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Can a prosecutor veto a grand jurys desire to call witnesses?
Can a prosecutor veto a grand jury's request to call
Response: Good question: My answer is going to be
based on federal and generic grand jury practice--the answer may be different in some
states, since their rules vary from the federal/common law model.
The prosecutor should
not be able to veto the grand jury's desire to call witnesses, because it is the GRAND
JURY that investigates, not the prosecutor. I don't see any reason why the prosecutor
cannot give his/her opinion as to the inadviability or lack of necessity for calling a
witness, but if the grand jury persists, the prosecutor cannot veto their efforts. If the
prosecutor thinks the grand jury has "run away" and is subpoenaing people
for improper reasons (harassment, curiousity, etc.), the prosecutor's logical recourse is
to ask the judge who supervises the grand jury to dismiss them.
Can one or more grand jury members ask or order an
individual to come forth and testify beyond whom the state's attorney or prosecuting
attorney has called?
Response: Another good question, and again I'm drawing
on federal and generic practice: This issue came up in the Oklahoma City bombing
investigation when one grand juror wanted to subpoena witnesses and the prosecutor (and,
apparently, other grand jurors) did not.
This gets into a grey area: Since it is the
grand jury which is investigating (see answer to your first question) earlier email), the
grand jury can call whomever it wishes, regardless of the prosecutor's wishes. But can one
say that one grand juror is "the grand jury"? I think not--I think there has to
be some minimum number of grand jurors (a majority?) who want to call a witness before the
grand jury can/is required to do so.