Grand Jury power to charge corrupt/criminal public officials is the solution to bringing honest government back to America
Allow me to share with you why anyGrand Jury has the power and jurisdiction to investigate and charge criminal and corrupt public officials even though some of them are prosecutors, judges and court commissioners. California State
First, the Grand Jury does have the power to bring charges before the accused in the form of a “presentment.” Please see the accompanying copy from the 4th edition of Black’s Law Dictionary where, on page 912 it states: “A presentment differs from an indictment in that it is an accusation made by a grand jury of their own motion, either upon their own observation , or upon evidence before them;…”
In the 6th edition of the Black’s law dictionary on page 1184, it states: ” Presentment. The written notice taken by a grand jury of any offense, from their own knowledge or observation, without any bill of indictment laid before them at the suit of the government. A presentment is an accusation, initiated by the grand jury itself [not by the district attorney], and in effect an instruction that an indictment be drawn.”
In the expanded legal dictionary/digest called “Words and Phrases”, on page 363, it defines the grand jury as: “The ‘grand jury’ is inquisitorial body of county, drawn and summoned from among its best citizens, and must investigate all violations of law under presiding judge’s direction and make presentments in accordance with such investigations.”
In the second column of this page it continues: ” ‘Grand Jury’ is not judicial but accusing body, permitted to act upon knowledge obtained by members from any source.” and “’Grand jury’ is informing and judicial tribunal, exercising functions which are original, complete, and susceptible of being exercised on its own motion [without D.A.’s initiation] and on such knowledge as it may derive from any proper source.”
A California District Court of Appeal, in the case of Samish v. Superior Court, 28 C.A.2d 685 (1938), on the bottom of page 688 and continuing into page 689, quoting from the U.S. Supreme Court and the California Penal Code, fully explains the powers, jurisdiction and duties of the grand jury. I shall quote of a few excerpts:
“But when grand jurors possess personal knowledge or are furnished with reliable information indicating that a crime has been committed by someone within borders of the county, it is the duty of the grand jury to fearlessly and fairly investigate the charges and indict the culpable party if the evidence warrants that finding [from U.S. Supreme court cases of Blair v. United States and United states v. Philadelphia].”, and
“In the Blair case, supra, discussing the rights of a grand jury to investigate crime, Mr. Justice Pitney said: ‘ It is a grand inquest, a body with powers of investigation and inquisition, the scope of whose inquiries is not to be limited narrowly by questions of propriety, or forecasts of possible result of the investigation’”, and
“In the case of United States v. Philadelphia, etc., supra, the court said; ‘ The power of the grand jury extends to the broadest kind of an inquisitorial proceeding, and it may, before a bill of indictment is framed, investigate at the instance of the court or the district attorney, or at its own instance, a suspected or an alleged crime, and determine whether it has been committed, and if so, who committed it. The grand jury has jurisdiction to proceed under its inquisitorial powers without any specific charge against a particular person or corporation being before it.” and
“The grand jury has authority and it becomes it’s duty to inquire into all public offenses “committed or triable in the county’ in which the jury is impaneled. (Sects. 915, 923, Pen. Code.) Section 915 [now Section 917] provides:
‘The grand jury may inquire into all public offenses committed or triable within the county, and present them to the court by indictment.” and
“Section 923 [now Section 919] provides in part: “The grand jury must inquire… into the willful or corrupt misconduct in office of public officers of every description within the county [even judges].” and
” Section 903 [now Section 911] of the Penal Code prescribes the form of oath to be administered to the grand jury which clearly contemplates an investigation of all public offenses ‘committed or triable in the county’.”
Judges, prosecutors and court commissioners are public officers. They are not above the law; no one is above the law. Unfortunately, prosecutors, county government lawyers and judges often misinform grand jurors and tell them that the grand jury “has no jurisdiction to investigate judges or courts”, but such a statement would simply be not true.
If a judge were to shoot and kill some one with a gun from his bench during a trial, would you say that the grand jury has no jurisdiction to charge the judge with murder just because he was a judge and committed the crime while performing a judicial function?
Clearly the grand jury has jurisdiction to charge such a judge with murder, and as outlined above, it would be the grand jurors legal duty to do so. In fact, grand jurors have repeatedly charged judges for crimes while acting as a judge. Indictments that have led to conviction and imprisonment of the accused judge
Take a look at People v. Hardeman, 224 C.A.2d 1 (1966), in which a judge was indicted and convicted of conspiracy to obstruct and pervert justice among other convictions. Also see People v. Martin, 135 Cal. App.3d 710 (1982), where an L.A. Judge and an attorney friend of him were indicted by the Grand Jury for Conspiracy to obstruct and pervert justice (same charge as the accused in this complaint are accused of), convicted (which was upheld in the appeal) and sentenced to State Prison the same as an ordinary citizen.
Please take a close look also at the case of Lorenson v. Superior Court, 35 C.2d 49 (1950), where the California Supreme Court ruled on page59 and 60 of the case that “A conspiracy with or among public officials not to perform their official duty to enforce criminal laws is an obstruction of justice an indictable offense at common law.” This means that if judges deliberately fail to report criminal violation by other, such as judges, as they are required by California Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 3D, the silent judge just joined a conspiracy to obstruct and pervert justice.
At the end of People v. Coleman, 83 Cal. App.2d 812 (1948), the court resolutely concluded: “One of the statutory duties of the district attorney is to draw all indictments … ‘attend before and give advice to the grand jury whenever cases are presented to it for their consideration.’ There is no requirement, however, that it is the duty of the grand jury to request or accept that advice. The obvious itendment is that the district attorney must draw all indictments only when requested by the grand jury for its advice and assistance… An indictment is the independent act of the grand jury. To require the signature of the district attorney thereto would destroy the independency of action of that body and defeat the primary purpose of its existence.”
The court clearly concluded that the grand jury is free and independent in indicting the accuseds without approval or concurrence of the District Attorney. Recently a California Court of Appeal in the Case of Bradley v. Lacey, 53 Cal.App4th 883 (March 25, 1997), concluded this about Grand Jury’s powers: “It is apparent from the foregoing description of the grand jury’s powers with respect to public offenses that it is not the mere handmaid of the district attorney…. The decision whether or not to indict, to initiate a criminal prosecution, resides entirely with the grand jury.”
For more information, contact the Jury Education Committee.