By the Midnight Special Law Collective
The grand jury system has long been the subject of debate and proposals for reform. While the federal system has largely resisted any change, a number of states have not only implemented various reforms but also have extensive experience with them. Their experience is instructive in understanding how these measures would fare if adopted into the federal grand jury system. Four key reforms were addressed in the research, as both states (New York and Colorado) had experience with each: (1) defense representation in the grand jury room, (2) production of witness transcripts for the defense, (3) advance notice for witnesses to appear, and (4) the presentation of exculpatory evidence to the grand jury. Read this report on grand jury reform from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary during the 106th Congress. The hearing was convened on July 27, 2000, to hear testimony on the history of the Federal grand jury system -- its origins and its evolution -- and to discuss the plethora of constitutional issues that arise within the Federal grand jury system. The hearing includes testimony from several academic scholars, a U.S. Attorney, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney General, as well as recommendations for reform. Review a transcript of the hearing.
The Constitution Society, a private non-profit organization dedicated to research and public education on the principles of constitutional republican government, developed a list of contemporary legal cases involving federal grand juries, as well as other materials examining the grand jury system. Especially relevant are recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that help define the role of grand juries in our society.