The Campaign For DA

8.12.2015

This Doesn't Make Sense


Story

Ok, they basic criticism is that grand juries act in secret and the prosecutor hides behind their decision to not indict someone (when that is what the prosecutor wanted all along).  But if you don't have a grand jury, the prosecutor's decision alone will decide whether an officer is indicted. That will certainly expose the I'm-Never-Going-To-Indict-A-Cop-Prosecutor but on the hand gives enormous power to the I'll-Indict-Them-All-Prosecutor.

And there is no way such a law is legal. What are the problems? The California Constitution has a right to a grand jury which can't be trumped by a simple California law. Also, the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution would never allow a state to treat cops and non-cops differently in the criminal process.  (Some might think that the U.S. Constitution requires a grand jury. So far, it has never been ruled that the right to a grand jury applies to the states.)