“Twenty years later, I still don’t see what purpose a Criminal Grand Jury serves. We might as well have been a Jury for one of Stalin’s show trials…

…The first or second week I asked a few questions of the U.S. Attorney and once of the FBI agent…it was pretty clear that this wasn’t cool. I don’t remember a single other juror ever once asking any questions. At the end of the six-month term, the government had batted 1.000. Every single case led to an indictment, and every indictment was unanimous. There were 23 of us, and I think a quorum was 15-16 people. After a month or so, it was clear that they never had a problem having a quorum and since it was a rubber-stamp farce, I figured they’d do just fine without me and I stopped coming.”, Anonymous Banking and Mortgage Banking Consultant

Banking and Mortgage Banking Consultant, Excerpt from December 2014 Newsletter:

“Everyone has an opinion on what happened in the Ferguson Grand Jury, but my view is about grand juries in general, and it’s based on having served on one about twenty years ago. It was a Federal Grand Jury, and we met every Wednesday for six months. We met in a windowless room in the San Francisco Federal Building, and each case followed the same routine. The U.S. Attorney would lay out his case, he’d usually have a FBI agent go over some parts of the investigation, and then we’d sit around a table. Our foreman was a young guy, maybe 29, and he’d say, “Well, it sure looks like he’s guilty,” and everyone would nod and that would be it.  The U.S. Attorney would then pass out a form which we’d all sign, and we’d move onto the next case.

We’d usually go through 3-4 cases by noon and then get to leave.  The first or second week I asked a few questions of the U.S. Attorney and once of the FBI agent, and while they were polite in their answers, it was pretty clear that this wasn’t cool. I don’t remember a single other juror ever once asking any questions. At the end of the six-month term, the government had batted 1.000. Every single case led to an indictment, and every indictment was unanimous.

There were 23 of us, and I think a quorum was 15-16 people. After a month or so, it was clear that they never had a problem having a quorum and since it was a rubber-stamp farce, I figured they’d do just fine without me and I stopped coming. We had just bought a CAMELS-5 bank, and I really couldn’t spare that half day every Wednesday. After three or four weeks of missing the sessions, I got a Tuesday afternoon call from a U.S. Marshall who told me, “Either you show up on your own tomorrow morning, or we’ll come and get you and bring you there in handcuffs.”

Twenty years later, I still don’t see what purpose a Criminal Grand Jury serves. We might as well have been a Jury for one of Stalin’s show trials. So my view is this: If the State wants to put someone on trial, they should just arrest that person and put him on trial. The preliminary first step of an indictment by a Grand Jury adds nothing to the process.

Finally, I suspect that the D.A. in Ferguson didn’t want the Grand Jury to indict. If my experience was at all typical, I just can’t see him presenting his best case and having a jury going against him. The D.A. always gets the indictments he wants.”

Posted on December 31, 2014, in Postings. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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