And other problems with the Dixie County “Common Law Grand Jury”
Grand Jury Foreman seems to think that the United States Supreme Court case United States v Williams, 504 U.S. 36 (1992), authorizes common law grand juries. It does no such thing. Here’s what it says:
- It holds that grand juries are empaneled by a judge.
- It holds that the judge can’t tell the grand jury what to do after he has empaneled it.
- It holds that the proper advisor to the grand jury is the duly constituted prosecutor.
As Blackstone described the prevailing practice in 18th century England, the grand jury was “only to hear evidence on behalf of the prosecution[,] for the finding of an indictment is only in the nature of an enquiry or accusation, which is afterwards to be tried and determined.” 4 W. Blackstone, Commentaries 300 (1769); see also 2 M. Hale, Pleas of the Crown 157 (1st Am. ed. 1847). So also in the United States.