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Grand Jury

Grand Jury

The Constitution for the United States of America dictates in the 5th Amendment that: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury.."

See CopperCards County Cleanup Program

The primary purpose of a Grand Jury is to prevent malicious prosecution by the government.  The Constitution, which forms the highest and overriding Law of the Land, mandates in no uncertain terms that you may not be prosecuted for a crime without an indictment of a Grand Jury.

A Grand Jury is formed from average citizens in a community to determine if a crime has been committed in their district and to determine if there is sufficient probable cause to indict a individual for the crime.

In other words, the purpose of the Grand Jury is to find probable cause to charge someone with a crime.

NOTE: You have a 5th Amendment right to insist on an indictment by a Grand Jury before you can be charged or tried for a crime.  In other words, the public prosecutors must first get you publicly indicted by a grand jury before they can prosecute you.

Consequentially, the Grand Jury is not something managed or controlled by the government.  District Attorneys, Prosecutors, Judges, Lawyers, or any officers of the court or any government officials have no place or function in Grand Juries.

The Grand Jury is a body of laymen, free from technical rules, acting if necessary in secret, pledged to indict no one because of prejudice, and to free no one because of special favor. 

"Despite the vast power of grand juries, there is little in the way of judicial or legislative response designed to impose some supervisory restrictions on them." - FindLaw.com on Indictment by Grand Jury

Grand Juries belong exclusively to "We the People" they are free of any control of the government or court.  Anyone can call and form a Grand Jury by simply randomly selecting 23 citizens from the community where a crime took place.  Jurors on Grand Juries are not managed by any judge, they are free to conduct their own investigations and to gather their own evidence. 

Victims, who are the 'Real Parties of Interest' can bring cases before Grand Juries or they can ask a Public Prosecutor / District Attorney to bring the case before the Grand Jury on their behalf.  Pubic Prosecutors however do not have any authority to bring cases against anyone on their own behalf without a written and verified criminal complaint made by a victim.  Ordinary citizens can themselves prosecute cases by assuming the position of a 'Private Attorney General' in a legal process known as Quo Warranto.

The Grand Jury conducts their own hearings and investigations as they feel fit.  Grand Juries can issue subpoenas to summon witnesses to testify before them.  People who refuse Grand Jury summons face Contempt of Court charges.  A Grand Jury is not a criminal trial, it only establishes if there is probable cause to bring someone to a criminal trial.  Unlike criminal trials, people called to testify before a Grand Jury do not have a right to remain silent, they can however negotiate immunity with the prosecutor for their testimony.  When calling a witness, the Grand Jury need not reveal to the witness the nature of their investigation.  There are no rules barring evidence from a Grand Jury.  Grand Jury proceedings are separate and independent from the criminal trial, you cannot record Grand Jury proceedings or use a recording of the Grand Jury proceedings in a trial.

Other than basically unacceptable conduct, there are no limitations placed on how Grand Jurors conduct their investigations. Grand Jury Juror's can conduct their investigations in secret so as to not tip off a criminal regarding a pending indictment.

Grand Jurors can be held accountable for libel and slander or for acting maliciously, so they must act truthfully and responsibly. Multiple grand juries can conduct investigations simultaneously, and witnesses cannot object if they are called to testify by more than one grand jury.

The Structure of a Grand Jury

The Grand Jury is generally composed of 24 people including a foreman, at least sixteen jurors must be present for a grand jury to conduct business and at least 12 of the grand jurors must agree that sufficient evidence exists for an indictment.  Federal courts use 23 local citizens on grand juries which can operate with 16 members present of which only 12 jurors are need to issue an indictment/presentment.  State grand juries vary in number from between 5 to 23 local citizens.

To form a Grand Jury one only needs to randomly select 24 individuals from your County.

An Indictment is when the Grand Jury Foreman calls for a vote to determine if more than 12 jurors find probable cause for indictment, the Foreman signs the complaint.  In a Presentment, each juror who finds probable cause signs the complaint.

Every citizen has an obligation, which may be onerous at times, to appear and give whatever aid he may to a Grand Jury.

On indictment/presentment buy a Grand Jury, the Public Prosecutor / District Attorney must prosecute the case and bring the accused to trial, alternatively the victim who represents the real party of interests may utilize a process known as Quo Warranto to prosecute the case themselves.

A Cornerstone to Criminal Prosecution

The Grand Jury process is a cornerstone to criminal prosecution within the U.S. 

By 1215 the jury concept was guaranteed through the Magna Carta stating that no freeman would be "imprisoned or [dispossessed] or exiled or in any way destroyed . . . except by the lawful judgment of his peers."  The Grand Jury system originated in twelfth-century England, when King Henry II enacted the Assize of Clarendon to circumvent local noble's and Catholic Church control of the courts.  As dictated by the 5th Amendment, in England a Grand Assize/Jury consisting of a certain number of locals determined if sufficient evidence of the commission of a crime existed before anyone could be accused of a crime. 

In 1635, the Massachusetts Bay Colony impaneled one of the first grand juries consider the legitimacy of cases in the U.S.  By 1683, all the States had some form of Grand Jury process.  In 1765, for example, a Boston grand jury refused to indict patriots protesting against the Stamp Act.  The 5th Amendment dictating the necessity of a Grand Jury Indictment/Presentment before anyone can be prosecuted for a crime was enacted as part of the original Bill of Rights proposed on September 25th, 1789 and ratified on December 15th, 1791.

In a 1906 Supreme Court Case, [Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43 (1906)], the Supreme Court recognized that the Grand Jury function is to “stand between the prosecutor and the accused,” and to determine whether a charge is legitimate, or is “dictated by malice or personal ill will”.  In another Supreme Court Case, [United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338 (1974)], the Supreme Court stated that the independent grand jury’s purpose is not only to investigate possible criminal conduct, but to act as a “protector of citizens against arbitrary and oppressive governmental action,” -

The U.S. Attorneys Manual states that prosecutors “must recognize that the grand jury is an independent body, whose functions include not only the investigation of crime and the initiation of criminal prosecution but also the protection of the citizenry from unfounded criminal charges” (USAM, Section 9-11.010). The Manual recognizes that targets of investigations have the right and can “request or demand the opportunity to tell the grand jury their side of the story” (USAM, Section 9-11.152).

Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution clearly states "The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury".  Judges have no authority to try criminal cases

All the State Courts are subject to the Constitution as the highest law of the land and they have no authority to ignore the Constitution.

Many State Superior Courts, in blatant violation of the 5th Amendment, allow District Attorneys to make up laundry lists of charges and to file these charges against victims without any Grand Jury indictment or presentment (See CopperCards Arraignment).  Judges step in where they have no authority, and claim the right to conduct 'evidentiary hearings' in place of the Grand Jury. 

The DA's, lawyers and judges typically utilize this malicious prosecution of a massive laundry list of charges to black mail their victims into a 'Plea Bargain'.  In a Plea Bargain, the accused is offered a shorter sentence if they pleading guilty or 'no-contest' to some of the charges on condition that the DA drop other charges. 

Bargain with public prosecutor: "Certain agreements between a public prosecutor and a prospective defendant are in flagrant violation of the interests of justice and therefore highly improper. Thus, it is improper for a prosecutor to promise an accused, in return for a confession of guilt regarding a particular crime, immunity from prosecution for other crimes that he may have committed." People v Groves, 63 CA 709, 219 P 1033 (Sec. 2297 Cal Jur.) See CopperCards Plea Bargain Buster

After obtaining a guilty or no-contest plea from the accused, the Courts, in blatant violation of Article III, Sec 2, allow the judges to try the criminal case and sentence the accused without a Trial by Jury.  This enables the establishment of the Prison Industrial Complex and the incarceration of millions of innocent citizens.  Judges, DA's, lawyers, police and private jails cash in on the feeding frenzy creating jobs and income for themselves by violating the core construct of Constitutional law.  Prisons and Jails run at minus five star quality and charge the public five star rates for incarcerating the innocent.

As a consequence of these blatant violations of the Constitution, the U.S. today has more people in jail, prison and on probation than all the other nations in the world combined!  See also Historical Perspective

The Supreme Court in the Wood v. Georgia case (370 U.S. 375 (1962)), stated that the grand jury is to protect citizens against “hasty, malicious and oppressive persecution” and to insure that prosecutions are not “dictated by an intimidating power or by malice and personal ill will”.

The Grand Jury process can however save America.  We the people form Grand Juries, they are not managed by the Courts or the Judiciary.  One simply randomly calls 24 people together from the community where the crime was committed.  You can form a Grand Jury today and present before that Grand Jury evidence of crimes committed by government officials.  On obtaining an indictment or presentiment from the Grand Jury you can become a Personal Attorney General and prosecute the official yourself!  See CopperCards County Cleanup Program

Some References:

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