Should grand juries be used more on the local level? | Crime
Grand juries might be used more often if prosecutors get what they want. But defense attorneys say grand juries are already too secretive and one sided. They use Pam and Roger Mortensen as an example. The couple was indicted for murder by a grand jury and spent four months in jail before being exonerated prior to trial. Grand jury's don't include the defendant and their attorneys. Only the prosecution presents evidence and testimony. Kent Hart with the the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers says "That's all the grand jury heard with only one side of the story 99 percent of the time a grand jury is going to indict someone." Paul Boyden with the Statewide Association of Prosecutors says "The decision to charge someone right now is made without input from anyone, a grand jury or anybody, its made in the prosecutors office and that's the end of it." A legislative subcommittee is recommending a small word change to the state statute. The legislature will consider it in the upcoming session.