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-   -   The Grand Jury (http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=131468)

Akheloce 4 January 2018 00:10

The Grand Jury
 
Today, I started a 3 month stint as a Grand Jury member.

For obvious reasons, my commentary will be in general terms only.

My initial impressions, given the two cases I've seen so far, is (for LEO's): Know your shit, and be prepared to answer questions on such shit.

In both cases, I asked pretty specific questions on firearms make, model and caliber.

The questions were for legally substantial reasons. In neither case, was the LEO able to answer the questions to my satisfaction. (basic questions like "make model and caliber")

In both cases, the prosecutor was unable to answer a few basic questions pertinent to the case... we had to search documentation to find our answers... Keep in mind, the fellow jurors were simple people, yet, they felt uneasiness at voting a true bill without basic questions being answered.

In general, my advice for LEO's is to have your documentation straight, and have answers ready for any questions the GJ might have might ask with regard to the definitions of the statutes involved.

Generic example: "the suspect had a concealable firearm on his person"

My question "what was the make and model of firearm?"

LEO's answer "it was a Ruger"... ... ...

For me, since the term "concealable" was a legal differentiation, I would have needed to know if it was a Ruger GP100 or a Ruger M77.


.... crytpic I know, but a judge advised that i have required discretion in my contacts with social media...

CB 4 January 2018 00:38

Did you answer all the questions?
Did you question all the answers?

Can you officers produce the witnesses behind their statements?

WWJD

WHAT WILL a JURY DO?

Akheloce 4 January 2018 00:47

^^^
I feel confident that I deposed all LEO’s to an extent exceeded by law. I also felt that the LEO’s gave insufficient answers for their positions as required by law.

The prosecutor said that this wasn’t my concern, all I had to do was decide based on his professionalism.

Yet I disagree with his position, and my co-jurors disagree

bobofthedesert 4 January 2018 01:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Akheloce (Post 1058696088)
The prosecutor said that this wasn’t my concern, all I had to do was decide based on his professionalism.

Yet I disagree with his position, and my co-jurors disagree

How convenient for the prosecutor. It seems he'd like you to just rollover and present your hams sandwich.....

Good for you guys. Watch him try to get you bounced. Troublemaker. :biggrin:

Akheloce 4 January 2018 01:13

^^^Yeah I’m a type A+++ personality and I’m a dork- the kind of dork who reads case law out of boredom when I am curious about a random situation. I’m not a lawyer, but I once spent 6 hours reading AK Supreme Court rulings out of curiosity.

Pleasantly surprised, my co-jurors are interested in such esoterica.

bobmueller 4 January 2018 01:33

I sat a GJ in Ohio years ago. Heard some stomach-turning cases. No-billed a guy several jurors wanted to indict over what was obviously a self-defense shooting because he ran into his house and got a gun when someone tried to shoot him in his front yard. The foreman and I had to do some serious convincing.

Spinner 4 January 2018 18:15

I forget what judge out east once said that most grand juries would indict a ham sandwich.

bobofthedesert 5 January 2018 02:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spinner (Post 1058696271)
I forget what judge out east once said that most grand juries would indict a ham sandwich.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobofthedesert (Post 1058696090)
It seems he'd like you to just rollover and present your hams sandwich.....

It was a pun.

wildman43 5 January 2018 03:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by Akheloce (Post 1058696081)
Today, I started a 3 month stint as a Grand Jury member.

For obvious reasons, my commentary will be in general terms only.

My initial impressions, given the two cases I've seen so far, is (for LEO's): Know your shit, and be prepared to answer questions on such shit.

In both cases, I asked pretty specific questions on firearms make, model and caliber. :confused:

The questions were for legally substantial reasons. In neither case, was the LEO able to answer the questions to my satisfaction. (basic questions like "make model and caliber")

In both cases, the prosecutor was unable to answer a few basic questions pertinent to the case... we had to search documentation to find our answers... Keep in mind, the fellow jurors were simple people, yet, they felt uneasiness at voting a true bill without basic questions being answered.

In general, my advice for LEO's is to have your documentation straight, and have answers ready for any questions the GJ might have might ask with regard to the definitions of the statutes involved.

Generic example: "the suspect had a concealable firearm on his person"

My question "what was the make and model of firearm?"

LEO's answer "it was a Ruger"... ... ...

For me, since the term "concealable" was a legal differentiation, I would have needed to know if it was a Ruger GP100 or a Ruger M77.


.... crytpic I know, but a judge advised that i have required discretion in my contacts with social media...

Why did you need to know what type of weapon/make, model & caliber.

All they needed to state was the individual had a weapon,

In both cases, I asked pretty specific questions on firearms make, model and caliber.

The questions were for legally substantial reasons. In neither case, was the LEO able to answer the questions to my satisfaction. (basic questions like "make model and caliber")

For me, since the term "concealable" was a legal differentiation, I would have needed to know if it was a Ruger GP100 or a Ruger M7[/B]

Wes 5 January 2018 04:58

So, uh, if I shoot you with a firearm, are you going to be less dead? Are you going to care what make, model, and caliber it is?

Unless it was a BB or Airsoft gun, what the hell does it matter? Do you believe that all cops were former 18B? Are you a weapons expert? If you handle a weapon for an hour on one case that you work among many cases, are you going to need to remember the specifics of that gun? How long since the case happened now that the Grand Jury has begun?

FFS :rolleyes:

Akheloce 5 January 2018 08:13

Wildman and Wes:


Note the parts where I said "Legally substantial reasons" and "I can only speak in general terms"

The make, model, and caliber of the weapon had a legal bearing on the case.

How hard is it to scribble that down in a report? It's engraved on it.

Fu King Lawyer 5 January 2018 11:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by wildman43;1058696370 [B
All they needed to state was the individual had a weapon, [/B][/B]

It has been many years since I was involved with a firearms case - the discussion seems to concern Alaska law and state charges. But in fact, the government has the burden to establish if it even was a firearm - certain historical guns are not proscribed. In fact, we used to have the weapon fired at the lab to prove that it was a functioning firearm. The point that the officer should have known and been able to answer the Grand Juror's question, reflects not only on the officer, but also on the prosecutor.

Just Another Guy 5 January 2018 11:40

Basic GJ question: When you are seated for three months or so, do you report for all business days or do they recall you when they have a case?

bobmueller 5 January 2018 12:46

Going to depend on the state and the county. I sat one in Columbus for a two-week term. Met every day, and heard 6-10 cases every day. First couple of hours were the drug cases, usually hearing from just one or two detectives. The rest of the day was the nitty-gritty stuff. There was one sexual assault case where we had to track dates on the whiteboard because the offense changed as the victim aged. I think I've blocked most of those details out.

Akheloce 5 January 2018 13:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Just Another Guy (Post 1058696430)
Basic GJ question: When you are seated for three months or so, do you report for all business days or do they recall you when they have a case?

In AK it varies by locality, but for me, there are 2 panels. One panel gets the odd weeks of the month- Wed and Thurs, and the other panel gets the even weeks of the month, Wed and Thurs...unless there is a complicated case where the panels can be kept longer.



FKL is right, I'm on a State of Alaska GJ, and the state has wording in some of it's laws regarding the TYPE of firearm. Additionally, just because the item in question was a firearm, doesn't mean that the fact that it is a weapon was the pertinent point of law. Perhaps it was the alleged capabilities of said firearm that was pertinent....

wildman43 5 January 2018 15:31

Grand Jury – In Alaska, the grand jury is an independent investigative and accusatory body consisting of 18 citizens who are selected at random from voting, hunting, fishing, PFD and similar rosters. They generally serve for a period of 90 days. Their function is to act as a filter between the government and the people who are governed in order to decide whether sufficient credible evidence exists to require a person to stand trial on a felony charge. If a person is charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony, their case will not be presented to a grand jury. Instead, a prosecutor files a “Complaint” or “Information” which alleges the crime. Since the issue before the grand jury is not the final question regarding the guilt or innocence of the accused, but simply the probability of guilt, the standard of proof which must be sustained by the prosecutor is considerably less than that required to convict by the trial jury. In short, an indictment may be found only upon the concurrence of a majority of the grand jurors who agree that, if all the evidence they hear is taken together, and if that evidence is unexplained or uncontradicted, a trial jury would convict the defendant. If they so decide, they return what’s called a “true bill” of indictment. If a majority fail to reach an agreement on that issue, or decide that the evidence presented would not warrant a conviction of the accused at trial, they are required by law to return a “not true’ bill whereupon the charges against the defendant are permanently dismissed and if in custody he is released.

Gray Rhyno 5 January 2018 15:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by wildman43 (Post 1058696486)
Their function is to act as a filter between the government and the people who are governed in order to decide whether sufficient credible evidence exists to require a person to stand trial on a felony charge.

With the removal of non-attorneys from the judiciary in most of the US, and the end of JP courts in most areas, the GJ is the last line of defense between a citizen and his government. Not getting all conspiracy theory, but the GJs have a serious responsibility to hold prosecutors and the legal system accountable to the Constitution, our laws, and the American people.

Massgrunt 5 January 2018 16:28

This post reminds me a bit of when I testified at length before a grand jury as a witness. Several hours of extremely detailed testimony, step by step of the event. At the end a member of the jury asked me a "gotcha" question a la Perry Mason that had I answered yes to would have meant I was completely bullshitting for the last several hours. It was so ridiculously out of left field and caught me off guard so much I might have actually laughed. I should have just said "ahhh ya got me, we were so close!"

Five-O 5 January 2018 19:17

I’m not sure what your instructions are; but what do you think the presiding judge would say or do if he discovered you were speaking in general terms about the case on the internet? An investigator would not have to dig to deep, by the detail of your question, what case you are referring to and who you are. Just be advised...like I have no idea what your instructions are.

Akheloce 5 January 2018 20:09

I feel that I obeyed the instructions as I understand them, but I see your point. I'll STFU.


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