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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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
If I'm a grand juror, what
should I do if I know someone we investigate?
I=ve been called
for jury duty and told that I may be chosen to serve on our county grand jury. If I am
seated as a grand jury member what should I do if I am involved in an action against
someone that I know?
Response: You should bring this to the prosecutor's attention. In the
grand jury context, courts generally worry much less about jurors having knowledge of a
case or even some bias. The theory is that the grand jury, at most, simply returns
charges, and if someone is charged, they will have the right to a trial by unbiased trial
jurors and will, therefore, be able to establish their innocence. Since I think that
theory vastly underestimates the expense, trauma, etc. of having to go to trial, I would
encourage you to let the prosecutor(s) know if and when you feel you have personal
knowledge that might influence your actions as a grand juror. They can then decide what
they want to do.
Or a case where I had knowledge of it?
I am looking forward to serving and can not understand why
people wish to dodge their civil duty. Have had people ask me if I was going to try and
get out of it. My answer is, I spent 10 years of my life protecting my country [USN] and
our system why in hell would I stop now!
Response: Good for you! I think grand jury duty is a very important
civic obligation, and it's nice to hear from someone who's prepared to take it seriously.
I'm sure you'll do a good job.