Colorado Federal Grand Jury Attorney
If you have to appear before a grand jury, you must realize that grand juries are not set up to create an even playing field for the prosecution and the defendant. For one, there is a special relationship between the prosecution and the jurors that seriously jeopardizes the jury’s impartiality. If you receive a federal grand jury subpoena, you need to speak to an attorney immediately. Call an experienced Colorado federal crimes defense lawyer at once.
What is a Grand Jury?
Grand juries were originally created to protect individuals from unfair prosecution. Unfortunately, grand juries end up sending untold numbers of innocent people to prison every year. Grand juries work differently than a regular jury during a federal or state criminal trial. For example, a grand jury can have anywhere from 16 to 23 jury members that serve up to 18 months at a time, and sometimes even longer. Additionally, grand juries do not find the defendant guilty or penalize the defendant. They simply issue indictments for crimes when there is probably evidence that a crime was committed. Grand juries are not the end of the line for a defendant. Whether the jury finds that there is evidence that the defendant committed a crime or not, the next step in the legal process is making a plea deal or going to trial. After being indicted by a grand jury, there is usually a good chance that the defendant will be found guilty in trial.
Evidence Used by Grand Juries
Grand juries collect evidence through subpoena in the form of documents, witnesses, and other forms of evidence. The evidence allowed in the courtroom of a grand jury is above and beyond what is allowed in a regular criminal trial. In fact, much of the evidence can be one-sided hearsay.
Closed to the Public
Because grand juries are not open to the public, virtually anything goes. There is essentially no backlash or consequences for saying or doing anything. Grand juries are not only closed to the public, but the media, the defendant, and the defendant’s attorney do not have the right to be permitted in the courtroom of a grand jury, according to the U.S. law. This creates an incredibly uneven and unfair realm of heavily flawed justice.
Jurors are Not Screened for Bias
In most criminal trials, jurors are heavily screened for bias by the prosecution and/or the defense. While this is not a perfect solution, because juries and the entire legal system is still heavily biased against minorities, the process is even less fair in the case of a grand jury. The defense, nor the prosecution, cannot screen the jurors at all, and are barred from asking any questions. The judge will ask just a few questions before admitting or sending away a potential juror, according to MSNBC.
Call a Colorado Federal Crime Attorney at Once
Innocent people are routinely indicted by grand juries and subsequently locked up for crimes they did not commit. If you have been issued a subpoena by a grand jury in Colorado, do not hesitate to contact Jeffrey S. Weiner immediately for help.