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Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Protests

Daniel Cameron, the Kentucky Attorney General announced yesterday that no police involved in the raid that led to the shooting death of of Breonna Taylor will be charged with murder. One former officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with First Degree Criminal Endangerment (the victims of which were Taylor's neighbors), while the other two officers involved, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, were not charged with any criminal offense. (It was Cosgrove who fired the bullet that struck and killed Ms. Taylor).

The charges accuse Hankison of firing blindly into several apartments and recklessly endangering Taylor’s neighbors, but do not charge him with firing at or killing Taylor. Two other officers involved in the March 13 incident, Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, were not charged. Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor, according to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, but the grand jury considered his action justifiable.

[More..]

Cameron, a Black man and a Republican who backs Trump, choked up during his presser. Because he knows how it feels? Even he didn't go that far. (He said he knows how his mother would feel if he were the one killed by police.) Keep in mind:

Cameron, 34, elected last year as the state's first Black attorney general, is a rising star in the Republican party and was a guest speaker at the GOP convention last month, where he declared himself a “proud Republican and supporter of President Donald J. Trump.” The president has placed the attorney general on the short list for a seat on the Supreme Court.

According to Cameron yesterday:

...."our investigation showed, and the grand jury agreed, that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their return of deadly fire after having been fired upon" by Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

If Cameron believes that "our" investigation showed no criminal conduct, then whether he admits it or not, I think that's what the state prosecutors argued to the grand jury. Who draws up the charges? The prosecutor, not the grand jury. Their job is to vote. Of course, there have been grand juries which balked when prosecutors asked them to indict and instead return a "no true bill". But that wasn't done here, which leads me to believe that the prosecutors never presented a murder or even manslaughter option to the grand jury. And tell me, what grand juror, without researching outside material which is not allowed, would have sufficient knowledge about the charge of "first degree criminal endangerment" let alone its elements, to decide on its own that was the sole charge for which there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed?

Donald Trump and Joe Biden responded to last night's protests of the decision in Louisville by decrying the shooting of two officers during the aftermath of the announcement. A suspect is in custody.

Law enforcement was well aware that the grand jury's rejection of murder charges against the officers would result in protests and possible violence. Last Friday, it was announced that the federal courthouse would be closed this week, and according to the Louisville Courier, it was due to the impending decision by the state grand jury.

It is unfortunate that some vigilante (protester or not) used the protests to shoot two officers. But that should not deflect from the true message of yesterday: a young Black woman was wrongly killed by police, and based on the case presented to the grand jury, and the prosecutors' likely arguments that the officers were justified in their actions, one got a slap on the wrist and the others got off completely.

Grand jury proceedings are one-sided and conducted in secret. The only lawyers allowed in the room are prosecutors, who decide which witnesses will testify and what evidence the grand jury will hear. Prosecutors draw up the charges they want the grand jury to consider, not the charges they want the grand jury to reject, and they present their arguments.

I don't think anyone should cut Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron any slack. Prosecutors got the result they asked for and Cameron needs to own it, not feign pain.

We have all heard that "a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich." It seems to me this grand jury was only fed half a sandwich -- and prosecutors withheld the mustard to boot.

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    Reserving opinion pending release of (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 08:44:14 PM EST
    search warrant, affidavit, and return.  All ballistics reports.  Any Louisville PD reports, witness statements, photos, etc.  And complete accounts of prior reported law enforcement surveillance of the address.

    Well, there is a lot of that info (none / 0) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 01:01:47 PM EST
    here.

    But, does a lot of that really matter?

    I think the main question is, if the police accidentally kill a non-participant in the performance of their duties, are they responsible for that person's death? I think the next questions is, if not, should they be?

    A while ago a local LE officer was distracted while driving and he drove into and killed a bicyclist.

    Charges were not filed:

    Since [the LE officer] was acting within the course and scope of his duties [...] he acted lawfully."

    The family of the victim prevailed in the civil suit.

    Parent

    Of course they are responsible (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Peter G on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 01:55:26 PM EST
    That's why the city is paying the family a multi-million dollar settlement. The question is not "responsibility" but whether the shooting was criminal under the existing Kentucky statutes. If Taylor was standing in the hallway next to her companion, who fired at the police (even one shot, and even reasonably and justifiably), then their returning fire was also justifiable unless a reasonable person in the position of the cops would have realized that his shooting at them was justified by the manner of their entry into his apartment. And her being an entirely innocent bystander unfortunately does not bear on the question of the justification for the police to use deadly force against him, if she just happened, sadly, to be standing in the line of fire.  If the crime scene recreation shows that she was not basically in the same place as the shot came from, then that's a different matter entirely.

    Parent
    Yes, thank you, I should have written (none / 0) (#38)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 03:01:56 PM EST
    criminally responsible.

    To your last point, according to CNN: :

    As they [Taylor and Walker] made their way down a hallway toward the front door, Walker said, the door flew off its hinges.

    [... ]

    Inside the apartment, Walker was unharmed. But Taylor lay on the ground beside him, bleeding profusely.

    Who knows how accurate this is, but it would suggest that Taylor and Walker were basically in the same place during the gunfire.

    To your preceding point, the cops say they announced. Walker says he and Taylor did not know who was breaking into their apartment which is supported by his subsequent 911 phone call in which he

    tells the dispatcher someone had kicked in the door and shot his girlfriend.

    As the two officers who entered the apartment and fired their weapons were not charged in Taylor's killing, I guess they are not legally criminally responsible.

    My other question was whether they should be.

    imo, this bit of law needs to be revised. Either prohibit no knocks or allow criminal proceedings against the cops.

    Parent

    Courier-Journal link w/i (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 02:47:46 PM EST
    your link is subscription only.  

    Parent
    However, oddly, I also read a couple articles at the Courier-Journal. Their website does not seem to be behind a paywall...

    Parent
    Found the s/w and affidavit. The officer (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 07:00:26 PM EST
    who signed the affidavit states how long he has bern employed by LPD but does not state his educ b@ckground, training and experience re drug enforcement.  Also, the info in the affidavit  is from January but warrant issues in mid-March. In addition, it appears a previous s/w was executed at that address the prior Dec.  

    Parent
    There are conflicting reports of what happened (2.00 / 1) (#9)
    by McBain on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 11:13:38 AM EST
    and no videos I'm aware of.  
    Link
    The Louisville police say that they fired inside Ms. Taylor's home only after they were first fired upon by Mr. Walker, Ms. Taylor's boyfriend. They said that Mr. Walker wounded one of the officers, who was hit in the leg but was expected to make a full recovery. Mr. Walker was subsequently charged with attempted murder of a police officer, though the charge was dismissed in May.
    The police also assert that they knocked several times and identified themselves as police officers with a warrant before entering the apartment. Mr. Walker has said he and Ms. Taylor heard aggressive banging at the door and asked who it was, but they did not hear an announcement that it was the police.

    One thing I do know is the media and family lawyers often spread misinformation which leads to unrealistic charging or jury verdict decisions. I don't know if this decision is correct of if there will be more charges later but I'd rather have a criminal justice system that errors on on the side of fewer/lesser charges.  In some of the other recent high profile police related cases (Floyd, Brooks) it appears to me the opposite happened.  

    As for the raid, since we don't know who's telling the truth, I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to the accused.  That goes for the officers and for Kenneth Walker.  

    Ken Walker's acts (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 12:45:22 PM EST
    were justified -- including shooting the cop -- if he thought the intruders into his home were there to rob him and he believed they would hurt him. If you've ever heard an audio or seen a video of a home bust, the police scream like banchees and when they are undercover, they don't look like cops.

    I am grateful Colorado has a "Make My Day" law (which is not the same thing as a stand your ground" law). I think Kentucky may have one too.

    18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.

    (

    1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.

    (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.

    (3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.

    (4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.



    Parent
    banshees not banchees (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 12:50:27 PM EST
    sorry

    Parent
    Although Walker was justified (none / 0) (#16)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 01:30:10 PM EST
    Standing next to someone shooting at armed police is generally not a good place to be. Particularly true where the cops shooting skills are not up to snuff. One round hit the shooter, and six hit the bystander. Taylor would be alive if the cops bullets hit the shooter.

    Parent
    It's an all around bad situation (none / 0) (#17)
    by McBain on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 01:39:34 PM EST
    Even if they identify themselves as police, how do the home dwellers know that's true?  Bad guys could say they are police.  And what about dogs?

    Even if no one gets hurt I've heard about police raiding the wrong house, destroying things, making a huge mess and not compensating anyone for the mistake.  

    So I have sympathy for people mistreating during raids, whether they were justified or not, but that doesn't mean I always want the book thrown at the police.  

    Parent

    Another day... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 08:35:31 AM EST
    another criminal justice disgrace.

    Imagine being black in America and realizing sheet rock gets more justice than you ever will. In the eyes of the law you're worth less than f*ckin' dry wall. This is somehow more insulting than no indictment at all.

    How do you fix something so rotten to the core?  Finding it very hard today to disagree with "burn it down" as the only remedy to this insidious disease...very very hard.    

    The problem (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 08:49:16 AM EST
    with burning it all down is it's not a solution and makes things worse but I understand the sentiment.

    Parent
    They tried peaceful protest. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 09:15:55 AM EST
    (See Kapernick, Colin). That just got the racists panties in a wad. So now, it's time for the two by four up against the head strategy. Sometimes that's what it takes to get someone's attention.

    This country is on the cusp of an actual second civil war. I predicted civil war when orange doofus was elected. Thankfully it didn't quite happen. Though I thought Charlottesville was going to be an opening skirmish. Now, I do believe it will blow up after November 3. (or December 8).

    Based on what I'm reading about the GOP strategizing on ignoring the election results and doofus' apparent intention to refuse to concede the office, civil war is inevitable.

    If Biden wins and the GOP refuses a peaceful turnover of power, I will support any and all actions to take them down.

    Parent

    I get it (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 09:35:38 AM EST
    I do. And if the GOP doesn't tell Trump to stand down we are going to have to do something drastic.

    Parent
    If Biden wins, (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 10:48:21 AM EST
    Dems take Congress, and Trump goes to exile or jail we still gonna need to do something drastic.  Or admit to ourselves black lives don't matter enough to rock the boat.

    Mild and moderate incremental change since the Civil f*ckin' War and here we are in 2020 with a black life still worth less than sheetrock in the eyes of Lady Justice.  If not drastic now, drastic when? Another 400 years of dead black people and killer cops on paid administrative leave?

    Crime Bill Biden and Madame Prosecutor Harris can't even come out and say (at the very f*ckin' least) we need a federal ban on no-knock warrants.  They gotta hedge and say "overhaul"...frail white law and order voter sensibilities and all.  "We won't defund the police, Trump defunds the police!"  F*ckin' pathetic.

    Parent

    Yes, thanks for bringing up clearly that (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Peter G on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 11:15:28 AM EST
    the no-knock warrant was the root of this entire tragedy. In a culture where private ownership of firearms to "defend your home" is lawful and widespread, results like this are inevitable, as the execution of a warrant becomes, to the homeowner, indistinguishable from a home-invasion robbery.

    Parent
    many long discussions of a case of which the crux was whether or not the cops "no-knocked" when serving a warrant, and therefor whether the suspect should have known he was shooting at cops.

    The guy's name was Corey Mae. I have always liked Pigpen's GD version of "Katie Mae" so his name stuck with me. What also stuck with me is the travesty that is the no-knock warrant.

    Cops should always announce, there should be no option.

    Parent

    Good memory... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 01:50:37 PM EST
    and I remember Alberta Spruill here in NYC, poor lil old lady killed by flash grenade induced heart attack during a bullsh&t crack of dawn no-knock NYPD home invasion.

    The cops should always announce...and judges should not grant warrants on the word of a shady CI alone or other shadyness.  Hard documentable evidence of criminal activity should be required prior to get a warrant.

    Parent

    If police always have to announce before (none / 0) (#18)
    by McBain on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 01:43:39 PM EST
    entering, that gives the bad guys time to take hostages or destroy evidence.  I'm not sure that's the correct solution for every situation.  

    Parent
    Lesser of two evils, imo. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 01:49:28 PM EST
    Agreed... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 01:51:46 PM EST
    better to let a million suspects destroy evidence than for one innocent to be killed.  

    Parent
    25 years ago, in 1995, former TL co-host (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Peter G on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 07:40:14 PM EST
    John Wesley Hall (a/k/a "Last Night in Little Rock") argued Wilson v Arkansas before the U.S. Supreme Court. His position was that the Fourth Amendment requires a prior "knock and announce" (necessarily accompanied by at least a brief wait for a response) before any police entry into a home to execute a warrant can be considered "reasonable" (the constitutional touchstone). The Supreme Court of Arkansas had held that whether there was a prior knock and announce was constitutionally immaterial. The Supreme Court of the U.S., in an opinion by Justice Thomas, unanimously reversed the state supreme court, but did not go nearly as far as JWH had urged. (JWH is a nationally recognized, published expert on the Fourth Amendment.) The court held that the history of the Bill of Rights shows that whether there was a prior "knock and announced" was a necessary consideration in any judicial determination of whether the entry/search was "reasonable," but other factors in a given case could override the requirement. Needless to say, in practice, this turned out to be a largely pyrrhic victory for the defense side.

    Parent
    Maybe the difference should be (none / 0) (#22)
    by McBain on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 02:13:01 PM EST
    if it's a warrant situation, the police need to knock and announce their presence but if it's a situation where a warrant isn't required... strong belief a violent crime is going to be committed inside... the police can enter without notice.

    Parent
    Harris is Against no-Knock Warrants (none / 0) (#8)
    by RickyJim on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 11:01:54 AM EST
    That's a little better... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 11:18:48 AM EST
    but why not all cases?  I see no reason for no-knock warrants to exist in a civilized society.  In cases of imminent threat to life, police don't need any warrant to enter.  No-knocks put cops in unnecessary danger too, not just civilians.

    Just say no to any and all no-knocks. And the racist war on black and other non-desirables we call the war on drugs.

    Parent

    If the AG (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 08:50:51 AM EST
    was so upset about this he should just resign.

    Here I Go Again (none / 0) (#6)
    by RickyJim on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 10:27:45 AM EST
    Grand Juries, elected prosecutors, etc.  Bah!  Humbug!  A (civil service) investigative judge who can order the police to collect evidence and has to give a written report should be the one to decide, after hearing from all sides, whether a case should be prosecuted.

    The no knock (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 12:41:28 PM EST
    warrant is, certainly, a very risky process---risky to all, police, those subject to the warrant and those in the vicinity.  And, in this case, led to catastrophic results.   And, going a step further, why in this case, was a warrant, no knock or not, necessary to the  investigation of Jamarcus Glover, who was no where near the Taylor residence at 12:30 am on March 13, nor was he expected to be.  Glover was arrested that day elsewhere and later released on bail.

    Glover previously dated Taylor on and off for several years and     used her residence as his current address. The apparent suspicion that Glover was also using her residence as a drug depot seems to constitute a weak argument for probable cause.  Maybe, starting with a sit-down interview with Ms. Taylor would have been prudent.

    Many questions to go around, including for Moscow Mitch's protege, the 34-year old Dan Cameron, who is on Trump's short list for the Supreme Court.

    Questions for Peter and Jeralyn. (none / 0) (#25)
    by ragebot on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 04:50:07 PM EST
    Was watching a bunch of talking heads on TV.  One was questioning Ken Walkers' lawyer who claimed he had knowledge of the GJ's proceedings even though he was not present.  So far all the talking heads, both dems and pubs, have been in favor of releasing the GJ's proceedings.  So do lawyers have some special access to a GJ's proceedings before they are released to the public?

    Second question is I always thought a GJ's proceedings were secret as a rule; but a judge can release them.  So under what conditions will a GJ's proceedings be released.

    More questions (none / 0) (#26)
    by ragebot on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 04:56:05 PM EST
    One talking head said the warrant was issued a couple of months before it was served.  He went on to say that aside from serving a stale warrant the LEOs should have staked out the apartment before serving the warrant and known who was inside.  He went on to say it would also have been a good idea to serve a no knock warrant when the place was empty.

    While this makes good sense to me I am not sure how legal and customary it is; so is all or part of this feasible.  

    Parent

    Grand jury rules and procedures (none / 0) (#28)
    by Peter G on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 07:44:49 PM EST
    vary from state to state. This was a North Carolina state grand jury. Therefore I have no idea what the prosecutor's right to be present is, nor what the secrecy rules may be. I know a lot about federal rules, and some about Pennsylvania; nothing about North Carolina. I would guess that J does not know either, being a Colorado and federal lawyer.

    Parent
    Thx (none / 0) (#29)
    by ragebot on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 08:06:59 PM EST
    Before I retired I was basically a land use guy who got a dual MS/JD from FSU.  Never took the bar and if I was in a court room it was as an expert witness usually dealing with Environmental Impact Statements; especially for airports. Talk about knowing more and more about less and less.  Kinda reminds me of Lt. Kaffee in A Few Good Men saying "so this is what the inside of a court room looks like".


    Parent
    Correction. (none / 0) (#31)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 08:51:26 PM EST
    It was a Kentucky grand jury. Louisville, Kentucky.

    Parent
    Of course, I knew that. Thanks. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Peter G on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 08:59:49 PM EST
    One border state or another, all the same, said the northeastern snob ....

    Parent
    I did look up Kentucky law (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 08:34:44 PM EST
    while I was writing the post. For some reason, I had assumed Kentucky did not have a "Make My Day" law (again, not the same as Stand Your Ground) but when I checked Lexis, it does.  Had to rewrite the whole post. (I was angry that they said KY law gave the cops the right to shoot if they believed themselves to be in danger, but no one said Walker as the resident of a house confronted with an intruder did also. So I looked it up and he certainly did.  All he had to believe was the intruder intended to commit a felony in his house (besides breaking and entering) and that he was afraid the intruder(s) would hurt him.

    I haven't looked up Ky grand jury secrecy but to answer someone's question above, no, lawyers don't have special access to grand jury transcripts just because they want to go on TV and talk about it.

    Parent

    What have we learned? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 01:59:41 PM EST
     
    The claim that Taylor was shot in bed is a falsehood.

    The claim that it was a no knock entry is a falsehood.

    The claim that the cops fired first is a falsehood.

    The other thing we are likely to learn is those spreading those falsehoods like those spreading the "hands up don't shoot" lie are not going to apologize for the hate and distrust created.

    Honeycrisp Apple and Kohlrabi Salad (none / 0) (#36)
    by leap on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 02:19:06 PM EST
    Serves 2 to 4

    ½ cup good-quality ricotta
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper 
    Whole milk (optional)
    1 Honeycrisp apple (or other tart apple), cored and cut into irregular-size pieces
    ⅓ cup seeded and thinly sliced cucumber 
    ⅓ cup peeled and diced kohlrabi 
    3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds 
    3 tablespoons chimichurri (recipe follows) 
    1 Lemon wedge (optional)

    Directions 
    Taste ricotta; add salt and pepper if needed. If mixture is stiff, thin with spoonful of milk. It should be creamy.
    Combine apple, kohlrabi, cucumber and pumpkin seeds in medium bowl. Toss, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle in chimichurri. Taste; add squeeze of lemon juice if needed.
    To serve, place ricotta on bottom of a bowl and heap salad over top.

    Parent

    What a terrible comment Ga6thDem (none / 0) (#41)
    by McBain on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 05:34:16 PM EST
    I hope Jeralyn deletes that.

    I don't know if everything Abdul said is true but I tend to agree with his last point.  All the high profile police related cases I can remember start off with misleading or false information that gets treated as fact.  Then there's unrealistic expectations of quick murder charges.  When more information comes out that contradicts the early narrative, damage has already been done.

    It's as if people forget the other times we went through this.  The Darren Wilson/Michael Brown case was a perfect example of the damage a rush to judgement can cause.  

    I deleted that comment (none / 0) (#44)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 08:37:06 PM EST
    It was a personal attack on the commenter. Feel sorry for him/her but don't personally attack here please. Thanks.

    Parent
    Here is Kentucky Grand Jury (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Sep 25, 2020 at 08:50:45 PM EST
    rule on secrecy

    Kentucky Rules of Criminal Procedure (RCr) Rule 5.24
    RCr 5.24 Secrecy of proceedings; disclosure

    (1) Subject to the right of a person indicted to procure a transcript or recording as provided by Rule 5.16(3), and subject to the authority of the court at any time to direct otherwise, all persons present during any part of the proceedings of a grand jury shall keep its proceedings and the testimony given before it secret, except that counsel may divulge such information as may be necessary in preparing the case for trial or other disposition.

    (2) The court may direct that an indictment be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has given bail, in which event the clerk shall seal the indictment and no person shall disclose the finding of the indictment except when necessary for the issuance and execution of a warrant or summons.

    (3) A violation of this Rule 5.24 shall be punishable as a contempt of court.
    e 5.24, KY ST RCRP Rule 5.24
    Current with amendments received through August 1, 2020.


    From a case I found on how the grand jury works in Kentucky:

    The prosecutor initiates a grand jury investigation upon evidence of wrongdoing, no matter how slight.   The grand jury subsequently must assess whether probable cause exists to believe that a crime has been committed.   The prosecutor assists the grand jury investigation and in determining which witnesses the grand jury will subpoena, selecting the documents or evidence presented and criminal charges pursued, as well as explaining the law and instructing the grand jury on burden of proof.   The grand jury is unable to conduct independent investigations inside the grand jury room.   If sufficient evidence of commission of a crime is found, a grand jury may return an indictment but is not constitutionally required to do so.   If no indictment is returned, constituting a "no true bill," the prosecutor may resubmit the case to another grand jury.   Double jeopardy or collateral estoppel defenses do not apply to multiple grand jury proceedings.   Grand jury proceedings are conducted in secret, with only the jurors, prosecutor, witnesses, stenographer, recording device operator or interpreter present.

     The indictment is the formal written accusation of a crime, made by a grand jury, and presented to the court for prosecution against the accused person.   An indictment issued by a grand jury is merely a charge of commission of a crime and is not any evidence of guilt.   Before an individual may be convicted, the charge must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.   The purpose for an indictment is merely to inform an accused individual of the essential facts of the charge against him so he will be able to prepare a defense.



    "[N]o matter how slight,..." (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 26, 2020 at 12:20:26 AM EST
    as compared to "a scintilla."

    Parent