By: Harvey Weissbard
On January 29, 2015, Genova Burns of Counsel, Harvey Weissbard, J.A.D. (ret.) of the firm’s Appellate Practice, Alternate Dispute Resolution and Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Groups authored a piece for the New Jersey Law Journal entitled, “Let’s End the Grand Jury Charade.” The article focuses on the need to study state grand jury systems in light of the recent events in Missouri and Staten Island. The article ultimately questions the necessity for a grand jury at all.
Mr. Weissbard writes, “Far from its origin as a citizen buffer between the king and charges leading to trial, the grand jury operates in secrecy, with only the prosecutor present, and with few if any protections for the target of the inquiry. While in theory the grand jury is an arm of the court, modern decisional law has rendered that concept a chimera, at best. Restrictions are few, and proceedings are nearly immune from meaningful review. The grand jury has, we suggest, little to commend it. But what should replace it?”
To begin the conversation, and perhaps reformation, Mr. Weissbard suggests that an extensive study of the entire judicial process be conducted with input from all interested parties.
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