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Note: The comments and questions on this page came from people who visited this website. Please feel free to send your comments and questions to Professor Brenner (brenner@udayton.edu). She will respond privately, and may ask permission to post your message on this page. No one's e-mail will be used without first obtaining their permission, and names and e-mail addresses are removed before a comment is posted. Starting in 2002, the responses posted to the site indicate which of us replied: The initials SWB mean Professor Brenner wrote the response; the initials LES mean Professor Shaw wrote the response. We are also putting the year down, to indicate when the response was posted. If no initials appear, Professor Brenner wrote the response.

Prospective grand juror sees no problem with perjury—will that disqualify him from serving?

My father-in-law is a prospective grand juror. I know from discussions with him that he believes that it is permissible to lie before a grand jury if one questions the motives of the interrogator or if one feels that the questions are unfair. You see where this is coming from, right? Does the screening process ask such pointed questions? 

Response: It's hard to say exactly what the court impaneling a grand jury is going to ask the grand jurors, especially without knowing what jurisdiction (federal or state, and if state, what state) we're in. There usually isn't anything like the kind of questioning you see when a court is impaneling trial jurors, because the court wants to be sure they're not biased, that they know how to listen to and weigh the evidence, etc. So I really doubt that the court impaneling a grand jury would ask questions that would elicit this information from your father in law.

However, prosecutors usually instruct grand jurors about perjury, e.g., that willfully lying while under oath is a crime. This kind of instruction might elicit your father in law's views, if and when he becomes a grand juror. 

Maybe you could encourage him to raise it himself, when he is being considered for a grand jury?

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