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Multimedia Overview: A State Grand Jury at Work
- Page 4 of 9

 

The grand jurors meet inside the grand jury room. In some grand jury rooms, they sit at separate tables or in chairs that look like classroom chairs. In this grand jury, the jurors all sit at one long table, which faces the prosecutor, the court reporter and the witness. This page gives you a view of the grand jurors. The next page shows you their view of the prosecutor, the court reporter, and the witnesses.
Grand Jury Room
Here you see all of the grand jurors all sitting around their table. The documents on the table are evidence the prosecutor has given them to review. The microphones on the table are for the jurors to use when they want to ask questions of a witness.

The file folders you see in the foreground of the picture in the middle contain draft indictments; after the grand jurors have heard all the evidence a prosecutor presents in a given case, they vote on whether to return the draft indictment in that case. To vote to return an indictment, a grand juror has to believe there is probable cause (a) that a crime has been committed (b) by the people named as defendants in that indictment.

They vote to return a draft indictment that is called "returning a true bill" and the person(s) named in the indictment have now become defendants in a criminal case. If the grand jurors decide not to return a draft indictment, no one has been charged and there is no criminal case. A prosecutor can, of course, try again with another grand jury, or can re-present a case to this grand jury. If a prosecutor is going to re-present a case to the same grand jury, he or she will probably bring in additional evidence, and may wait a while before doing so.

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