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California Becomes First State to Ban Grand Juries in Police Shooting Cases

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posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:01 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp

originally posted by: Vector99

originally posted by: greencmp

originally posted by: Vector99
a reply to: Bedlam

Exactly, the criminal justice system is so intertwined and needs a serious revamping. Private prisons and guaranteed federal funding only fuel inconsistency and corruption. The ONLY option is to take the prosecution part away from the state, and place it in the hands of the victimized party. Allow them to decide the person that seeks prosecution of indictment, and you will suddenly see a massive influx of police indictments.


Actually I would expect the opposite would happen, indictments would go down considering how many systematic procedural indictments that are currently processed.

I'm confused. Systematic procedural indictments? That means some cops are indicted without a grand jury?


I'm still playing catch up to figure out exactly what this is.

It kinda developed into how to fix the grand jury system, recommended solutions have varied, but the DA hasn't been a part of any of the solutions mentioned. The DA is actually the issue at hand.




posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:03 PM
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I was doing some legal research the other day and came across a forum for LEO'S and let me tell you that was a disgusting conversation. They basically banter back and forth about how to skirt around the laws and be creative with wording to fit their version of the story.

I felt like I had just wondered into a bad dream. I mean I gave up viewing them as the "good guys" long ago but that really made my jaw drop to see it right there before my very eyes. For them it all amounts to job performance which equals arrests that lead to convictions. You can't get convictions if you don't arrest people and make it stick, everybody wants a raise at work, don't they???

a reply to: kellyjay



posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:07 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6

originally posted by: ~Lucidity
It appears that with the new system, the prosecutors alone will make the decisions, which I'm not sure is all that much better in the end. Neither way seems all that ideal to me, so I don't know what the best situation would be. Panels of some sort maybe, maybe made up of more that just civilians and/or the prosecution.





1. They just politicized the decision to prosecute or not prosecute. I'd assume this goes before the SCOTUS before all is said and done, because it violates both due process and seriously violates the equal protection clause if California continues to roll Grand Juries for non-officer involved shootings.

2. This panel you mention already exists, it's the Grand Jury. What's happening here is the will of the People is getting railroaded by a very vocal small segment of society. This really does make a mockery of one of the more sanctified and functional components of the American Justice System: "A jury of your peers." Seems to me like Jerry Brown is making a highly politically motivated effort to appease some potential voters and not thinking this through.


1. It seems to me they are attempting to make it more fair, as Bedlam pointed out pretty well. Maybe even de-politicize it. Why would it wind up in front of SCOTUS? Grand juries are not a requirement. They are an option.


In 23 states, indictments are required for certain serious crimes. These states are: Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

In the 25 other states, a grand jury indictment is optional. In those states, charges may be brought by a document called the information. In many states, an information is written by a prosecutor, similar to the initial criminal complaint, but is reserved only for felony or serious charges. Typically an information is filed after a preliminary hearing, including those charges which were found supported by probable cause. [Source]


2. The grand jury simply decides, based on admittedly one-sided prosecutorial evidence, whether to indict or not. The jury of your peers is the petit jury and is what is used for the actual trial.



posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:07 PM
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a reply to: TrappedPrincess

Oh you'll love this then. There's a big thread here on it, it's legit. Search didn't find the thread, but it's there if you look harder.



posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:12 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

No, from what I'm reading, this only removes Grand Juries from the indictment process of officer involved in on-duty fatal shootings. Everyone else will still have a GJ indictment hearing if the previously existing conditions warranting it are met. This is California saying "The People on juries aren't biasing their verdicts the way we want them to, so we will place a State official in charge of these decisions."



posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:15 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

Grand Jury is chosen from the same pool, they just serve a longer term. As for politicizing... I dunno, why would I ever think a position nominated by the governor and confirmed by the state reps would ever consider politicizing the decision of whether to prosecute a case?



posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:18 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6
a reply to: greencmp

No, from what I'm reading, this only removes Grand Juries from the indictment process of officer involved in on-duty fatal shootings. Everyone else will still have a GJ indictment hearing if the previously existing conditions warranting it are met. This is California saying "The People on juries aren't biasing their verdicts the way we want them to, so we will place a State official in charge of these decisions."


So when they say:



...prohibits secret grand juries to weigh in on cases involving excessive or deadly force by law enforcement,


They mean to prohibit juries of ordinary folks from being able to weigh in?



posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:18 PM
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a reply to: burdman30ott6

That same local, county, or state official already runs the grand jury anyway.


The new California law leaves it up to the prosecutor to decide whether to charge a police officer with using deadly force, a change that many hope will lead to more transparency and accountability.


ETA: I actually don't see much of a difference here. In fact, as I stated in the OP, I'm still pondering this, as to whether there is even a difference here, because, as I saw and many who also have sat on grand juries have seen, the prosecution rarely doesn't get its way in either case...with or without a grand jury.
edit on 8/13/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:23 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6
a reply to: ~Lucidity

Grand Jury is chosen from the same pool, they just serve a longer term. As for politicizing... I dunno, why would I ever think a position nominated by the governor and confirmed by the state reps would ever consider politicizing the decision of whether to prosecute a case?


The grand jury and the petit jury are vastly different despite being chosen from the same "pool." Again, the grand jury hears only from the prosecution and arresting or investigating officers and ADAs and pretty rarely from witnesses for the prosecution. There is no judge in the room, and nothing from the defense at all.



posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:25 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

"Leads" doesn't mean "makes the decision for." Also, how is it not unconstitutional to refuse the same option to accused police officers as anyone else would receive: I.e. a Grand Jury hearing. You're right, the Constitution doesn't require a Grand Jury, but it absolutely requires equal protection and treatment under the law. Refusing the GJ to an entire swath of citizens based on their profession is discriminatory.



posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:34 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6
a reply to: ~Lucidity

"Leads" doesn't mean "makes the decision for." Also, how is it not unconstitutional to refuse the same option to accused police officers as anyone else would receive: I.e. a Grand Jury hearing. You're right, the Constitution doesn't require a Grand Jury, but it absolutely requires equal protection and treatment under the law. Refusing the GJ to an entire swath of citizens based on their profession is discriminatory.


Once again, grand juries are already optional, not used everywhere. Local, county, and or state prosecutors determine it already in many places.

Leads in an extremely strong manner might be a better way of putting it. Runs it. Is entirely responsible for everything the jury "gets" to hear from the prosecution's side.

The way they finesse and steer the grand jury is quite an eye-opening experience. It's not a hearing. It's simply a presentation of the prosecution's evidence to decide whether to go to trial. And for example. In the three cases we no billed on my jury? They clearly indicated they wanted us to no bill them, even laughed. Because they didn't care. And the number of people sitting on the jury, with the cherry-picked evidence they present, a no bill seems very, very rare as well.

And once again, what the grand jury would hear, in an officer's case, just like with any case, is just one side. The side the officer is on. So this isn't about equality. It's about trying to find a better way to make sure the right thing happens. And in some cases may be even more fair for the officer. Say, if the grand jury was in Compton or something. Think.
edit on 8/13/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 13 2015 @ 10:36 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6
a reply to: ~Lucidity

"Leads" doesn't mean "makes the decision for." Also, how is it not unconstitutional to refuse the same option to accused police officers as anyone else would receive: I.e. a Grand Jury hearing. You're right, the Constitution doesn't require a Grand Jury, but it absolutely requires equal protection and treatment under the law. Refusing the GJ to an entire swath of citizens based on their profession is discriminatory.


I would actually like to point out that this is a major point of contention.

Maybe we can sort out something that is related to a lot of these conversations, that is that, while performing their function as representatives of the state, civil servants do not have constitutional rights per se. This came up in the Lois Lerner fiasco.

Now, that could just mean elected officials, directors, etc or it could mean employees. I submit that I believe that it applies to on-duty officers.

Still not clear on this myself and I definitely don't like new laws, especially ones I can't understand easily.



posted on Aug, 14 2015 @ 04:30 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

i know any citizen (including cops) under the current law can waive the right to a jury trial. (this should be amended so that only if you plead guilty, can you waive your right to a trial by jury.) NO?

although i'm sure you know more than me about california law (if you could call it that) but lets take an example.



Also, it doesn't appear that grand juries are required...they are a prosecutorial option.


if i am on trial....i would love the prosecutor to tell me it's up to him if i get a jury trial.

?
edit on 14-8-2015 by fixitwcw because: expand



posted on Aug, 14 2015 @ 05:38 AM
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a reply to: fixitwcw

Wrong kind of jury.



posted on Aug, 14 2015 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

expound please?



posted on Aug, 14 2015 @ 06:44 PM
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originally posted by: fixitwcw
a reply to: ~Lucidity

expound please?



originally posted by: ~Lucidity
2. The grand jury simply decides, based on admittedly one-sided prosecutorial evidence, whether to indict or not. The jury of your peers is the petit jury and is what is used for the actual trial.



posted on Aug, 15 2015 @ 04:30 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

ok.

so... long story short....

the government has found another loophole....... (one that would not have been needed if the officer was innocent)



thanks for teaching me something today!

when will the first head roll, i wonder?




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