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who makes the decision on indictments? Fitz or the Grand Jury?

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Sperk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:40 PM
Original message
who makes the decision on indictments? Fitz or the Grand Jury?
I keep reading that Fitz has not made a decision on indictments. But remember the Grand Jury member in the Delay case? He said that THEY indicted Delay, not the prosecutor.

Anyone who can clear this up?

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. onegoodmove.org
read on Kos - amazing claims about indictments. Is this ligit?
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Wordie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Could you provide a link, please? And...WELCOME to DU, kpete!
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Hi kpete!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Usually the practice is...

...the DA types up the indictments and then the GJ in closed session (without the DA present) votes yes/no on them.

However, it is within the GJ's power to write up their own indictments. It's unusual, but it does happen.

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Wordie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Any reports on whether the GJ is meeting as we speak? (oh, I hope so) eom
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journalist3072 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. I was under the impression...
That it was the Grand Jury. The prosecutor presents the facts that say "there is evidence of a crime here" and asks the Grand Jury to indict.

I heard somone say recently (I forget who it was) that " A Grand Jury would indict a ham sandwhich if you asked them to."
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
6. Its explained here
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 06:24 PM by NNN0LHI
http://www.uscourts.gov/journalistguide/district_crimin...

Indictment

Before the target of an investigation is arrested, prosecutors generally will take the evidence they have gathered to a grand jury. Grand juries are composed of 16 to 23 citizens. Agreement by a bare majority is required to find probable cause exists that a crime was committed.

Grand juries are formally supervised by a district judge, often the chief judge, but for all practical purposes they function day-to-day under the auspices of the U.S. Attorney's Office. Only prosecutors present evidence before a grand jury, and a finding of probable cause necessary to issue an indictment is a relatively low standard of proof.

The indictment lists the crimes the defendant allegedly committed and describes the facts the government believes support those allegations. It is a roadmap to what the prosecution intends to prove at trial. Grand jury indictments are returned to the district court usually to a magistrate judge in a sealed court hearing. Indictments generally are unsealed after a defendant is arrested.

A criminal case also can begin without an indictment. In these cases, the lead investigator swears out a criminal complaint, called an "information," setting forth the same kinds of allegations and facts that would be contained in an indictment. Absent an indictment, the prosecution must convince a judge that there is probable cause to proceed with the case. These hearings are held in open court after the defendant has been arrested in a felony case. A defendant can agree to waive indictment and proceed with the case based on the criminal complaint, or can demand that the prosecutor seek an indictment.

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