grand jury

(redirected from Grand juror)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to Grand juror: petit juror

grand jury,

in law, body of persons selected to inquire into crimes committed within a certain jurisdiction. It usually comprises a greater number than the trial, or petit (also, petty) jury, having since early common lawcommon law,
system of law that prevails in England and in countries colonized by England. The name is derived from the medieval theory that the law administered by the king's courts represented the common custom of the realm, as opposed to the custom of local jurisdiction that
..... Click the link for more information.
 days had between 12 and 23 members. In the United States, federal grand juries have between 16 and 23 jurors. The grand jury receives complaints and accusations in criminal cases, hears evidence adduced by the state, and approves an indictmentindictment
, in criminal law, formal written accusation naming specific persons and crimes. Persons suspected of crime may be rendered liable to trial by indictment, by presentment, or by information.
..... Click the link for more information.
 when satisfied that there is enough evidence against the accused to warrant a trial. It was not until the 17th cent. that the grand jury acquired its modern functions as a check on the discretion of prosecutors and a way of preventing unjustified and politically motivated prosecutions. Grand juries have investigative functions as well, and are sometimes impaneled to issue reports on, e.g., suspected official wrongdoing.

The rules governing grand jury proceedings are very different from those governing trials by (petit) jury. The public is not admitted to hearings, and witnesses can be compelled to testify. The procedure is inquisitorial rather than adversarial: the defense is not allowed to call witnesses, and the prosecutor is not obliged to present both sides of the case. Hearsay and other evidenceevidence,
in law, material submitted to a judge or a judicial body to resolve disputed questions of fact. The rules discussed in this article were developed in England for use in jury trials.
..... Click the link for more information.
 that might be excluded at a jury trial may be introduced.

The use of grand juries has declined in the 20th cent., in part because they were perceived as prone to either prosecutorial domination or abuse of their investigatory role. Britain abandoned them in the 1930s, and today fewer than half of U.S. states employ them. The information, a written statement issued by a prosecutor, has largely replaced the indictment. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, however, guarantees a grand jury inquiry to anyone accused in federal court of a capital "or otherwise infamous" (i.e., a felony) crime.

grand jury

Law (esp in the US and, now rarely, in Canada) a jury of between 12 and 23 persons summoned to inquire into accusations of crime and ascertain whether the evidence is adequate to found an indictment. Abolished in Britain in 1948
References in periodicals archive ?
Throughout this handbook and during your term as a grand juror certain terms will occur frequently.
Reliance upon and use of the GJLA would have greatly decreased grand juror dependency on the prosecutor.
It is true that a federal defendant has the technical right to have grand jurors vote on a felony indictment.
Without fail, judges and justices reminded grand jurors of their oaths to make diligent inquiries and true presentments.
The Grand Jury Clause requires that for each defendant charged with a felony, the charge be contained in an indictment that was voted on and approved by a majority of properly convened grand jurors.
Grand jurors are United States citizens and [begin strikethrough]Florida[end strikethrough] legal residents of this state and their respective counties who are at least 18 years of age and who possess a driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or who execute an affidavit indicating a desire to serve as a juror.
The suits would allow grand jurors to speak out, and would penalize and even replace the prosecutor for providing misinformation to the grand jury.
Echoing and expanding on concerns they had raised previously, prosecutors said Monday in court papers that Diallo repeatedly gave false information to investigators and grand jurors about her life, her past and her actions following her encounter with the French diplomat.
This pending 'senior tsunami' will dramatically impact the need for senior services for elders," grand jurors wrote.
According to the "Handbook for Federal Grand Jurors," a federal panel determines "whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that a specific person or persons committed it.
It was the first time that Adriano De Souza gave his account in public, though he has told the story to police and grand jurors.
The grand jurors meet as needed, which may be as frequently as several times per week.