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Human Rights Law

Selected Works

Jonathan Witmer-Rich

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Restoring Independence To The Grand Jury: A Victim Advocate For The Police Use Of Force Cases, Jonathan Witmer-Rich May 2018

Restoring Independence To The Grand Jury: A Victim Advocate For The Police Use Of Force Cases, Jonathan Witmer-Rich

Jonathan Witmer-Rich

This Article proposes a grand jury victim advocate to represent the interests of the complainant before the grand jury in investigations into police use of excessive force. Currently, the prosecutor has near-exclusive access to the grand jury, and as a result, grand juries have become almost entirely dependent on prosecutors. Historically, however, grand juries exhibited much greater independence. In particular, grand juries have a long history in America of providing oversight over government officials, bringing criminal charges for official misconduct even when local prosecutors proved reluctant. Permitting the alleged victim of police excessive force to be represented before the grand ...