Federal Grand Jury Reform Report & Bill of Rights
When the grand jury was incorporated into our constitutional structure, its primary role was to protect the individual from unfounded accusations. Today, the federal grand jury today functions primarily as a tool of the federal prosecutor. Employing the power of compulsory process in a secret proceeding, the prosecutor investigates and determines, with virtually no check, who will be indicted and for what. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) created The Commission to Reform the Federal Grand Jury, drawing on the expertise of a variety of professionals throughout the criminal justice system. Commissioners spent two years examining the need for changes in the grand jury process and produced a Federal Grand Jury Bill of Rights based on their findings. The ten reforms set forth in this Bill of Rights, largely echoing those proposed by the American Bar Association (ABA) more than 20 years ago, would restore balance to the grand jury process and better protect against unwarranted prosecutions.
Read the report (PDF).