Can "We the People" form Grand Juries and indict criminal behavior ?Submitted by meekandmild on Sat, 06/29/2013 - 12:04
But the power to convene a Grand Jury is not recognized today in America by most judges. Leo Donofrio, a New Jersey attorney explains. “The constitutional power of ‘we the people’ sitting as grand jurors has been subverted by a deceptive play on words since 1946 when the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure were enacted. Regardless, the power still exists in the Constitution and has been upheld by the United States Supreme Court.”
Donofrio says the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the power for a Grand Jury of the people without reliance upon a U.S. Attorney to concur in such criminal charges.
The powers for citizen grand juries have been affirmed by several Supreme Court decisions. Justice Powell, in United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 343 (1974), stated:
“The grand jury’s historic functions survive to this day. Its responsibilities continue to include both the determination of whether there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and the protection of citizens against unfounded criminal prosecutions. Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665, 686-687 (1972).”
In United States v. Williams, 504 U.S. 36 at 48 (1992), Justice
Scalia, delivering the opinion of the court, laid down the law of the land: