Law Essay Sample: Facts about Grand Jury

3 pages
560 words
Middlebury College
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Various reasons exist as to why grand juries should not be used. For one, in most of the contexts of their use, they are secretive and as such, formed the basis to be used by the government in gathering information about political movements as well as disrupting the movements thereby causing mistrust and fear. In essence, grand juries are based on the broad subpoena, and they can be used in illegal investigations because the prosecutor can question the witnesses without the consideration of the rules prohibiting weak, unlawful or unreliable evidence. On the other hand, the method of questioning individuals may also be questionable because most grand juries compel people to answer any of the questions even if or when they are relating to political and lawful personal activities. In the event the information is collected, the government can rely on it in conducting further investigations and surveillance and as such, disrupting political movements or activities. In essence, when the evidence or information is used within the context of political movements, the grand juries lead to fear and mistrust among the populations because any person refusing to answer the question are liable to be jailed for life. On the other hand, the grand juries should not be implemented because even when an individual has sworn to remain silent as provided by the Fifth Amendment, they there further compelled to speak because of the possibility of going to jail because of contempt.

Although the grand juries should not be used as this argument suggests, there are some and particular instances that the special sitting led by the US Attorney should assess the evidence and determine whether the threats of organized crimes are imminent. Since they rely on the provided information to explore further proof, the grand juries are recommended for use when the judiciary is following up as a serious criminal offense, especially those involving indictment. In essence, the special sittings, should, therefore, be applied with the possibility of organized crimes. However, some of the states find the use of the grand juries as optional or not applicable within their jurisdictions depending on the manner in which the criminal investigations have been initiated. For instance, some of the prosecutions are initiated by the District Attorney while others rely on the grand jury indictment.

Given the manner in which the grand juries are applied, they should only be used of the final verdict does not result from coerced information and intimidation of the suspects. Instead, it is reasonable to use the grand juries when the crime committed is of national security and as such, failure to apprehend the individual will put the country in imminent danger. However, it is not wise to use the grand jury to intimidate the public, especially on such issues or areas as the political movement and silence the voice of the citizens. One of the best approaches or considerations that can be used in improving grand juries is that the representative lawyers should be allowed into the sittings because given the secretive nature of the settings, they have compromised the freedom of individuals of remaining silent. Another way through which they can be improved is that all the methods used in collecting information and evidence should be constitutional. The process of using subpoenas in ascertaining facts and evidence should not lead to the violation of human rights.

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