Sunday, June 23, 2013

Right to a Binding Citizen Grand Jury Process.

Right to Citizen Grand Jury

This initiative would open up the rights for binding citizen grand jury's. Any state with the initiative process can implement this proposal and open the frontier of citizen checks and balances against crimes of the judicial system, the government, or major corporations when the current judicial system is ensuring the justice we need. 

Montana residents propose Citizen Grand Jury


The ballot title of the measure read:

This initiative amends the Montana Constitution to allow one-half of one percent of a county’s voters to summon by petition a citizen grand jury to investigate and charge crimes. A citizen grand jury can investigate any crime and can open certain proceedings to the public. A county attorney must prosecute any crime charged by a citizen grand jury or may be indicted for failing to do so. A citizen grand jury also may hire a private lawyer, paid by the county, to prosecute any crime it charges.
[ ] FOR amending the Montana Constitution to allow citizens to summon by petition a grand jury to investigate any crime and prosecute any crime it charges.
[ ] AGAINST amending the Montana Constitution to allow citizens to summon by petition a grand jury to investigate any crime and prosecute any crime it charges.

Constitutional changes

Article II, Section 20 of the Montana Constitution would have been amended to read:[5]
Section 20. Initiation of proceedings.
(1) Criminal offenses within the jurisdiction of any court inferior to the district court shall be prosecuted by complaint. All criminal actions in district court, except those on appeal, shall be prosecuted either by information, after examination and commitment by a magistrate or after leave granted by the court, or by indictment without such examination, commitment or leave.
(2) A grand jury shall consist of eleven persons, of whom eight must concur to find an indictment.
(3) A grand jury shall be drawn and summoned at the discretion and order of the district judge or as follows:
(a) Whenever one-half of one percent of the registered electors of a county have signed a petition to summon a grand jury and have submitted the petition signatures to the county election administrator, a grand jury shall be summoned and empanelled by the judge of the district court for the county receiving the petition. A grand jury so summoned and empanelled shall:
(i) first consider any cause advanced by those who have brought and signed the petition, but the grand jury is the sole judge of its duration and the breadth and depth of its inquiry; and
(ii) conduct selected open proceedings to allow the public to present information or ask questions, and conduct other proceedings open or closed as it chooses, consistent with Article II, Sections 8,9, and 10 of the Constitution of the State of Montana.
(b) An indictment brought by a grand jury must be prosecuted by the county attorney for the county in which an alleged offense occurred, regardless of prosecutorial discretion. A county attorney who fails to prosecute within 90 days an indictment being handed down by the grand jury may be indicted for obstruction of justice and official misconduct.
(c) If a grand jury summoned under this section is unable to obtain the prosecution of an indictment by the county attorney of the county where the alleged offense occurred, the grand jury may compel prosecutorial assistance from the attorney general or the grand jury may retain a private prosecutor whose fees shall be a lawful claim against the county where the alleged offense occurred.
(d) A grand jury summoned under this section may, in addition to indictments, seek court orders to remedy situations under its investigation and may hire counsel independent of the county attorney’s office.
This section currently reads:
(1) Criminal offenses within the jurisdiction of any court inferior to the district court shall be prosecuted by complaint. All criminal actions in district court, except those on appeal, shall be prosecuted either by information, after examination and commitment by a magistrate or after leave granted by the court, or by indictment without such examination, commitment or leave.
(2) A grand jury shall consist of eleven persons, of whom eight must concur to find an indictment. A grand jury shall be drawn and summoned only at the discretion and order of the district judge. 
 
Commentary on this proposal can be found here: 
http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/in_conservative_circles_calls_for_citizen_grand_juries_grow/14634
 
Much press will critisizing this system, however, we have only once choice when the current legal system is paid off and corrupted, either we take law into the hands of a civilized citizenry, or we continue to leave it in the hands of a select few good old boys who may be working for the interest of capital and corporations over basic fundamental rights.