A grand jury heard evidence concerning an incident occurred. After the deliberation, they voted an indictment charging a man with the crime of criminal possession of stolen property in the second degree.
Subsequently, the district attorney re-opened the criminal proceeding. The attorney asked the jury to consider the charges of burglary, grand larceny and criminal mischief in addition to the previously count of criminal possession of stolen property.
There are no further evidence brought out at the initial and second proceeding was presented. In addition, sixteen juror members were present at the initial proceeding of the man but only 14 members attended the second proceeding out of sixteen. There are also no discussion had occurred in the first proceeding concerning the new charges. Robbery was charged.
Sources revealed that the law states that a grand jury proceeding is defective when fewer than 12 grand jurors concurred in the finding of the indictment or the proceeding is conducted before fewer than 16 grand jurors. The court also maintain that the legislature’s use of the word proceeding was intended to include the entire process against the offender.
The issue in court is whether the law was satisfied when less than 16 of the same grand jurors that heard the evidence presented against the man were present at one of the stage of the proceeding against him. However, the district attorney contends that such requirements are satisfied so long as a total number of 16 jurors are present at each session and twelve jurors who were present at each session that voted the indictment.
Based on records, the law is not concerned with the grand jury proceedings. Further, the focus of the law’s protection is the offender. Moreover, the court is not questioning the validity of the two grand jury proceedings and its decision is directed toward the particular indictment before it where the man was not afforded the pre-requisite of having at least 16 individual grand jurors hearing all the evidence, questioning it and deliberating and voting thereon as to each count.
The legislative aim is similarly evidenced which states that the proceedings of a grand jury are not valid unless at least 16 of its members are present. The finding of an indictment and every other confirmatory official action or decision requires the agreement of at least twelve members.
Furthermore, the charging of the grand jurors on the applicable law must be viewed as an integral part of the trial especially where no discussion or deliberation of any kind had occurred in the first proceeding regarding the newly submitted counts on the second proceeding. The legislature accordingly considered that a minimum of 16 members of the grand jury would preside at each stage against the offender, question and deliberate the evidence and twelve out of sixteen jurors continuously present would be needed to affirmatively vote the specific charges to which the offender must then face.
The court is consequently in the opinion that there must be a minimum of sixteen of the same grand jurors present throughout each stage of the proceeding against the offender, so as to have sixteen individual minds hearing, questioning, deliberating and voting on the presented evidence and charges, 12 of whom to affirmatively vote the specific counts of the indictment. Since the second grand jury proceeding did not therefore conform to the principle, the burglary, grand larceny and criminal mischief counts stemming as they do from the tainted proceeding are accordingly dismissed by the court. In addition, the criminal possession of stolen property count having been deliberated and voted at the original proceeding which was lawfully constituted remains in effect.
It is important that if you’re facing a case or lawsuit you should always consider in obtaining a legal representative in order for you to have appropriate defense. If you’re interested in finding one, you can ask the Kings County Criminal Lawyer. You can also seek other experts such as Kings County Grand Larceny Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates office.