According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a grand jury is a jury that examines accusations against persons charged with crimes and, if evidence warrants, makes formal charges on which the accused person is later tried.
Important facts to know about the grand jury process:
- No judge is present during a grand jury
- Prosecutor is the only lawyer that presents a case
- Any evidence the prosecutor brings is admissible evidence
- A grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence
Mosby explained, “A grand jury will really go over and review the adequacy of evidence and that evidence is presented by a prosecutor, so it’s very different from a jury trial.”
The prosecutor goes before a grand jury because there is “probable cause to issue charges against an individual. You’re asking the jury, which is kind of like checks and balances, to say yeah, you have enough evidence to proceed against an individual.”
Mosby added, “As a prosecutor, ethically if you don’t believe there is probable cause, you should never even put it in front of a grand jury.”
“As a prosecutor your duty is to seek justice, not just convictions,” Mosby said.
In the instance of the Ferguson grand jury and St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, Mosby said, “If you put evidence before a grand jury and you don’t believe the individual should be in front of a grand jury in the first place, then that is when it becomes problematic.”
“What we saw (in Ferguson) was a questionable process, because we have to question the motives,” said Mosby.
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