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Grand Jury Research

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  • Legalbear
    Crim. P. 6(a) states: The chief judge of the district court in each county or a judge designated by him may order a grand jury summoned where authorized by
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2010
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      Crim. P. 6(a) states:

      "The chief judge of the district court in each county or a judge designated by him may order a grand jury summoned where authorized by law or required by the public interest."

       

      There is no limitation in Crim. P. 6 as to how a chief judge would come to have knowledge that the public interest required the empanelling of a grand jury.

       18-8-115 C.R.S. reads in pertinent part:

      "It is the duty of every corporation or person who has reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been committed to report promptly the suspected crime to law enforcement authorities."

       

      My previous experience has shown that "law enforcement authorities" such as police and the district attorney's office have no interest in prosecuting judges they appear regularly in front of, and attempt to curry favor with, who commit crimes while sitting as a judge. 

       35. On the other hand, the grand jury has broad power as an investigative and accusatory body to "ferret out criminal activity." Gher v. Dist. Court, 516 P.2d 643, 644 (1973). In re 2000-2001 District Grand Jury, 2001.CO.0000111 <http://www.versuslaw.com> 24; 22 P.3d 922 (Colo. 2001).

       36. Investigating alleged corruption by governmental officials falls squarely within the scope of the grand jury's power both under existing caselaw and under the terms of grand jury statutes. Id.

       37. The grand jury provides a necessary and worthwhile service in cases involving acts of police officers, political corruption, organized crime, criminal activity that is shrouded in secrecy by reluctant or unwilling witnesses, or wrong doing that could involve those friendly to the prosecutor the grand jury provides a means for insuring a fair result in the charging process. Losavio v. Honorable Matt J. Kikel, 1974.CO.40068 <http://www.versuslaw.com> 17; 529 P.2d 306 (Colo. 1974).

       38. In criminal cases where public concern is great, it is desirable to have the grand jury participate in the investigatory function. Id. Where corruption is charged, it is desirable to have someone outside of the administration act, so that the image, as well as the fact, of impartiality in the investigation can be preserved and allegations of cover-up or white-wash can be avoided. Id. The grand jury is needed to employ the investigative expertise necessary to search hard drives for records that have purposely been deleted and scrambled as well as take testimony from disinterested witnesses who heard the judge say the things I allege.

       39. The grand jury is an adjunct of the court, and the court has authority to insure that the grand jury's function is reasonably facilitated. Id. @  28. Upon empanelment of each grand jury, the judge is supposed to give the grand jury adequate and reasonable written notice of and are supposed to assure that the grand jury reasonably understands the nature of the subject matter of the investigation and the criminal statutes or other statutes involved, if these are known at the time the grand jury is impaneled. 16-5-204(3)(d) C.R.S.

      40. I learned from In re 2000-2001 District Grand Jury, 22 P.3d 922 (Colo. 2001) a better understanding of what constitutes a "public interest":

      "A grand jury report is in the public interest only if it addresses one or more of the following: allegations of the misuse or misapplication of public funds; allegations of abuse of authority by a public servant or a peace officer; allegations of misfeasance or malfeasance with regard to a governmental function; or allegations of commission of a class 1, 2, or 3 felony. § 16-5-205.5(5)."

       

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