what cases to present to a grand jury and only the DA may present evidence and witnesses. As a result, it predictable there won't be an indictment if the DA doesn't want one - and likely will if the DA does.

    Texas old constitution allowed anyone the right to make a complaint to and present evidence to a grand jury. This was done due to the extremely common corruption of Sheriffs (often owned by a wealth rancher or even a gang), wealthy landowners and corrupt politicians. Grand juries were picked by State District judges (not local judges) so were independent and had independent investigation power. If the grand jury foreman thought the complaint frivolous he could just ignore it, but the DA could not veto it either.

    Now? The legal system seems totally self protective. No matter how corrupt and illegal the action, you can neither sue or prosecute a judge or prosecutor. No matter how much a prosecution witness or police perjure themselves against you, you can do nothing without the DA agreeing - and why would a DA prosecute their own witnesses?

    Should Michael Brown's family been able to present evidence and witnesses to the grand jury? Their own experts findings? Or should it be entirely up the DA, who works for the same government as the police and has reasons to want no indictment to avoid a civil suit the DAs office then has to defend?

    Should ANYONE be able to present a sworn complaint and evidence to a grand jury (if willing to hear it) OR on the prosecutor? Do you have any other changes to the Grand Jury and indictment system?
    I tend to favor having indictment be decided by an executive official, but having the case actually prosecuted by a separate "promoter of justice".

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    Re: Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    No, the grand jury only "saw" what the DA wanted them to see.
    Are you saying that the Prosecutor did not present the GJ all of the evidence as he said he would?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    And only the DA decided who was lying and who wasn't.

    No, the members of the GJ in the case being discussed decided who was and wasn't lying, as in who was believable and who wasn't.


    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    Do you think grand juries should be eliminated? If they only hear what DAs decide it true and relevant - and they don't hear anything else - they don't seem to have any purpose.
    IMO, but for Baden testifying, the GJ in question worked the way it should work, which of course is different than the usual rubber stamp for a prosecutor.

    That said.
    I have no problem with citizens presenting possible charges for a GJ to consider, if, and only if, the DA has not pursued such charges.
    If the DA so chooses, they can present the reason why they didn't pursue the case to the same GJ for their consideration.


    In addition, if no true bill is returned, double jeopardy should attach unless new evidence becomes available that would not or could not have been discovered with due diligence prior to the first GJ decision.
    “The law is reason, free from passion.”
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    Re: Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

    Here is a relevant example... (it was on the forum, but can't find the link)

    A person had filmed a possible instance of police abuse on his Ipad. A police officer took his Ipad. When he got it back, the video was gone. Experts would be able to determine if it had been erased or not made at all.

    Unknown to the officer, the man had his Ipad set up to automatically send all photos and videos to his "cloud" account - so he had the video.

    Did a prosecutor pursue a GJ complaint against the officer for the crime of tampering with evidence? No. Just like prosecutors NEVER pursue the charge of filing a false government document when an officer is proven to have filled out false information in a police report - later proven false by videos or other evidence.

    There is exactly NOTHING anyone can do about protecting their rights from criminal acts by government and law enforcement. They can only hope the government will prosecute itself - which it rarely will do.

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    Re: Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

    If they actually have evidence, sure, but anyone who has any actual evidence would have been sought out by either the prosecution or the defense already and it would be presented under their purview. Any idiot off the street who claims to have evidence but hasn't taken it to the court already probably has nothing worth presenting.
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    Re: Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    Here is a relevant example... (it was on the forum, but can't find the link)

    A person had filmed a possible instance of police abuse on his Ipad. A police officer took his Ipad. When he got it back, the video was gone. Experts would be able to determine if it had been erased or not made at all.

    Unknown to the officer, the man had his Ipad set up to automatically send all photos and videos to his "cloud" account - so he had the video.

    Did a prosecutor pursue a GJ complaint against the officer for the crime of tampering with evidence? No. Just like prosecutors NEVER pursue the charge of filing a false government document when an officer is proven to have filled out false information in a police report - later proven false by videos or other evidence.

    There is exactly NOTHING anyone can do about protecting their rights from criminal acts by government and law enforcement. They can only hope the government will prosecute itself - which it rarely will do.
    That person could have taken the claim to the defense team and it would be up to the defense team to decide if it is something that ought to be included in their case or not. They could have filed a complaint against the police and filed their own case, which could again be brought up. Some guy off the street whose case hasn't been corroborated really doesn't belong in a court of law.
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    Re: Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    That person could have taken the claim to the defense team and it would be up to the defense team to decide if it is something that ought to be included in their case or not. They could have filed a complaint against the police and filed their own case, which could again be brought up. Some guy off the street whose case hasn't been corroborated really doesn't belong in a court of law.
    ^ Interpretation: There is never any reason for the police to not destroy evidence as the worst that can happen is they don't succeed in doing so.

    File a complaint with who? The police against the police?

    A grand jury isn't a court of law.

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    Re: Should anyone be able to present evidence to grand jury?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    No, the grand jury only "saw" what the DA wanted them to see. And only the DA decided who was lying and who wasn't. I gather in your opinion the Grand jury is an unnecessary redundancy - and in some states such as Florida it isn't even necessary and is only used if the DA wants to use it. Otherwise, as in Zimmerman's case, the GJ is bypassed.

    Do you think grand juries should be eliminated? If they only hear what DAs decide it true and relevant - and they don't hear anything else - they don't seem to have any purpose.

    Strange concept you have that victims should be irrelevant to grand juries.

    Why shouldn't the grand jury have been who decided who is lying their ass off? Why was that singularly the DAs decision? Should the grand jury should have been who decided who is telling the truth and who isn't?
    Oh malarkey! The Grand Jury got to see everything. There was over 60 witnesses and 75 hours of testimony! I'd like you to point out just what they left out. Hell they even called up the witnesses they knew were lying, just to show them for the frauds they were. What happened was that they kept the hard evidence, the scientific stuff to themselves, and used it screen witnesses ON THE STAND. Now, had he of not even let them take the stand, then you'd be correct in saying he was the one deciding who lied and who didn't. After all, the Grand Jury heard everything.

    And by the way, I don't think every Grand Jury should be run like this. But like I said, this was a very unique case, and I do think that any time a police officer is involved in a shooting, it should be reviewed, but it shouldn't always go to trial. Otherwise you get cops questioning whether or not to pull the trigger when their lives are at risk (and it seemed clear that Wilson's was.)

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