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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.

Bringing information to the grand jury:

Thanks for your site!  

The grand jury was the centerpiece of the legal system and maybe one day it will again find its rightful place in our society. Leaving investigations and decisions in the sole hands of prosecutors.

Is there a way for people to bring information to a grand jury, or is that the sole right of the prosecutor? 

Thanks for taking the time to read this, respond at your convenience.

Response:  In every jurisdiction that uses grand juries, people can bring information to a grand jury's attention, but you have to be careful how you do it.  In the federal system, for example, it's a crime to communicate in writing with a grand jury with the intent to influence them.  Well, if you're sending a grand jury information about a crime, in a letter, you're obviously trying to influence them, which means you have technically violated the statute.  But you're not likely to be charged with this or any other crime if you are careful how you proceed.  The best way to get information to a state or federal grand jury is to call the federal or county courthouse where they sit and find out which judge supervises the grand jury.  Then call the judge's clerk and ask how you get a letter (or other source of information) to the grand jury.  The clerk may tell you to bring it to the court and they'll give it to the grand jury.  In some states, you can write directly to the grand jury foreperson (in some states, they publish the foreperson's name in the local newspaper).  If you go through the court, it's very, unlikely anyone will think you're trying to influence the grand jury in an improper way.

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